Tuesday, 31 July 2012 11:56

THE BIBLE

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Recently, the Sandpiper presented the first of a short series of articles on internet resources for Faith Education and Prayer.  Many readers will recognize the difficulties involved in finding resources via the ‘web’ which are theologically sound. In this article, consideration is given to Bible Study resources. 

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Tuesday, 31 July 2012 11:43

PRAYER

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The following sites offer regular opportunities for being actively led through prayer forms adapted from the Church’s great spiritual traditions. The experience of being led through prayer, for about 10-15 minutes a day, using a computer or downloaded files, is increasingly popular.  You may read, listen to Scripture, music or guided reflection and gaze at inspirational or calming images, while sitting in front of a computer, or listen to downloaded MP3 or WMA files while travelling.

PRAY AS YOU GO    Click to visit
Produced by Jesuit Media Initiatives (UK), this site offers you daily prayer for listening at the computer, or via MP3 or WMA.  The Church’s Scripture Readings for each day are the basis for prayer and reflection which also includes quiet time, supported by peaceful traditional or contemporary music.  Also provided are; Prayer exercises to help prepare for the day, a four minute breathing exercise and body exercises to assist calm and readiness for prayer and an eight minute prayerful review at the end of the day.

PRAY ONLINE        Click to visit
This site offers a variety of options for prayer, based on the Scripture readings for each day onscreen, and available for MP3, podcast. The site provides prayer for adults, plus prayer links for use with children in schools.

SACRED SPACE        Click to visit
Produced by the Irish Jesuits, this site invites you to “make a 'Sacred Space' in your day, and spend ten minutes, praying here and now, as you sit at your computer, with the help of on-screen guidance and scripture chosen specially every day.” Beautiful photographic images accompany a gentle progression from one part of the prayer to another.

TAIZE            Click to visit
For decades, the ecumenical French Taize Christian community has drawn thousands of people, especially young adults, from all around the world to join in prayer and catechesis. Taize chants for Christian prayer are also well known.  ‘Taize’ prayer groups are continually active in many parts of the world.
The ‘Prayer and Song’ link on the Taize home page, English language link, provides resources for prayer, including MP3,  podcasts and reflections on topics such as; preparing a time of prayer, preparing a welcoming space for meditative prayer, meditative singing, the value of silence, icons in worship.

Creighton University Online Ministries     Click to visit
Resources attached to this site, drawn from the Ignatian tradition. Include daily reflections and prayer guides, online retreats, resources and information for prayer, and much more.

Ignatian Spirituality – Resources from Loyola Press Click to visit

The World Community of Christian Meditation    Click to visit   Website for a worldwide community of people committed to a form of meditation which owes much to the Benedictine traditions. Fr John Main and Fr Laurence Freeman are well known teachers of meditation in this tradition.

Christian Meditation Australia Click to visit   Australian website for the community committed to meditation, which draws upon Benedictine traditions. Well known teachers include; Fr John Main and Fr Laurence Freeman and others.

Online Resources and Links for Prayer, eJournals, Faith Education and Ministry

The internet offers a seemingly limitless supply of resources and information. Anyone with skills can add to it.  Many sites offer resources for faith education and prayer.  It can be difficult to decide which may offer trustworthy resources based on a sound theology and approaches to spirituality consistent with authentic Catholic tradition and teaching.

How do I locate trustworthy internet sites?
As a general rule, if you are unsure, it is good to look for ‘links’ attached to reliable websites such as those for; Catholic Dioceses or Archdioceses, diocesan Catholic Education Offices, Catholic Universities, Theological Institutes and Libraries, recognised Spirituality and Retreat Centres.  Many religious orders also offer resources for faith education or prayer attached to their websites.

Contemplation may be described as simply resting in God’s presence. Some see it as a way of ‘looking’ at God and listening with the heart. We do not have to ‘do’ much in this form of prayer.

Members of the worldwide ‘Christian Meditation Community’ pray according to a form which owes much to St John Cassian (360-435), whose spiritual writings influenced many, including St Benedict and his communities.

We need to spend time with Jesus.  As with all who are dear to us, spending time together is important for relationships to grow and to strengthen. Prayer based on the Gospels helps us to grow closer to Jesus and become more like him. Scripture based prayer may involve pondering stories, images, words, or wordless silent companionship with God and Jesus Christ.

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of mercy!
Hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope!

Rejoice, O Queen of Heaven, Alleluia!
For He Whom thou didst merit to bear, Alleluia!

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

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