Tuesday, July 18, 2006

PINGING PRAYER by Kathi Scarpace

I learned a new word today. Someone emailed me and wrote that she had pinged her sister for some information.

Pinging means to communicate with another person by phone, email, text messaging, etc. Rather than name the actual medium, pinging includes the many different choices we have in communicating.

I have been pinging prayer since Lent. And I've found two wonderful prayer sites available online.

The first site, http://www.sacredspace.ie/ is a slow-paced series of pages that uses Ignatian spirituality to engage the reader in a reflection process. This visual prayer site created and maintained by the Irish Jesuits. The prayer offers commentary and reflection questions to move you ever-deeper into your experience of God.

The site is self-paced; you can linger as long as you like on any one page. After initial commentary, the prayer begins with an invitation to come into God’s presence. Next you are given the opportunity to move deeper into your heart. As the prayer site continues, you are to imagine yourself with God and to share your feelings with God at that moment. You continue and read the scripture reading for the day. After you reflect, you move to a page that asks you consider how the biblical passage has touched you or perhaps left you cold.

The next page directs you to speak to Jesus about your feelings. The prayer concludes with the Glory Be. You can go backward or forward as you like, and if you find yourself unable to connect with a particular page or biblical passage, there is a prayer guide.

The comments and the various pages differ each time you log on, but the intro, scripture and closing remain the same. You can print a version of this prayer, as well as download it to a PDA. The site is available in 21 languages, including Chinese, Latvian, and Spanish.I used this site frequently for Lent.

While exploring, I found a link to another site that has become my favorite: http://www.pray-as-you-go.org/. This site is maintained by the Jesuits of Great Britain.

“Lasting between ten and twelve minutes, it combines music, scripture and some questions for reflection. The aim is to help you to become more aware of God's presence in your life, listen to and reflect on God's word, grow in your relationship with God. Pray-as-you-go can be downloaded free from this website in either MP3 or WMA (Windows Media Audio) format. You can download one day at a time, or one week at a time. You need to have a broadband connection as the files are quite large (the MP3s are about 8MB and the WMAs about 5MB).”

The prayer begins with a bell, followed by a beautiful hymn or chant. The music comes from all over the world. I particularly enjoy the selections from the monks of Senegal. Reflection questions introduce and follow the reading the scripture passage.

The prayer is based on the work week, Monday through Friday. Within the ten to twelve minutes of viewing listening, I find myself calmed, refreshed, and renewed.

It is a treasure I have shared with many in my parish. One family downloads the prayer on a CD and prays with it at bedtime. It would be a lovely way to prepare for sleep.

The site also includes other resources and links, including a daily examination of conscience.

Consider pinging prayer.

(Click here to view the rest of the many wonderful articles that await you in www.ParishWorld.net, America's Catholic Lifestyle Magazine)


Anonymous said...

I looked at both sites and they are indeedd great prayer sites as you mentioned. Thank you so much.

Joan Middler in Houston said...

You have a very informative blog. Thank you.