Sunday, October 20, 2013

Dominic's New Ways of Prayer

Everyone in the Dominican family learns of Dominic's Nine Ways of Prayer: bowing, prostration, self-discipline, genuflecting, oremus position, arms out like a cross, arms straight out, lectio divina, and walking in meditation.  Some of these, like the discipline are out dated.  You would be considered a fanatical sadist if you whipped yourself.  But there are other ways to discipline yourself, through fasting for example.

At Mass this morning I picked out a few ways of praying.  People blessing themselves.  You will see people bless themselves going by a church.  This is to reverence the living Eucharist in the Tabernacle.  People bless themselves before swimming, or going up to bat.  They may be sending up a prayer for protection, a blessing, or thanksgiving.

People still genuflect like Dominic.  We also kneel.  But there are some people who are elderly, too big, or just cannot kneel for a long time, and they rest back on the seat.  It's not quite kneeling; it's not quite sitting.  I'll call it support kneeling.

During the Our Father some people extend their hands to pray the Our Father, reminiscent of the priest's oremus.  Some still hold hands to pray the Our Father.  This also reminds me of people placing their hands on someone in need of prayer and praying for that person.

I also consider the Kiss of Peace prayer.  Kissing is how Christians greet each other.  This is how people know we are Christians.  Early Christians were martyred for this poignant gesture.  Definitely, the Kiss of Peace is prayer.

During Mass we also stand and pray.  We sit to meditate.  We sing, and according to St. Augustine that's praying twice!

We put money in the collection; that's giving alms.

Praying the Rosary is prayer.  There's Lectio Divina, meditation and contemplation.

Come to think of it.  There's something for everybody!  St. Dominic, today, would be amazed.

The Third Death

Today as I was praying and walking through the cemetery , I came across a gravestone that I couldn't see due to the overgrown bush ...