December 20, 2015
Parish Advent Program
Wrap your Gifts in Prayer
Unwrap the gift of God in Prayer. In the midst of Advent and Christmas busyness, we offer you a way to pray and to discover our God who is with us. Each season the preparation for gift giving can be a source of stress. This year can be different. Our Christmas practice of gift giving is intended to be a visible symbol of love and Christian service in action. Why not use our gift giving as a form of prayer? Wrapping your gift in prayer can add a spiritual dimension to an ordinary task.
Wrap Your Gift in Prayer
As you choose your gift, ask for God’s guidance and bring a prayerful awareness to the exchange. When you actually wrap your gift, whether in wrapping paper or in a gift bag, pray for the recipient. Ask God to fillthem with light, love and the peace of Christmas. Cards and electronic greetings may also be wrapped in prayer.
Prayer Method Choices
- Imagine – visualize the person for whom you pray. Picture the Lord blessing them.
- Speak – pray out loud, “Lord surround (name) with your light; fill him/her with your peace. ”
- Sing – a Christmas carol.
- Gesture – dedicate the use of your hand motions in wrapping as your prayer.
- Hear – simply repeat the person’s name knowing that the Lord hears our every word.
- Recite – a pre-written prayer, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Rosary…
- Act – reach out to someone in need of the gift of your care.
- Bless – difficult relationships with prayer: Lord bless (name) and transform me to set me free.
Sharing your Prayer with a Gift Tag
After wrapping your gift in prayer attach a gift tag that will be provided for you.
Witnessing to your prayer by means of a Gift Tag is like giving an additional gift because it may lead the receiver to become more aware of God’s presence in her or his own life.
This weekend Gift Prayer Tags will be available at the doors of the church. Attach the Gift Prayer Tag to a gift, group of gifts or gift bag. You may also wish to duplicate the gift tag sheets on your own computer from here.
CHRISTMAS PRAYER REFLECTION A KEY POSITION
A noble knight returns from the far reaches of the kingdom to report to his King. “Your Majesty,” he announces with a brilliant smile, “I was in a key position and I have conquered all of your enemies to the north!” Shocked the king replies, “I have no enemies to the north. ” Sheepishly, the knight responds,
“Well, you do now!”
We laugh at the knight in the story who, with the best of intentions, found himself in a key position and did not direct his work in the best possible way. The celebration of Christmas is upon us. We, like the knight, have good intentions and are working to make this holy season peace-filled and joyful. Yet, we often find ourselves out of sorts and in conflict with others.
What shall we do?
We are in a key position at this Holy time to invite Christ to be reborn in our hearts as our divine source of faith, hope and love. We are in a key position to learn from Christ in prayer how to direct our work in the best possible way. Prayer is the key that helps us to learn and choose the next best thing to do.
Prayer is the key that helps us to position ourselves in right relationship with God, with others and with ourselves. Prayer is the key that sets us free to let go of unrealistic expectations of ourselves and others. Prayer is the key that sets us free from resentments, old grudges and judgment. Prayer is the key that opens us to good cheer and generosity of spirit.
Prayer is the key that empowers us to experience the gift of Christ this Christmas. Prayer is the key that opens us to Christmas peace in faith.
Prayer is the key that wraps our New Year with hope. Prayer is the key that empowers us to live for love.
Your priests and parish staff are in a key position as we wrap you in our prayer at this Christmas time. May you unwrap the key gift of prayer in your life and be set free to live in faith, with hope and for love. Wrap your gifts, the people in your life and your everyday activities in prayer. Make time for prayer and you will find yourself in a key position to live and love in new ways.
Journey with Us!
Through the process of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults or RCIA, we explore and discover the keys to the kingdom. RCIA is a restoration of the ancient practice of initiation into the Church. Through a process of discernment, spiritual development and ritualizing stages of conversion, you are guided to sacramental initiation. These Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist which are celebrated at the Easter Vigil open your hearts and empower you to lives of service, charity and justice as witnesses to our mission of OPUS CHRISTI, Christ’s work. RCIA is not a program but a sacramental process. RCIA reflects a sacramental attitude that is at the heart of all Christian living: CONVERSION, turning your heart to God.
IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO JOIN US!
The next session of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults or RCIA will be Monday, January 4th at 7:00 PM in the Russo Room. All are welcome! For more information please call Donna Scancarella at 973-779-6200.
The last Bible Study is Monday, December 21st at 11 AM in the Molloy Center. The group will resume again in the beginning of Lent.
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