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Prayers and Devotions

"A first essential setting for learning hope is prayer. When no one listens to me any more, God still listens to me. When I can no longer talk to anyone or call upon anyone, I can always talk to God. When there is no longer anyone to help me deal with a need or expectation that goes beyond the human capacity for hope, He can help me. When I have been plunged into complete solitude...; if I pray I am never totally alone." Pope Benedict XVI , Spe Salvi

Liturgical Calendar

Seasons of the Church Year: Advent - Christmas -- Lent - Easter -- Ordinary Time

Marian Feasts -- Favorite prayers & devotions -- Feasts & celebrations - alphabetical List -- The Seven Sacraments -- Early Church Fathers -- Catecheses on Prayer [Pope Benedict XVI] -- The Ten Commandments -- Latin Prayers on Adoremus Website -- New Saints & Blesseds on the Vatican Website


About the Prayers and Devotions pages Can our Catholic families really learn to pray together?

Many young Catholic families are rediscovering the importance -- and the joy -- of praying together -- but sources for classic Catholic prayers may not always be easy to find. The family Rosary is a fine tradition, and some families are able to find time during their busy week to say the Rosary together. But many families cannot do this, or even if they would like to, it is sometimes hard to know how to begin.

How can we start? We have found that starting small -- especially during the season Lent or Advent -- can often make it easier to begin a new family "tradition" of praying together. We suggest starting with the Angelus at mealtimes during Advent or Lent. Even very young children can learn to say the simple responses of the Angelus with the family at mealtimes.

In addition to family prayers, special prayers or novenas are often useful for special occasions or intentions. The Novena for the Protection of the Unborn, for example, has been used in parishes and even diocesan pro-life conventions. You might suggest this as an activity your parish pro-life committee could sponsor, or for your prayer group or home-schooling group.

You may reprint these pages for your family or parish use (please note WFF as the source. For any other use, please contact us for permission.) Many of the pages below appear in our popular Family Sourcebooks, used by hundreds of Catholic families and many schools.

Our own families have found many of the prayers and devotions that appear on this web site helpful -- and we hope your family will, too. We will continue to add prayers and devotions to this site.

About the Prayers and Devotions section:

There are five principal parts within the Prayers & Devotions section:

1) An interactive Liturgical Calendar, which allows you to click on any month, then on a links to feasts and holidays;

2) Seasons of the Liturgical Year, Advent - Christmas - Lent - Easter - Ordinary Time, which include links to pages for feasts and holidays that normally occur within each season;

3) Favorite Prayers & Devotions, including litanies, Rosary, etc., used throughout the year.

4) Marian Feasts and devotions;

5) of individual pages in the Prayers and Devotions section.

Click on the month under the Liturgical Calendar and you will bring up that month's feasts, solemnities, etc, with links to individual pages.

The Seasons of the Liturgical Year lists feasts that ordinarily occur during one of the major liturgical seasons, such as Advent, Christmas, etc.

The third section links to pages in our collection of special prayers and devotions for various occasions throughout the year, such as the Rosary and Stations of the Cross, a Prayer for Mothers, and a First Holy Communion page.

AN INVITATION: Traditions, Recipes, Articles, Children's Acitivity, prayer for Feast Day pages online - If you have a tradition, a recipe, article, Children's activity or prayer that you would like included on your favorite feast day, please see Contributors' guidelines.

Please e-mail or write: Women for Faith and Family - Editor PO Box 300411, St. Louis, MO 63130.

OTHER RESOURCES:

New Saints and Blesseds: Check the Vatican Website - Congregation for the Causes of Saints

Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy (Link to the Vatican web site.)

Cathechism of the Catholic Church (Link to the Vatican web site.) Your family would be able to read the entire Catechism of the Catholic Church in one year if you read eight paragraphs each day!

Excerpt from the Cathechism

Prayer as God's gift

2559 "Prayer is the raising of one's mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God."2 But when we pray, do we speak from the height of our pride and will, or "out of the depths" of a humble and contrite heart?3 He who humbles himself will be exalted;4 humility is the foundation of prayer, Only when we humbly acknowledge that "we do not know how to pray as we ought,"5 are we ready to receive freely the gift of prayer. "Man is a beggar before God."6

2560 "If you knew the gift of God!"7 The wonder of prayer is revealed beside the well where we come seeking water: there, Christ comes to meet every human being. It is he who first seeks us and asks us for a drink. Jesus thirsts; his asking arises from the depths of God's desire for us. Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God's thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him.8

2561 "You would have asked him, and he would have given you living water."9 Paradoxically our prayer of petition is a response to the plea of the living God: "They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water!"10 Prayer is the response of faith to the free promise of salvation and also a response of love to the thirst of the only Son of God.11


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