Many people describe to me a desire to grow spiritually. It is indeed, I believe, our deepest desire. It is our Catholic Christian Tradition, that we have a relationship with the person of Jesus Christ, who is our friend and companion, and growing spiritually means to grow closer in friendship to Jesus and to Follow Him on the Way.
These five teachings by Fr. Paul help us to do that.
Session 1 – Why Pray and A Suggested Way to Pray for this Series
This is the first of Five videos to help you deepen your relationship with Christ through daily Prayer. It was first offered as the Follow Experience of our Parish Pathway to Discipleship. This video gives an overview of Why we pray and introduces a recommended way of praying imagining yourself in Gospel scenes. Knowledge of Jesus is essential for the deepest and truest possible spiritual life for a Christian.
Download the handout for a summary of the teaching and your first prayer homework assignment!
Session 2 – Testimonies and Review of Our First Week of Prayer, And Encouragement!
Listen to testimonies of how others did, and did not, find the first prayer assignment fruitful. Introduction of the second prayer assignment.
Download the handout for the second week prayer assignment!
Download Reflection Questions to help your prayer with this passage:
Session 3 – Dealing with Obstacles to Prayer
There will be many things that seek to prevent us from praying, from busyness, restlessness, lack of focus, wandering mind, noises and many more. How can I make the most of my prayer time and not be distracted as much.
Download Summary and Homework for Session 3:
Download Discussion Questions to Help Your Prayer:
On Luke Chapter 10, verses 38-42; Martha and Mary:
On Luke Chapter 15 verses 11-32; The Prodigal Son:
On Luke Chapter 5 verses 1-11; The Call of Peter:
Session 4: The Examination of Conscience
Prayer that is Jesus centered is of central importance for the Christian. But a deepening knowledge of self goes hand in hand with a deepening knowledge of Jesus. Jesus is the pattern for our life as humans. As we know Him more deeply, we see ourselves in a different (and truer) way. God reveals to us our gifts, sins and shortcomings GENTLY and offers to heal them with His help. Our spiritual growth is God’s work that we only cooperate with, or better submit to. He is the One who transforms us into Christlikeness. The Examination of Conscience is a way of praying that goes along with praying the Gospels as we have been learning.
Download Summary and Homework from Session 4:
Session 5: The Growth Stages of our Spiritual Life
This session is a brief review of the whole follow experience, then presents that a life of prayer can be compared to a human marriage relationship. At first there is the dating, then the falling in love/marriage, then the long regular days of marriage that might not feel as passionate, but where one truly learns to love.
Download Handout summarizing Follow Series and Session 5
References for Further Growth:
- Opening to God, by Thomas Green S.J. (This summarizes the above presented Follow Christ Series)
- When the Well Runs Dry, by Thomas Green S.J. (this is a lifelong guide to prayer beyond the beginnings)
- The Cloud of Unknowing, by unknown author (contemplative prayer written 500 years ago)