God has actually spoken

The scripture readings for Sunday are a great starting point to start listening

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It's more enjoyable with others

There are some simple and effective ways to share scripture in homes, cafes, parishes

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Prayer becomes lived out when we make decisions and lifestyle commitments

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Resources

We all need a ‘toolbox’ of resources to help our reflection time. To help with prayer and listening to the scripture here are some tried and true recipes from our Catholic tradition that may be helpful for individuals and groups. Feel welcome to download them and use them personally or in small groups and share them about.

Note: Documents are in PDF Format and require Adobe Acrobat Reader (free). If you are not able to download the documents  click here

First steps in Prayer – sometimes we just need some help to begin to ‘pray’. Here is a  little story to capture why prayer is important and a few helpful suggestions to help people get started.

Obstacles to Prayer sometimes we question why we don’t like prayer or what is going wrong? It is common for many people to give up on prayer because they cannot find a way to be still and quiet the ‘noise’ going on inside. Sometimes fear, hurt, or even anger with God is present which causes us to resist prayer time. Here are some reflective questions to consider.

-Journaling –  writing down thoughts, feelings and personal experiences and finding creative ways of expressing what you are going through in your life journey is a practice that has helped so many people in their spiritual journey. Here is a reflection sheet with a number of journaling questions to help get one started.

-Lectio Divina –  Divine Reading or Spiritual Reading is a practice taught by many great spiritual writers. It is possibly the most taught practice to help people in prayer. Becoming familiar with a simple pattern of prayer with scripture is immensely helpful. Here is an outline of the basic pattern taught for Lectio Divina

– Centering Prayer – Sometimes we have difficulty controlling our thoughts and imagination during our prayer time. Centering Prayer helps to focus our mind and our heart so that our ‘head’ and ‘thoughts’ can be stilled. This is done through the use of a prayer phrase. Here is a process to assist one to become centred and find a prayer phrase to use.

-Imaginative Prayer – Our Imagination can be a really helpful friend to imagine scenes and help us enter a conversation with God. This prayer method is taught by St Ignatius and many others. Here are some guiding ideas and scripture suggestions for this prayer method.

-Praying with a PsalmThe Psalms express all the feelings that we go through in our human journey, our ups and our downs. Sometimes when we don’t know how to pray the psalms can help us get in touch with how we or others in the world may be feeling – and we pray the words deeply to God. Its a great way of entering prayer when we don’t have words of our own for prayer.

-Examination of Consciousness – St Ignatius encouraged everyone to develop an awareness of the presence of God in their daily life. This little practice is helpful to notice what God has been up to in our day – and if we were ‘aware’. Some people use this reflective experience at the end of their day before going to sleep. Some people use this during their day wanting to examine if they have lived out a particular attitude (eg. not getting angry) or a virtue (eg. hospitality) with others.

-Finding a spiritual director / companion Sharing with someone about your spiritual journey is possibly one of the most helpful steps one can make in their spiritual journey. It requires one to meet regularly with someone and to simply share honestly. Its helpful having another pair of ears listening to discern where God may be at work. Some people may not be ready for the commitment and honesty needed – Take a read and consider if God is calling you to the next step of commitment to spiritual growth.

A Balanced Spirituality – the history of Christian Spirituality shares with us a variety of practices. Being balanced in our spirituality and following of Jesus can mean we need to recognise some spiritual traditions that may not be our own preference (have a look at the holiness, contemplative, sacramental, social justice, charismatic, evangelical traditions and the ‘spirituality wheel’ for a self diagnosis).

-Discerning your Vocation many young adults find themselves struggling to realise what their ‘call’ or ‘vocation’ from God might be. Is it to Marriage, Priesthood, Single Life, Religious Life? This resource offers some reflective questions to help discern – or ‘cut away’ – options. Passion, attraction, desire and gifts are all part of the listening process which God works through. After all, God writes his hopes and plans for us into our deepest desires!

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