Praying in Community

| | Comments (2)

Is there any joy as great as the joy in praying in a community of believers?

During the weekend as we gathered as leaders of the Lay Carmelite Family, I was overwhelmed with the beauty of the Liturgy of the Hours read, chanted and sung by a community of believers. I was blessed by the great love of the people gathered to worship the Lord, and I was edified by being among those whose vocation was similar to my own.

There is something about celebrating community prayer that strengthens those who are wavering and reinforces key points of understanding. It leads more readily to meditation and reflection on what is being prayed, and the Liturgy as a communal celebration deepens and broadens the prayer itself.

Every day I pray the prayer in isolation. Some days it is a penance. Some days it is a joy. Some days it is simply a duty, others it is a mysterious privilege. The prayer does not change, it is always an avenue of grace for those praying. But our perceptions of it change. Praying in community helps us regain the joyous sense of privilege and honor. We are allowed and encouraged to address He who created the entire universe. Such a gift is almost incomprehensible. And it is but a small part of the treasure trove that is life in the Church.

Praise God for all that he gives and allows us. Praise His Holy name in high places and in low. Praise Him for the privilege of service and love that He grants us. Praise Him for His love and abiding concern for each one of us.

Bookmark and Share


I agree: there is no joy as great as the joy in praying in a community of believers. That's why it's a tragedy, an absolute tragedy, how the Mass is so often celebrated as entertainment, or as a source of emotional gratification. The Mass is above all a prayer, the most beautiful prayer in fact that exists: it is the prayer of Christ to the Father for our salvation, and we join him in this prayer. Step into most Catholic churches at Mass, however, and you would be hard-pressed to realize that you are part of such a prayer.

Dear Jack,

That is too heartbreakingly true in some places. It isn't as bad as it could be, but there has certainly been a certain loss over time. It is that erosion that I hope some of the newer rubrics and translations will stay.





About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on June 1, 2004 7:19 AM.

To Continue (Briefly) with Endo was the previous entry in this blog.

"The World Will Become Christian. . ." is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

My Blogroll