WEEK ONE: PRAYER

1st sunday of lent: prayer ignition talk

Each Sunday of Lent we will be given a new theme for the week. Things will kick off with an “Ignition Talk” that will be a longer reflection that will help us to dive in deep to give us beautiful insights into the week’s focus. Then throughout the week there will be shorter “Spark Talks” that will give further insights coming from personal reflections.

This week our focus is on PRAYER and we are blessed to have Monsignor Hermes of the Diocese of Rockford shares his valuable insights.

REFLECTION POINTS:

  • Ponder for a moment the fact that God is waiting for you to communicate with Him and that He desires to communicate with you!
  • What kind/form of prayer fits your heart and personality best? Can you find time to pray in this way each day?
  • Can I create a room or a corner of my home that can be set up as a special place for prayer?
  • Can I make a point of praying together with my family?
  • Can I consider making a new good habit of remaining at Church after Mass for a few minutes to pray in thanksgiving for the gift of the Eucharist?
  • Be kind to yourself and understand that prayer is not graded or meant to be done perfectly – it is simply meant to be done with love…God loves your prayer!

MONDAY: PRAYER SPARK TALK

Jane Jungerman shares her thoughts and personal testimony of the difference prayer makes in her life.

REFLECTION POINTS:

  • Try praying the “Morning Offering” and considering working it into your daily spiritual practices:

O Jesus, 
through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, 
I offer You my prayers, works, 
joys and sufferings
of this day for all the intentions
of Your Sacred Heart, 
in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
throughout the world, 
in reparation for my sins, 
for the intentions of all my relatives and friends, 
and in particular
for the intentions of the Holy Father.

Amen

  • The Rosary is a beautiful way to meditate upon the life of Christ – I encourage you to pray one decade today (1 Our Father, 10 Hail Mary’s, and a Glory Be) If you don’t know how to pray the rosary click the link here to learn how! https://www.dynamiccatholic.com/rosary/how-to-pray-the-rosary.html
  • Fasting is a very typical and common practice during Lent – what is God asking you to fast from during this powerful season?
  • Listen to “Dare you to Move,” reflect on the words – and then choose to move by working one of Jane’s ideas into your prayer life! You can hear the song by clicking on the link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jE-Krlqi4fk

TUESDAY: PRAYER SPARK TALK

Gina Venier shares how she prays throughout the day and the crucial difference that it makes in her life. She is grateful that the Catching Fire Retreat is able to ignite hearts in place of the Light of the World Retreat this year!

REFLECTION POINTS:

  • Do you simply desire to grow closer to God? Take a moment to reflect on the depth and reality of this desire in your heart!
  • Have you opened your heart to God in such a way that your prayer life is “Dynamic?” Do you desire a dynamic relationship with God? What might be getting in the way of doing this and what steps can you take to welcome Him in in a deeper way?
  • Consider journaling and pouring out your prayer thoughts on paper.
  • At the start of the day collaborate with God by praying over your schedule or to do list – actively welcome him into your day.
  • Try praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3:00 pm. To learn how to pray this Chaplet click here: https://centrefordivinemercy.org/chaplet-of-divine-mercy

WEDNESDAY: “FUEL BREAK”

Today we have the first of our Wednesday “Fuel Breaks.” A Fuel Break is a strip of land in the middle of a forest that is cleared out in order to control a burn in the case of a wildfire. Each Wednesday you will be provided with a “Fuel Break” Guided Meditation. Rather than giving you more to think about and process, we’ll be shifting gears so that you can clear your mind and enter into a time of prayer with God. We pray that these encounters with the Lord will help control and focus the burn that God is enkindling in your heart.

(Make sure to click “Listen in Browser”)

THURSDAY: PRAYER SPARK TALK

Keith and Christy Adams share their experience with prayer as a married couple. Their insights apply even if you aren’t married, as we are all called to build and nurture relationships with our fellow brother and sisters in Christ.

REFLECTION POINTS:

  • Remember that Jesus spent time praying with the Father…Try asking Jesus to help you to pray, and to imagine Jesus sitting beside you praying with you as you reach out to the Father.
  • Can you try to pray today with my spouse or with a close friend? Are you willing to open up my heart and your prayer life to share it with another? At the very least are you willing to spend time together with another as you both reach out to God in silent prayer simultaneously?
  • Spend a moment reflecting on Jesus’ words “Where two or three gather together in my name, there I am also.” Think about what situations of scenarios in your life recalling this truth may bring great comfort, knowing that Jesus is right there with you.

FRIDAY: PRAYER SPARK TALK

Today’s Mike Didier shares his insights on prayer and the three things that he has found helpful when he converses with the Lord

REFLECTION POINTS:

  • How can you try to allow Jesus into your heart in a more transparent way? What things in your life do you think could be blocks where you prevent God from coming into your heart? Talk to God about these things.
  • Try praying in an open and honest way today. Just be OPEN – tell God how you feel and ask Him to be in that with you (nothing is more open than sharing difficult stuff with God – if you’re upset: tell God that you are upset! Be open and don’t be afraid to pray about things that aren’t pretty. Be real with God as you pray!)
  • Can you try sitting down, closing your eyes, and physically reaching out your hand and asking God to take it and lead you as you pray? Try this and see where God takes you?
  • What things do you think God may be calling you to that you might be resisting? Are you willing to at the very least pray and truly talk with God about it? Can you share your fears and worries with God?
  • Just try to be open throughout the day!!!!

SATURDAY: PRAYER SPARK TALK

The Catching Fire Retreat Spark Talk for today is given by Monsignor Deutsch who shares what the ups and downs of prayer life can be like to navigate and gives encouragement to make the decision to pray and to persevere!

REFLECTION POINTS:

  • Do I sometimes find prayer to be difficult? What distractions might be getting in the way that I can consider setting aside to have better communication with God?
  • When prayer finds itself in the midst of a busy list of things to do on any given day, can I try putting prayer first rather than putting it off?
  • When I get distracted in prayer, rather than getting frustrated, can I try to turn the very distraction into something to pray about? Can I ask God to lead me deeper through that distraction and at the same time believe that God is just happy that I am there with Him?
  • Can I try simply being silent in the presence of God?
  • Can I allow my prayer life to go deeper through committing to consistency? As we conclude our week-long focus on prayer, can I pull everything together and make a decision to commit a set amount of time aside daily for communication with God?
  • Don’t get frustrated friends!