Sunday, October 23, 2016

Paula's Prayer Meeting October 2016 and Thoughts from St. Therese of Lisieux and the Life of Prayer by Dr. Susan Muto and Lori Mcmahon

Theme of the prayer meeting for October was prayer.  One of the quotes on prayer from the handout that was beautifully prepared by Sr. Paula and shown above came from St. Therese of Lisieux.  To expand on prayer, I decided to share with you some thoughts given during the three part presentation on the St. Therese of Lisieux and the Life of Prayer exquisitely given by Dr. Susan Muto and Lori McMahon from the Epiphany Academy of Formative Spirituality at St. Bernadette Church in Monroeville.

Kathy from St. Bernadette, Dr. Susan Muto, Jean from St. Bernadette, Fr. Tony Gargotta, pastor of St. Bernadette and Lori McMahon. 

I will particularly focus on the last part of the series, Living in Appreciative Abandonment.  I have enumerated (in italics) below some of the thoughts by St. Therese of Liseaux on Abandonment. The comments in quotes came from her book Story of a Soul as presented in the slides prepared by Lori McMahon.

  • Total confidence in God's infinite mercy.  She looked upon herself as a "weak little bird with only a light down as covering".  
  • Childlike surrender to the way of love. She always looked forward to surrender herself to the will of God.
  • Unshakable belief in God's love for souls. I would say unconditional love for us as he showed to his disciples during their days of "not getting His message".  
  • Full conviction that abandonment alone is our compass.  She believes that God that does not ask "for great actions but only abandon and gratitude".  

I would like to share also the slide given during the presentation on the two possible meanings of the term "abandonment" from the Teachings on Formative Spirituality by Father Adrian van Kaam:  one being Depreciative, Abandoned by the Mystery and the other Appreciative, Abandon to the Mystery.  (How powerful are prepositions!).  The former results in viewing life as meaningless while the other life as meaningful.

I hope that the handout by Sr. Paula and the thoughts that came from the presentation by Dr. Susan Muto and Lori McMahon move you to a prayer life of appreciative abandonment. Sr. Paula shared a favorite prayer of hers given to her by one of the novices she was with.  It was simply a three word prayer, Dear God then pause then Amen.  Thank you for reading and enjoy the beautiful autumn weather.

Please check the Pittsburgh Catholic for similar presentations on Prayer and St. Therese of Lisieux that will be presented at other parishes in the area by Dr. Muto and Lori McMahon.  Also please check the website of the Epiphany Academy of Formative Spirituality for books and courses and other offerings on different topics on spirituality offered at their center or online.

Here are a couple of books available at their website that are related to the reflections discussed in this post.

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