Liturgy and Prayer

“Liturgy and Prayer” is the third pastoral letter of Bishop Gregory J. Mansour, of the Eparchy of Saint Maron. This letter offers good thoughts for reflection and meditation to help deepen your life of prayer. Here are a few selections from the letter which can be downloaded from the Eparchy’s website.

“Whether we pray, alone or with others, the demands of a loving God always have claim over us. The fourth century Syriac writer, Aphrahat, in his Demonstration on Prayer says:
‘Purity of heart constitutes prayer more than do all the prayers that are uttered aloud, and silence to a mind that is sincere is better than the loud voice of someone crying out."
We can define prayer as conversation with a loving God. The purpose of prayer is to praise, adore, thank and petition God, and to deepen our union with Christ and the Church. However, due to our imperfect human nature, prayer also means repentance and conversion. Thus the goal of all liturgy, like that of all prayer, is conversion. The Greek word for conversion is metanoia (μετάνοια) meaning, turning towards God. This includes contrition, openness to correction, listening to God, and being pruned by Him so that our relationship with Him can grow deeper and more fruitful, as the "branches from the vine” (Jn 15:2)."
"The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council asked that our worship be“active, conscious and fruitful.”The more we learn about and appreciate liturgy, the more active and fruitful will be our prayer. Saint Jerome, the fourth century Scripture scholar, said, “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.”Since liturgy is based on and springs from the Scriptures, we can also add that ignorance of the Church's liturgy is also ignorance of Christ for it is our way of meeting Christ and doing what He asked at the Last Supper when He said, “Do this in memory of me” (Lk 22:19). "
"Prayer is Marian. She received the Word, made Him part of her life, and gave Him to others as a gift. She inspires us to do the same. Her life is prayer: "May it be done to me according to your word" (Lk 1:38) she said, even before our Lord at Gethsemane.”