THE ROSARY MARATHON: FEATURED SHRINES MAY 5 TO 11 – CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER: OUR HEARTS GAZING IN FAITH ON JESUS

In his general audience series of catecheses devoted to prayer, Pope Francis last week spoke of meditative prayer and this week he focused on contemplative prayer. For many the terms might seem interchangeable but there is a difference. I read both papal catecheses to try and understand.

Last week the Pope said, “We all need to meditate, to reflect, to find ourselves. Especially in the voracious Western world, people seek meditation because it represents a high barrier against the daily stress and emptiness that is everywhere.”

He further added that it is “a phenomenon to be welcomed, because we possess an interior life that cannot always be neglected.”

This week, Francis explained, “we now consider contemplative prayer. For Christians, contemplative prayer is an act of the heart by which we fix our gaze in faith upon Jesus, quietly pondering his word and his saving mysteries.”

Our minds and our hearts are surely vessels of these kinds of prayer.

If you search online for an explanation of the two types of prayer and the difference between them, all reliable sites state it this way: “While both are forms of prayer, the fundamental difference between meditation and contemplation is that meditation is a human mode of prayer whereas contemplation is divinely infused. ..”

THE ROSARY MARATHON: FEATURED SHRINES MAY 5 TO 11

Here are three links for viewing the daily rosary recitation at different shrines around the world as people pray for an end to the pandemic. Tune in at 6 pm Rome time:

The Holy See (vatican.va) click on VIDEO

Schedules – Vatican News

News from the Vatican – News about the Church – Vatican News

Here is the May 5 to 11 schedule of shrines from which the rosary will be recited during this prayer marathon for an end to the pandemic. Also listed are the prayer intentions for the day:

May 5. Blessed Virgin of the Rosary (South Korea) – For all children and adolescents

May 6. Our Lady of Aparecida (Brazil) – For all young people

May 7. Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage (Philippines) – For all families

May 8. Our Lady of Luján (Argentina) – For all communication workers

May 9. Holy House of Loreto (Italia) – For all seniors

May 10. Our Lady of Knock (Ireland) – For all people with disabilities

May 11. Virgin of the Poor (Belgium) – For all the poor, homeless and economically distressed

Click here to view the full list of shrines: April | 2021 | Joan’s Rome (wordpress.com)

CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER: OUR HEARTS GAZING IN FAITH ON JESUS

Pope Francis began today’s general audience, live-streamed from the papal library of the Apostolic Palace, by explaining that, “in our continuing catechesis on Christian prayer, we now consider contemplative prayer. For Christians, contemplative prayer is an act of the heart by which we fix our gaze in faith upon Jesus, quietly pondering his word and his saving mysteries.”

By way of example of contemplation, Francis underscored what “the simple farmer of Ars told Saint John Vianney: in praying before the Tabernacle, “I look at him and he looks at me”. By gazing on our Lord in this way, we come to feel his loving gaze upon us and our hearts are purified. This in turn enables us to see others in the light of that truth and compassion which Jesus brings to all.” (photo: vatican media)

The Holy Father said, “Christ himself is the model for all contemplative prayer: amid the activity of his public ministry he always found time for a prayer that expressed his loving communion with the Father. At the Transfiguration, Jesus prepared the disciples for his coming passion and death by enabling them to contemplate his divine glory.”

“Through our prayer,” concluded Pope Francis, “may we persevere in union with him on the path of love where contemplation and charity become one. For, as Saint John of the Cross, the Church’s great master of contemplative prayer teaches us: one act of pure love is more useful to the Church than all the other works put together.”