Monday, March 07, 2005
At RCIA, our priest went over some basic prayer methods. We went to the chapel and prayed an entire rosary of the joyful mysteries, then we did a devotion and then a type of focused reading on a Bible passage (Lectio Divina) where we read the passage three different times and focused on what catches our mind. The passage we read was from Hosea 2:14 through 2:23. After this, we discussed prayers and methods of praying in general.
I happended to have a copy of the Pieta Prayer Booklet and asked about the prayers in it and whether it was OK to believe what was written in the booklet. If you don't know the Pieta, it has lots of prayers in it that were divinely received by different saints, like the 15 St. Bridget Prayers, and items like the Chaplet of St. Michael, and many prayers, like the Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great (which is supposed to release 1,000 souls from Purgatory each time it's said):
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the Universal Church, Those in my own home and within my family. Amen.
The Pieta also has prayers and pictures in it (like the Prayer to St. Joseph) that notes, "If you are carrying this on your person, you will never die by drowning or poison or by fire or any sudden death." It's a very rich and history set of interesting prayers.
Father said that we aren't required to believe what has been revealed to individuals, but there is nothing in the Pieta that is against the teachings of the church, so whatever enhances your faith and prayer life is fine. He also pointed out that teaching books and items officially accepted by the Church will have an "Imprimatur" on the copyright page and perhaps a "Nihil Obstat" section which show the books are officially approved for the Catholic Faith and also who approved them.
Another good session. Everyone knows one another and we're gearing up for Easter.