Prayer 101: First Step to Heaven – Oct 12 – Homily – Fr Terrance

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Fr Terrance gives the homily at Bloomington, IN on Oct 12, 2021, starting a 101 course on prayer on how vocal prayer is the first step in the spiritual life that leads to heaven. The key to vocal prayer is the amount of charity we say them with so that we have attention, reverence, and devotion. Notes:

Prayer quoted for starting vocal prayer:
Lord, open my lips to praise Your holy Name. Cleanse my heart of any worthless, evil, or distracting thoughts. Give me the wisdom and love necessary to pray this Office with attention, reverence, and devotion. Father, let my prayer be pleasing in Your sight, for it is offered through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Attention - two types virtual, actual

Three effects of prayer: meritorious, implores graces from God, and gives delight to the soul.

prayer is meritorious when it is at least virtual attention, not necessarily actual

Actual attention,  focused on prayer whereas virtual means started with attention but got distracted yet completed the prayers.

To implore graces from God virtual attention is suffient

To get the effect of personal delight we must have actual attention.

Another way of distinguishing attention, three: material attention saying the words correcting. Literal, focusing on the words' meaning,  Spiritual or mystical attention, focusing on God. Best is the last but all three are compatible and desirable.

Reverence - Needed because we are talking to God. Defined as to give honor or respect to someone great, to stand in awe or to revere them. We need to be familiar with God but should not regard Him casually.

Devotion - From the heart, better fewer words with devotion than many with none.

Must give up the vocal prayer when God raises us up to the higher level of mental or mystical prayer

but must do the obligatory vocal prayer that you promised to do

Can never move away from vocal prayer entirely

Liturgy is a vocal prayer, the only way to pray in common.

Pray to Our Lady that we say our vocal prayers with attention, reverence, and devotion.

Ave Maria!

Mass: St. Seraphin of Montegranaro - Opt Mem
Readings: Tuesday 28th Week of Ordinary Time -
1st: rom 1:16-25
Resp: psa 19:2-3, 4-5
Gsp: luk 11:37-41

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