Year of Prayer: What’s the Year of Prayer?

by Mike Malcom

Every year, the Church of Saint Mary explores one of the four components of stewardship, also known as the pillars of stewardship. During this year of pandemic, the church’s stewardship council opted to focus on a Year of Prayer during which we can challenge ourselves with types of prayer outside our normal routine.

John Paul II recommended the Luminous mysteries of the Rosary

The Rosary is a historic Catholic prayer . Pope Saint John Paul II called the rosary “among the finest and most praiseworthy traditions of Christian contemplation.” In 2002, he added a fourth set of mysteries, the Luminous mysteries:

  • The Baptism of Jesus
  • The Wedding at Cana
  • The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God
  • The Transfiguration, and
  • The Institution of the Eucharist
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux proposed the metaphor of the reservoir

The theme of the Year of Prayer is Prayer creates in us a reservoir which overflows enriching the lives of others.

Saint Bernard said, “The man who is wise, therefore, will see his life as more like a reservoir than a canal. The canal simultaneously pours out what it receives; the reservoir retains the water till it is filled, then discharges the overflow without loss to itself … Today there are many in the Church who act like canals, the reservoirs are far too rare … You too must learn to await this fullness before pouring out your gifts, do not try to be more generous than God.”

Expanding on that metaphor, one might view various prayer types as tributaries which flow into one’s reservoir. The parish will offer unique prayer-based activities throughout the coming year.

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