Praying Over Prayers

This method consists in going through some common prayer, reflecting on the meaning of each word. It is not a rhythmical prayer, because the reflection is not coordinated with breathing. The idea is to spend as much time as is profitable trying to understand more clearly, appreciate more deeply, embrace more fully, the meaning of each word or phrase of a prayer like the Our Father, the Creed (Profession of Faith), the prayers of the Eucharistic liturgy or of some other ceremony (like marriage or baptism), etc.

 

The purpose of this is double:

 

First, it helps us to appreciate better the meaning of these prayers and experience more devotion in them when we recite them, whether alone or during worship services with others.

 

Secondly, it deepens our understanding and appreciation of the fundamental Christian beliefs and attitudes expressed in these prayers which are held in such high regard by the believing community. This helps us to grow in union of mind and heart, both with Jesus and with the community. (See St. Ignatius, The Spiritual Exercises, "Second Method of Prayer").

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