The Catholic Diocese of Lafayette, Indiana Catechetical Curriculum Guidelines



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Personal Prayer







Prayers can either be said by oneself or in a group. Prayers said by oneself are known as personal prayer. Prayers said in a group are known as communal prayer.

18, 25, 38, 112, 166, 351, 363

A Parent Guide to Prayer: 12, 13, 21, 22

FindingGod.com: Praying with Jesus: Many Ways to Pray; How Catholics Pray; The Gift of Contemplative Prayer; Communal Prayer






Personal prayer is communication between God and each person which helps to nourish our relationship with Him. Because God is love, mystery, and beyond what can be imagined, each person can never exhaust growing in deeper union and experiencing a constant strengthening of a personal relationship with Him. Just as married couples who are faithful to their commitment grow closer through constant love and communication, even more does a growing relationship with God grow through personal prayer.

SE/TE: 18, 25, 112, 166, 363

A Parent Guide to Prayer: 13, 21

FindingGod.com: Praying with Jesus: Many Ways to Pray; How Catholics Pray; Prayer and Forms of Prayer



2700–2704
1324


There are three common methods of prayer: vocal, meditation, and contemplation. These three common methods of prayer can be practiced both in personal prayer and communal prayer. In Eucharistic liturgy, which is the source and summit of the Christian life, we pray in common with other people using vocal prayer and meditation. In ‘Lectio Divina’ a person prays meditatively and contemplatively. In devotional prayers, such as the Rosary or Novenas, a person prays vocally and meditatively.

SE/TE: 324–325, 330–333, 359, 365

A Parent Guide to Prayer: 14

FindingGod.com: Praying with Jesus: Many Ways to Pray; How Catholics Pray; The Gift of Contemplative Prayer; Prayer and Forms of Prayer



2700


Vocal prayer is a very important way of praying out loud with the voice. In vocal prayer the voice is used to say the words of the prayer, the mind is attentive to the words that are said, and the heart, stirred by love, becomes attentive to the mind.

SE/TE: 25, 28, 31c, 58

FindingGod.com: Praying with Jesus: Many Ways to Pray; How Catholics Pray; Prayer and Forms of Prayer



2702–2704


Each person is made up of body and soul. The body expresses itself through appropriate gestures which come from the desire for God arising from the soul of each person. When in human life, a person experiences the absence of a loved one, the soul longs to see that person again. In a similar way, the ‘soul longs for God’ and through prayer the soul expresses reverence for God bodily, by kneeling, bowing, etc.

SE/TE: 65e, 67, 82, 288

A Parent Guide to Prayer: 13

FindingGod.com: Gesture in Prayer; Gestures in the Liturgy; Praying with Jesus: Many Ways to Pray; How Catholics Pray; Prayer and Forms of Prayer



2005


Meditation is a form of prayer which thinks about the truths of God. Scripture reveals God’s directives for living love and truth. Taking passages of Scripture and prayerfully thinking about them is meditation. This requires silence and a presence to God. Meditation helps us to think about how we are living in accord with God’s truth and goodness. It stirs the heart to a greater desire to love. Meditation leads us to talk to God in silence. It also uses the imagination and the emotions. These in turn strengthen the desire for God.

SE/TE: 27, 31c, 55sn, 66–68, 72, 79sn, 98, 108sn, 125, 126, 173e, 264, 270sn, 325, 359

A Parent Guide to Prayer: 14

FindingGod.com: The Holy Spirit, Breathing and Meditation; Praying the Ignatian Way; Praying with Jesus: Many Ways to Pray; How Catholics Pray: Prayer and Forms of Prayer






God is present to each person who is meditating on His truths. Humility helps us to recognize that we are God’s creatures, this life is temporary and we journey to eternal life with God for all eternity.


SE/TE: 27, 31c, 55sn, 66–68, 72, 79sn, 98, 108sn, 125, 126, 173e, 264, 270sn, 325, 359

A Parent Guide to Prayer: 14

FindingGod.com: The Holy Spirit, Breathing and Meditation; Praying with Jesus: Many Ways to Pray; How Catholics Pray



2709


Contemplation is the highest form of prayer. It is a gift of love given by God to a person who chooses to be with Him through a loving personal relationship. A person cannot achieve contemplation by their own efforts. It is a gift of God given to those who are faithful to prayer.


31c, 82, 108sn, 156, 264, 325,

A Parent Guide to Prayer: 14

Record: CD 1, Track 2; CD 1, Track 3; CD 1, Track 6; CD 2, Track 2; CD 2, Track 4

FindingGod.com: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer; Praying with Jesus: Many Ways to Pray; How Catholics Pray


2713

Contemplative prayer is a peaceful being with God. As two people who have a strong bond of love and can be together in one’s presence lovingly without talking, so it is in contemplation that God speaks to a person’s heart without the person needing to pray with words or thinking about images.


31c, 82, 108sn, 156, 264, 325,

A Parent Guide to Prayer: 14

Record: CD 1, Track 2; CD 1, Track 3; CD 1, Track 6; CD 2, Track 2; CD 2, Track 4

FindingGod.com: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer; Praying with Jesus: Many Ways to Pray; How Catholics Pray:





A famous story tells about an elderly gentleman who would go to Church to be in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. He was lovingly aware of God’s presence and described the experience of just ‘being with God’. This is contemplation.

193c, 199, 199sn, 200, 200sn, 295

FindingGod.com: Eucharistic Devotions; Real Presence






God is the giver of all gifts. Maybe not all people arrive at contemplation. The important thing is to accept God’s will, whatever God wants to give. There should be no competition with prayer. To the faithful person of prayer, God will transform their lives as He so desires.


31c, 82, 108sn, 156, 264, 325,

A Parent Guide to Prayer: 14

Record: CD 1, Track 2; CD 1, Track 3; CD 1, Track 6; CD 2, Track 2; CD 2, Track 4

FindingGod.com: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer; Praying with Jesus: Many Ways to Pray; How Catholics Pray





Challenges of Prayer




2725


Our covenant relationship with God is strengthened and continues to grow as we are faithful to prayer. God is always present to us with love and faithfulness.

16, 51c, 56, 227b, 227c, 228–230, 231–232, 235

FindingGod.com: The Great Commandment; Covenant; The Good Shepherd



2725


Each person must make an effort to be faithful to prayer. During our life on earth we are challenged to choose good or evil. Everyday choices must be made to overcome sinful tendencies in order to choose the good. It is a discipline to say morning and night prayers, and to attend Mass on Sundays. God’s life within each person helps them to be loving people rather than mean and angry towards others.

26, 183c, 190, 199, 241sn, 228sn, 241sn, 290–291

FindingGod.com: Distractions in Prayer; Overcoming Temptations Of Daily Life: 5 Suggestions for a Stronger Self; Prayer and Forms of Prayer



2752–2753


To live in the Spirit of Christ we must pray to grow continually in virtues of love, kindness towards others; and standing up for what is true, good and God-like. Humility helps us to acknowledge areas of weakness within ourselves.

139c, 203e, 294–295

FindingGod.com: Weak Enough to Love God; Washing Feet: Serving Others During Lent






There are many challenges to staying faithful to prayer. Young people who choose to develop talents in sports, music or other areas must develop a routine and be faithful to practicing so they become experts. It is the same with prayer. Through discipline a person should pray to God each day; morning before rising, and each evening before going to bed. Many times people do not feel like doing this. Distractions are a major challenge while praying. The mind wants to wander and think about other things. This can be overcome by personal effort and God’s grace. Conversion is a knowledge that we need to turn to God for constant growth in holiness.

65c, 67, 139c, 247e, 257e, 258, 267e

FindingGod.com: Distractions in Prayer; Overcoming Temptations Of Daily Life: 5 Suggestions for a Stronger Self ; The Holy Spirit, Breathing, and Meditation; Prayer and Forms of Prayer






Holiness is being like Christ, living as Christ lived. Frequent reading of the Scriptures and the lives of the saints helps us to understand what being holy ‘looks like’.

141, 144, 145, 213e, 227e, 232, 232–233sn, 259–260

2730


A great struggle in today’s culture is the quieting of the mind. There is so little quiet in people’s lives. The culture bombards minds with music and images. People are strangers to silence. We must have quiet prayer time with God in order to grow in our relationship with him.

92sn, 112, 126sn, [note: the prayers and guided reflections in Finding God include a call to stillness and quiet as an integral part of prayer.]

FindingGod.com: Distractions in Prayer; Overcoming Temptations Of Daily Life: 5 Suggestions for a Stronger Self; The Holy Spirit, Breathing, and Meditation; Prayer and Forms of Prayer; Finding God in Prayer; Conversion; Finding God in Prayer






Young people are called to prayer. Yet many are addicted to texting their friends, watching television or using Facebook and My Space. These things interfere with attention at school, driving and even in the workplace. Often these experiences are distractions which make us uncomfortable with silence and unable to pray. However, they are not bad or evil by themselves but they can become sinful when a person allows them to interfere with their duties at school, their relationships with friends and family and especially their call to prayer.

247e, 257e, 258, 267e

FindingGod.com: Distractions in Prayer; Overcoming Temptations Of Daily Life: 5 Suggestions for a Stronger Self; The Holy Spirit, Breathing, and Meditation; Prayer and Forms of Prayer






One can only develop a habit of loving the quiet by deciding to develop the habit. Making a decision to choose ten minutes a day, finding a quiet place, enjoying joy in the peace of quiet are steps towards forming the habit. If there is a chapel, a church or even a room at home – one can be alone. Many young people who go on retreats discover how they are attracted to silence and the presence of God.

92sn, 112, 126sn,139c, 190

FindingGod.com: Overcoming Temptations Of Daily Life: 5 Suggestions for a Stronger Self; The Holy Spirit, Breathing, and Meditation; Prayer and Forms of Prayer; Finding God in Prayer



2731


Another struggle in prayer is called dryness. Dryness may be also described as just ‘feeling indifferent’ to praying. Even when a person feels this way they should fight against it and go aside to pray. Dryness can be a temptation for a person not to pray. Being too busy is another type of temptation not to pray.

272sn, 272

FindingGod.com: Overcoming Temptations Of Daily Life: 5 Suggestions for a Stronger Self; Finding God in Prayer






A more serious form of dryness is called ‘acedia’ – an indifference to prayer because of ones own laxity or sloth/laziness. To move beyond this state of mind calls for real conversion.

272sn, 272, 65c, 67

FindingGod.com: Conversion; I Once Was Lost. . .; Finding God in Prayer






Two holy women, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, one of the three female Doctors of the Church, experienced dryness in prayer throughout her life. She never gave into it and continued to pray faithfully. A more recent deceased holy woman, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, experienced darkness and dryness for many years. She never gave into the feeling of dryness, rather she prayed for hours everyday and served God by caring for the poorest of the poor.

95c, 98, 101, 144, 242, 260

FindingGod.com: Saint Thérèse of Lisieux; The Story of a Soul; Blessed Theresa of Calcutta, Saints By Your Side






Dryness should never keep us from prayer or attending Mass on Sunday.


190, 228sn, 241sn, 337, 338–339

FindingGod.com: Helping People Pray: What Can You Expect From Prayer; Finding God in Prayer






Praying with the Scriptures Lectio Divina






A very special method of praying is using the Bible, also called the Scriptures. The Scriptures contain God’s very own revelation. The Church assures us that all the Scriptures are divinely inspired by God.



18,21e, 25, 37, 47–48, 69sn, 79sn, 89sn, 99sn, 215sn, 234, 244

FindingGod.com: Praying the Ignatian Way; See all Sunday Connection resources; 8 Ways to Pray During Lent






Faith is believing what we cannot see with the human eye. Faith lets us know that as we grow in our personal relationship with God, prayer is our conversation with Him. Our conversation with God can become more special by using God’s word as found in the Bible.

16–17, 18, 21e, 22–23, 25, 35–36, 41e

FindingGod.com: Praying the Ignatian Way; See all Sunday Connection resources; 8 Ways to Pray During Lent






Lectio Divina’ is a Latin expression which means ‘holy reading’. It has been practiced for thousands of years. It began in the early monasteries founded by St. Benedict who lived from AD 480–547.

139c, 140, 141, 145, 154, 226, 358





There are four steps for Lectio Divina.







The first step of Lectio Divina is to read the word of God. God speaks to us when we read about the people and events of the Bible. The Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts as we read from the Bible with a special attentiveness, listening to how our hearts are moved. The mind thinks about what the words are trying to teach us.

17–18, 27–28, 37–38, 47–48, 72, 82, 92, 101–102, 145–146, 165–166, 189–190, 209–210, 234, 244

FindingGod.com: Praying the Ignatian Way; See all Sunday Connection resources; 8 Ways to Pray During Lent






After reading we go to the second step which is meditation. Meditating is an activity of the mind which invites us to think of what God is trying to tell us.

17–18, 27–28, 37–38, 47–48, 72, 82, 92, 101–102, 145–146, 165–166, 189–190, 209–210, 234, 244

FindingGod.com: Praying the Ignatian Way; See all Sunday Connection resources; 8 Ways to Pray During Lent






The third step is called ‘oratio’ which means prayer. After thinking about what has been read, the heart begins to talk to God about the Scripture and what it means to them and how is can help them grow in their love of God. God is the giver of life and each person must recognize their need for God’s grace. Only God can give the strength to become more like Him – good, truthful and loving.

17–18, 27–28, 37–38, 47–48, 72, 82, 92, 101–102, 145–146, 165–166, 189–190, 209–210, 234, 244

FindingGod.com: Praying the Ignatian Way; See all Sunday Connection resources; 8 Ways to Pray During Lent






The fourth step is contemplation; simply being in God’s presence quietly, knowing He created you, loves you and wants a personal relationship with you.

17–18, 27–28, 37–38, 47–48, 72, 82, 92, 101–102, 145–146, 165–166, 189–190, 209–210, 234, 244

FindingGod.com: Praying the Ignatian Way; See all Sunday Connection resources; 8 Ways to Pray During Lent






People who truly grow in their relationship with God never stay the same. They change to become more loving and happy. They grow to be truly free, choosing the good even when it is difficult.

16–17, 22–23, 24–26, 144, 204–206





‘Actio’ or action is a result of praying Lectio Divina. It is not a part of this way of praying but it is a fruit. The person who prays acts with greater charity in many ways.


SE/TE: 61–62, 115–116, 169–170, 223–224, 277–278

FindingGod.com: Praying the Ignatian Way; See all Sunday Connection resources; 8 Ways to Pray During Lent






All people struggle to choose the good over what is bad or evil. Our lives on earth are a journey towards God. At our Baptism we received God’s grace (His own life) in our souls. However, each day each person must strengthen their will to choose the good.

13, 129b, 133–135, 143, 188





There are many evils in the world around us. We have the tendency to do the wrong or be mean to others. Praying strengthens us to choose good. This brings true happiness.

188, 190, 204–206, 228sn, 241sn




The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Blessed Trinity, is the Spirit of love. At Confirmation we receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We must pray to the Holy Spirit to make us strong in love and wisdom.

31b, 31c, 180, 190, 324, 327

A Parent Guide to Prayer: 42

FindingGod.com: Prayer to the Holy Spirit; The Holy Spirit Prayer of Saint Augustine; Holy Spirit and Seat of Wisdom: A Prayer by John Paul II






Teaching the Students to Pray

Lectio Divina
On a piece of paper give each student a passage from Scripture. Have the students find the passage in the Bible and read it.
Instruct the student to read the passage, slowly, two or three times.
Encourage the students to be relaxed and attentive.
Example:
Part I Lectio Luke 9: verses 37–43

Jesus Heals a Boy with a Demon


Part II Meditatio

Picture in your mind this scene

What was it like for that young boy?

Why did the Father call Jesus, ‘teacher’?

What happened to the boy before the demon left him?

Put yourself in the place of the boy after he was freed.


Part III Oratio

Pray: Keep me, O Lord, free from every kind of evil. I want to love you and follow your teachings. Let me understand your majesty and glory that you have such power over evil spirits.


Part IV Contemplatio

Be still in the loving presence of Christ.



17–18, 27–28, 37–38, 47–48, 72, 82, 92, 101–102, 145–146, 165–166, 189–190, 209–210, 234, 244

FindingGod.com: Praying the Ignatian Way; See all Sunday Connection resources; 8 Ways to Pray During Lent







Catholic Prayers and Devotions




1674–1676


Catholic prayers and devotions are pious practices of the Catholic Church. They assist people to grow in their life of faith and prayer. People choose various devotions for various times in their life. A devotion recommended for everybody is the recitation of the Rosary.

24–26, 36sn, 36, 51e, 57

A Parent Guide to Prayer: 12, 13, 20, 31–52

FindingGod.com: When Our Own Words Aren’t Enough: Traditional Prayers Connect Us to Something Bigger; Mary: The Yes that Changed the World; Praying the Rosary; Rosary Meditations





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