Sunday, May 1, 2016

Prayer as a Foundation for Mercy

Peter Schmidt, ocso

The Cistercian monk, Father Peter Schmidt gave a talk today at Fatima Shrine, on prayer.  For the year of Mercy, that Pope France proclaimed, the Xaverians who minister at the shrine, are offering monthly presentations.  Today's was "Prayer as a foundation for Mercy."

Father Peter began by referencing the beatitude, "Blessed are the pure of heart."  We had a hard time pinning down exactly who would qualify as "pure of heart."  The best definition boiled down to "deep humility."

The questions were mostly about distractions during prayer.  And I learned something new in this particular discussion.  I knew that when distractions came, you ignore them.  I also knew that sometimes you can use the distractions in your prayer.  But I never thought that maybe God was trying to tell me something in the distraction.  I will have to discern my distractions.  They just may be important and not just nonsense.  

We discussed centering prayer, the difference between meditation and contemplation.  We did a Lectio Divina on Mark 10: 46-52 and we surprised Father Peter with our choices of Meditatio.  We learned that prayer leads to compassionate mercy.  Prayer is the foundation for mercy.

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