A great and holy priest friend of mine had a wonderful saying, which he shared with probably thousands of people throughout his lifetime. “Prayer changes things.” So simple, yet so true. Many of us turn to prayer when we are facing difficulties, but sadly some don’t have much of a daily prayer life. We need to step up our prayer! Yes, we are now faced with very serious difficulties, but there are also many good things going on in our world, worthy of our prayerful thanks. For many centuries, people have prayed before this image of Mary and Jesus. It was once a little shrine on a street in Rome, and people would stop and pray as they passed by. It’s known as Our Lady of The Way, “Madonna Della Strada” and it now resides in the Church of St. Ignatius (Gesu) in Rome. Ignatius often prayed before this image, asking for Mary’s intercession as he went about serving God’s people.
In order to step up our prayer, here are some links I find helpful. Many of us have more time right now. Pray at the beginning, middle, and end of each day, aim for at least 30 minutes. Build up to one hour. Remember, “prayer changes things.”
Discerning Hearts is a website is loaded with prayer and teaching. I love praying the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet using this site, since it helps me feel part of a larger group.
Ignatian Spirituality is near and dear to my heart. Ignatius’ Daily Examen has helped countless people over five centuries to reflect on their daily lives to see where they both saw and missed God’s presence each day. The prayer’s five simple steps begin with gratitude, a gentle reminder that we have much to be thankful for.
I know many are struggling with the reality that we cannot currently go to Mass and receive communion. Do not despair, this too will pass. I would encourage you to use this present situation as a way of recognizing how often we fail to receive the Lord worthily, how we take His Presence for granted, how we don’t admit how much we need Him in our lives. During this time, please pray this prayer of Spiritual Communion. It will provide some consolation during these difficult days.
Finally, realize that churches all over the world, which probably includes yours, are providing lots of online content, including Daily Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, Prayers, etc. Take advantage of these opportunities to remain linked to your faith community.
Our Lady of the Way, Pray for Us!