How to begin the Year of Grace

Let’s commit to making the Year of Grace a special time – for ourselves, our families, parishes and communities.
How to begin?

•       Our start can be simple.  Year of Grace Bookmarks featuring the Year of Grace Prayer will be distributed in parishes and schools.  This can be used by individuals and groups,  as gathering prayer, and as starting points for contemplation.
•       Say  a simple grace before meals. Maybe even light a candle.
•       Bless our homes and families – say to those we love, “God bless you!”
•       Make time each day to share life’s ups and downs with Jesus.  Sit quietly in his presence and allow him to speak to you in your heart about what has happened.
•       Look at your favourite image of Jesus.  Let him look at you.
•       Pray as Mary did, pondering her son’s life in her heart.
•       Follow the “Space for Grace” articles which will be featuring in parish and school newsletters.
•       Visit the Year of Grace website www.yearofgrace.catholic.org.au  and subscribe to the e-bulletin.
•       Reflect on ways your parish might celebrate the Year of Grace

As the year progresses, the Year of Grace co-ordinator will continue to share resources and ideas from within the diocese and from the national network.

On Pentecost Sunday the Catholic Church in Australia begins a year of prayer and reflection in which all Catholics are invited to take part.  All that is required is a desire to spend a little time with the Lord each day, and a listening heart.

How can we take part? By making a space for grace. This year of prayer is not about doing, but about being – not more activity and prayer, but a fresh start.
As individuals, we can begin by taking time to reflect with Jesus on the knocks and blessings of each day.  Or we can just take a peaceful minute or so to look at Jesus, and let Him look at us, as we like to do with those we love.

We can commit to a journey in which, like Mary, we ‘ponder in our heart’ what Jesus means to us, and how as God’s Word, he speaks to us through scripture. As we listen deeply, we can follow her advice to ‘do whatever he tells you to do’.

As parish communities, we can look at what we already do, in our liturgies, ministries and sacramental gatherings, and ask the question – where is Jesus here? We can begin each meeting by asking Him to be present in our decisions and attitudes.

In our homes, we could say grace. We could say “God bless you” at bedtime to our children,  and we can share with each other  moments of grace in our day.
With the bishops and all Australian Catholics, our prayers create space for the grace and blessing of the Holy Spirit to flow through our lives into the life of our Church, healing, restoring and renewing us all.

For resources and more information on how a Year of Grace might deepen and enrich the prayer/faith life of individuals, families and communities, please contact  the Diocesan Year of Grace Co-ordinator, Margaret-Mary Flynn at the Chancery  5441 2544, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the Year of Grace Website, www.yearofgrace.catholic.org.au

By Margaret-Mary Flynn
Year of Grace Co-ordinator

Items of Interest

Psalms and readings from the Liturgy of the Hours, and Mass readings.

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