Monika’s blog (Jan 18th ) was good at putting the faith journey into perspective. Yet how quickly do our own enquirers or catechumens move on from feelings of joy and wonder of the initial stirrings of faith, to feelings of the mundane.
This Sunday’s Gospel (3rd Ordinary Time) offers a reminder of the importance of prayer and its prominence in our sessions: individual or group. It illustrates how the disciples just don’t get it. They are no different from us. They want to get on with the important stuff, the healing, the miracles, the freeing from devils. Everyone wants a piece of Jesus, and what does Jesus do, but go off somewhere quiet to pray.
There is a lot to draw out of those few words of Jesus going off to a lonely place to pray: how prayer is our first thought in the early morning; that you don’t need a prayerbook or to go into a church; that you do it after you have done something momentous, as well as praying for guidance before you continue your journey.
As for the distractions, well they come in all shapes and forms: even in the guise of your companions, who have pledged themselves in service to follow Christ. How often are we cut short in our prayers by the very people we are praying for.
There are prayerbooks for catechumens, but the prayers that stay with us, are often the ones we learn from others. I can recall the joy of recognition when hearing enquirers or catechumens recalling how a parent, a relative or someone close to them said a prayer with them when they were younger. Connecting with the catechumen’s past is a vital link to their seeing a route to where they’ve now got to. They learn that all of life’s experience is important. It makes them who they are.
- If you have people from different countries why not invite them to each share a prayer from their culture.
- Encourage those in your group to make up a short Trinitarian prayer.
- Explore the scriptures for prayers.
- Start and end every encounter within RCIA with a prayer.