Parish Lenten Retreat – Week II
Dona Nobis Pacem, Grant Us Peace
Throughout the season of Lent and culminating in our Easter celebration we are experiencing a Parish Retreat titled, Dona Nobis Pacem, Grant Us Peace. The Retreat is being presented through weekend homilies, bulletin and web-site reflections and workshop opportunities (music and to date content can be uploaded at stphilip.org).
The Peace of Christ
“Peace I grant you, my peace I give you, a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you.” John 14:27
Peace is a most desirable gift. Jesus offers us the gift of peace. Our common world understanding of peace is an absence of disturbance or strife and a feeling of comfortableness accompanied by favorable circumstances. The peace that Jesus grants is not limited to good situations or even feelings of calmness. Jesus bestows peace that is God’s abundant action in our lives. Awareness of God’s presence even in the midst of conflict, discord and inner turmoil secures us with a blessed assurance that God is with us yesterday, today and forever. God’s peace supports us by changing the way that we see and experience ourselves, others and our world. God’s peace is the Spirit that moves us to wholeness, heals us for right relationships and renews us to be instruments of peace for one another. God’s power at work in our lives is our peace.
Paths to Peace – Pacem
Our Lenten prayer Dona Nobis Pacem, Grant Us Peace awakens us to God’s peaceful presence dwelling deep within us. We pray Grant Us Peace and not Grant me Peace because our prayer, like the symbolic gestures in the sign of the cross, always reaches both to God and toward our brothers and sisters. Peace is experienced in relationships that reach out and are other directed.
Prayer awakens us to God’s abundance and action in our lives. God is an ever-present and eternal source of what is needed for healing and peace.
God’s abundance helps us to discover areas in our lives where we are lacking, sinful or broken. Contrition is the honest acknowledgment of our need for change. Contrition is the first step in the process of receiving God’s help, forgiveness and the grace of complete, life- giving reconciliation.
Encountering God with a contrite heart lifts us into God’s encouraging embrace, granting us the fortitude to live loving lives of service.
Our mission is to promote the flourishing of all peoples through spirituality, service and social ministry. God’s peace gives us the courage to stand for truth, walk toward beauty and work for goodness in word and deed. We become not only peace-lovers but peace-makers of Christ’s peace on earth.
- God sends Abram forth to be a blessing for all the communities of the earth.
- St. Paul reminds Timothy that although we share hardship because of the Gospel, God is our strength. God calls us to a holy life and bestows grace upon us through Christ Jesus.
- Jesus takes Peter, James and John up a high mountain to pray. During prayer, Jesus is transfigured before them and the abundance of God’s Glory is revealed.
Reflection on Abundance
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
When calamity strikes on a British naval vessel, a whistle is sounded called, “The Still.” Upon hearing this signal everyone stops right where they are, takes stock of the situation and makes the time to consider the next right move. This calm pause before a word or action is taken prevents emotional reactions; the quiet moment opens each individual to an abundance of possible wise responses.
Jesus climbs the mountain of Transfiguration to be still in prayer. This calm pause is taken as Jesus ventures toward Jerusalem and the cross. In the stillness of prayer God’s Glory is revealed in an abundant way. The dazzling light suggests a new way of seeing; the heard affirmation of the Father gifts with courage. In conversation with the religious tradition of Moses and with the inspiration of Elisha, Jesus sets forth down the mountain to his mission. While experiencing God’s abundance the disciples are inclined to rush into action as a frantic reaction to their experience. They learn that in quiet moments anxiety may rise up from within but if they stay with the Lord, they will be touched and encouraged for their own mission.
We are invited each day to make time to experience in prayer, “The Still.” Praying our Lenten prayer Dona Nobis Pacem is a way to open ourselves to God’s abundance. Like Jesus’ prayer on the mountain, our prayer Dona Nobis Pacem can gift with us new ways of seeing, hearing and responding to our own particular mission each day.
Dona Nobis Pacem is a prayer that prevents us from reacting and gives us the moment of grace to respond to the needs of others with peace. Dona Nobis Pacem may be “The Still” that prevents personal and interpersonal calamity and opens us to God’s abundance of peace.
Reflection Questions on Abundance and Peace
Our Sense of Peace
- What color, picture, image, scene or vision is peace to me?
- Peace smells like…
- Peace tastes like…
- A time when peace came to me through touch, words…
- A peaceful sound is…
- A moment when peace came as an insight, altered perspective or intuition was…
The Peace of Christ
- A peaceful place with God is…
- God grants me peace (finish sentence).
- An example of Christ and peace in the scripture…
Picture Jesus saying to you, “Peace be with you”.
After receiving the gift of Christ’s peace pray for the peace of someone in need. What action will you take to be a peace–maker?
Dona Nobis Pacem is the Latin translation of our English words Grant Us Peace. Peace is used in the New Testament eighty-five times. Peace is one of the last words that Jesus speaks to his disciples before his crucifixion and among his first words after the Resurrection. Dona Nobis Pacem, Grant Us Peace is taken from the last portion of the “Agnus Dei” of the Ordinary of the Mass. The musical setting of that text is an example of a round or canon comprised of a musical form that is defined by the use of strict imitative counterpoint spun out from a single melodic line. The Dona Nobis Pacem round, like many others of its type, is of folk or unknown origin, although stylistically it suggests that it may have first appeared in the late 18th or early 19th century. We will learn this prayer and song for our private devotion as well as our community celebration of our Liturgy.
Season of Lent Opportunities
- Lenten Holy Hour – Tuesday, April 8
9:45 to 10:45 AM & 7:00 – 8:00 PM in Church.
- Sacrament of Reconciliation is offered every Saturday from 11 AM to 12 Noon and Monday from 7 to 8:30 PM in church on:
March 17, 24, 31 & April 7.
- Stations of the Cross on Friday evenings at 7:00 PM as follows:
March 21 – Religious Education children
March 28 – Living Stations with Youth Ministry
April 4 – St. Philip School Children
April 11 – Processional Stations
LENTEN BIBLE STUDY
The Bible Study group will meet on Monday, March 17th at 9:45 AM for its continuing discussion on the Word of God and prayer for next Sunday’s readings: Exodus 17:3-7, Romans 5:1- 2 & 5-8 and John 4:5-42. All are welcome!
During the Season of Lent many of our parishioners attend daily mass. It is a blessed way to begin the day.