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Archive for the ‘Prayers’ Category

The Recessional hymn still rings in my mind when I celebrated Christmas Midnight Mass at Church of the Holy Family. Titled “Love Has Come To Show The Way” written by Matt Maher, it is a prayer in song bringing out the meaning of Christmas.

Matt Maher wrote a song for the Christmas season called “Love Has Come.” His words recognize the power of the Christmas event, and challenge the listener to live that meaning and message the whole year. Check it out. The first verse and refrain offer a perfect prayer.

With one voice the angels sing
songs that make creation ring.
Prophets hear and call us to
live in spirit and in truth.

Word of God, enthroned,
dwell in us forevermore.
Love has come to show the way.
Hallelujah, peace be with us.
Love has come to show the way.

As you click on Youtube below to listen to the hymn, spend a moment reflecting on the meaning of the lyrics as you pray.

With one voice the Angels sing;
songs that make creation ring
Prophets hear and call us
to live in spirit and in truth
Father Yahweh, Elohim;
voice of thunder, spirit wind
Breathe on me your very life;
Grace will make the darkness bright

Word of God enthroned,
dwell in us forevermore;
Love has come to show the way
Halleluiah, peace be with us
Love has come to show the way

God of covenant divine,
lead us to the end of time
Beyond sorrow, beyond fear;
beyond pride and earthen tears

Keeper of the sacrifice,
manifest in Jesus Christ
Born to die and wake the dead
As we hunger, keep us fed

Now salvation has come
in the New Jerusalem
Dancers dance and singers roar;
proclaiming Jesus Christ is Lord.

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Sharing an article from the parish bulletin of Church of St Joseph for an informative read

Why do Catholics pray for the dead?

The earliest Scriptural reference to prayers for the dead comes in the second book of Maccabees. The books of Maccabees were among the latest written books found in the Old Testament. They recount the struggle of the Jewish people for freedom against the Seleucid Empire, around 100-200 years before the birth of Christ. They were written from an Orthodox Jewish point of view. The second book of Maccabees, the Jewish leader, led his troops into battle in 163 BC. When the battle ended, he directed that the bodies of those Jews who had died be buried. As soldiers prepared their slain comrades for burial, they discovered that each was wearing an amulet taken as a booty from a pagan Temple. This violated the law of Deuteronomy and so Judas and his soldiers prayed that God would forgive the sin these men had committed (2 Maccabees 12:39-45).

This is the first indication in the Bible that prayers offered by the living can help free the dead from any sin that would separate them from God in the life to come. It is echoed in the New Testament when Paul offers a prayer for a man named Onesiphorus who had died: “May the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that day” (2 Timothy 1:18). The cavelike tombs under the city of Rome, which we call catacombs, bear evidence that members of the Roman Christian community gathered there to pray for their fellow followers of Christ who lay buried there.

The practice of praying for the dead is rooted first in the Christian belief in the everlasting life promised in Jesus’ teachings and fore-shadowed by his disciple’s experience that God had raised him from the dead. After death, even though separated from our earthly body, we yet continue a personal existence. It is as living persons that God invites us into a relationship whose life transcends death.

Praying for the dead has further origins in our belief in the communion of saints. Members of this community who are living, often assist each other in faith by prayers and other forms of spiritual support. Christians who have died continue to be members of the communion of saints. We believe that we can assist them by our prayers, and they can assist us by theirs.

Our prayers for the dead express hope that God will free the person who has died from any burden of sin and prepare a place for him or her in heaven. Death remains a mystery for us – a great unknown. Yet Christian language evokes a hopeful imagination in the presence of death, an assurance that our love, linked to Christ’s love, can help bridge whatever barriers might keep those whom we love from fully enjoying the presence of a loving and life-giving God.

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Why do Catholics go to Mass? Must go? Why does the priest wears different coloured clothes at different parts of a year? What is that round white wafer thing you eat during Mass? Why do you refer to Jesus as the Lamb of God? Since Catholics celebrate the Mass every Sunday, does it mean that Jesus keep on dying week after week?

Some FAQs which we may find it rather difficult to fathom for a simple answer. Came across the following site at www.catholicmass.org and the following could be somthing of an interesting read.

1. 101 Questions about the Catholic Mass by Fr Theodore Book (Director), Office of Divine Worship, Archdiocese of Atlanta.

2. Catholic Mass Study Guide
Study Guide – Introduction
Study Guide – Session 1
Study Guide – Session 2
Study Guide – Session 3
Study Guide – Session 4
Study Guide – Session 5
Study Guide – Session 6
Study Guide – Session 7

Hope you find it an enlightening read. Do share around.

All credits goes to www.catholicmass.org


The Catholic Mass is the most sacred act of worship a person can participate in upon earth. At the Last Supper, Jesus Christ, sat down with his chosen Apostles for what He knew would be their last meal together. At that supper, Jesus does something new, something never done before, and yet something which continues until the end of time.

Knowing more about the Mass, we can be closer to Christ and to the miracle He left us on that Holy Thursday night.

“The Catholic Mass…Revealed!” (www.catholicmass.org) is designed to help all people, whether Catholic or not, to better understand the miracle of the Mass. We can come to appreciate its beauty, its rhythm, even why many in history have faced death rather than be deprived of the opportunity to participate in the Mass.

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Praying in Tongues

…….. a continuation to the previous post about the Spiritual Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit. While we were preparing to pray for the invited guests in our discussion group, someone came up to me:

Someone: Do you pray in tongues?
I said: I do pray and when I verbalise my words of prayer, my tongue moves.

Someone: That’s not what I mean. I mean do you actually pray IN tongues?
I said: Actually, I pray in English and I guess God will hear me perfectly as He would be multi-lingual to understand all forms of language given that He is All Knowing (Omniscience). He wouldn’t have a problem understanding my prayer in English.

I guess many have heard about Christians having the Gift of Tongues. While praying in deep intensity, the person may speak, shout or even babbling incoherently. With body swaying and arms lifted high up in trance-like manner and at the climax of praise and worship, suddenly you see people flopping down or even crashing to the floor. Sobbing or crying can sometimes be heard. Quite a scary and horrific scene for those who may not understand what’s going on.

Possessed? Not in the evil sense. Rather, it’s the manifestation of one’s esctasy in the height of praise and worship where one has allowed the in-filling of the Holy Spirit and the person sing praises to God in the language of angels which are incomprehensible. The Gift of Tongues is just one of the Charismatic Gifts beside others like the Gift of Healing, Prophecy, Interpretation, Knowledge, Exorcism etc…Charismatic Gifts specially given by God to a chosen few for a special purpose / mission. It may last but for an occassion or for a duration of a person’s lifetime. It very much depends on what God’s mission for that person is.

For any Spiritual Gifts to be effective, God sees it fit that you need it for his mission for you; and the person is open to receive it in all understanding that these Gifts are to do good works for the glory of God and not to elevate oneself to a “holier than thou” attitude that detracts from God’s mission and for his flock.

In the words of St Paul,

I give thanks to God that I speak in tongues more than any of you, but in the Church I would rather speak five words with my mind, so as to instruct others also, than ten thousand words in tongue. (1 Cor 14:18-19).

For those believers who have been bestowed with such a charismatic Gift of Tongues, use it for the glory of God that will inspire other non-believers and bring them close to God…not to scare them away. For me, I’m thankful to God that I have a tongue to taste food and to communicate. I’m sure He still hears my prayer and yours too…even if it is spoken in English or from the silence of your heart.

Feel free to share your comments if you have seen, heard or even experience such a Gift of Tongues.

springtime

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Pray-on-the-go

For some of us, the hectic lifestyle of trying to juggle our career and family commitments can obliterate our perspective to find some quiet moments for personal reflection to spiritually enrich ourselves. Always on-the-go, you have often heard of:-
“Eat-on-the-go” – munching on your fast food while working at your desk.
“Talk-on-the-go” – conversing with your contacts on your mobile phones, PDAs, laptops while doing some other multiple tasks concurrently.

For the “go-getters”, perhaps “pray-on-the-go” is highly recommended for inclusion to your busy schedule assuming if you hardly have time for prayer and reflection. A site for you to download spiritual and inspirational hymns into your MP3, plugged in…..and GO to Pray-On-The-Go.

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5 finger prayer

A quick way to remind ourselves whom we should pray for.

1. Your thumb is nearest to you.
So begin your prayers by praying for those closest to you. They are the easiest to remember. To pray for our loved ones is as CS Lewis once said, a “sweet duty.”

2. The next finger is the tallest finger.
It reminds us of our leaders. Pray for those who teach instruct and heal. This includes teachers, doctors, and ministers. They need support and wisdom in pointing others in the right direction. Keep them in your prayers.

3. The next finger is the tallest finger.
It reminds us of our leaders .Pray for the president, leaders in business and industry, and administrators. These people shape our nation and guide public opinion. They need God’s guidance.

4. The fourth finger is our ring finger.
Surprising to many is the fact that this is our weakest finger; as any piano teacher will testify. It should remind us to pray for those who are weak, in trouble, or in pain. They need your prayers day and night.

5. Lastly comes our little finger;
The smallest finger of all. This is where we should place ourselves in relation to God and others. As the bible says,” The least shall be the greatest among you.” Your pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself. By the time you have prayed for the other four groups, your own needs will be put into proper perspective and you will be able to pray for yourself more effectively.

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Amazing how things led from one to another. While at Cana for the Alpha 4 `Intro Nite’, I happened to chance upon a CD which Anne had brought along. The singer was Josh Groban. Two nights ago, an email came from Jacqueline about `The Prayer’ sung by Celine Dion. So I decided to put the information together, did a search and came with the following videoclip. `The Prayer’ sung by Celine Dion and Josh Groban. Wishing you a meaningful reflection on the lyrics.

I pray you’ll be our eyes, and watch us where we go,
And help us to be wise, in times when we don’t know
Let this be our prayer, as we go our way
Lead us to a place, guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe…
La luce che tu dai
I pray we’ll find your light
Nel cuore resterà
And hold it in our hearts
A ricordarci che
When stars go out each night
L’eterna stella sei

Nella mia preghiera
Let this be our prayer
Quanta fede c’è

When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we’ll be safe

Sognamo un mondo senza più violenza
Un mondo di giustizia e di speranza
Ognuno di la mano al suo vicino
Simbolo di pace e di fraternità

La forza che ci dai
We ask that life be kind

E’ il desiderio che
And watch us from above

Ognuno trovi amor
We hope each soul will find

Intorno e dentro a sé
Another soul to love

Let this be our prayer
Let this be our prayer

Just like every child
Just like every child

Needs to find a place, guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we’ll be safe

E’ la fede che
Hai acceso in noi
Sento che ci salverà

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