Fr. Kevin before Mass said that the first sentence in today's Gospel told us how Jesus wants us to pray. This is Luke 18: 1-8. Jesus told his disciples a prarable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. Of course, Fr. Kevin is a contempletive monk, so he has the opportunity to pray. But how do we Lay People pray all the time?
There's the famous Jesus Prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,have mercy on me, a sinner."
There's prayer ejaculations: short prayers.
There's Mass, Rosary, Lectio Divina, Liturgical Dance,fasting, and probably more that I can think of. In fact St. Dominic had nine ways of prayer. Like all Catholics, he knelt, bowed, genuflected, sat, stood--Catholic aerobics.
The first way is bowing. Gentlemen bow to ladies as a sign of respect. Catholics bow to the
altar to reverence it.
The second way is prostrations. This is laying flat out on the ground to make yourself as low
as possible before your God. You'll see priest do this at their ordinations. It really isn't very practical for all the laity to do this in church--how. You could do it at home, if this type of prayer appeals to you.
The third way is penance. This picture is of a friar hitting himself. It's called taking the discipline. I'm not called to do this, and I don't know anyone nowadays who is, but in medieval
times, it was practiced. I would do penance in place of the discipline.
The fourth way is kneeling. This is the common prayer stance.
The fifth way of prayer is supplication.
I picture this as talking to God using hand gestures. Since I'm such a drama queen, I could easily implore, shake my fist, beg, etc..
St. Dominic's sixth way of prayer is the Orans position. This is the position people use to
invite people to pray. The priest will use it and say, "Let us pray." The people use it at Mass to pray the Lord's Prayer.
The seventh way of prayer is stretching up your arms as high as you can. St. Dominic use to
look like an arrow. How's that for shooting your prayers up to heaven?
The eighth way of St. Dominic's prayer is Reading. This is reading and contemplating what you
have read. This may turn into Lectio Divina. There is no prescribed method for this type of reading except to pray beforehand and afterwards talk to God about it.
St. Dominic's last method of praying was probably the one he used most often. This is walking. Since he walked everywhere, he prayed as he walked. I pray when traveling. I may use my iPod,
but Dominic prayed and sang as he journeyed along. What better way to pass the time?