A Symphony of Prayer

November 20, 2023

The Jesuit Institute is offering a programme of events to support the Church in a journey in prayer, towards the Jubilee year 2025.

The wonder of prayer is revealed beside the well where we come seeking water: there, Christ comes to meet every human being. (The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2560)

Pope Francis has announced a Jubilee Year for 2025 with the title ‘Pilgrims of Hope’. In preparation for the Jubilee year, beginning in Advent 2023, the Pope has called for a Year of Prayer to help the Church prepare for the Jubilee, to help us to walk together in hope and joy.

I would greatly desire that we devote 2024, the year preceding the Jubilee event, to a great “symphony” of prayer. Prayer, above all else, to renew our desire to be in the presence of the Lord, to listen to him and to adore him. (Pope Francis)

In order to support the Church in this journey in prayer, the Jesuit Institute is offering a programme of events running through 2023-2024 and beyond.

On 15th November, we began by welcoming in the Year of Prayer with a free evening event via Zoom, which enabled people from across the country and around the world to pray in the beginning of this Year together.

Participants spoke of how much they appreciated the sense of welcome and fellowship. It was ‘an international community lifting hearts and minds in prayer to praise, serve and love the Divine.’ Another participant wrote ‘There was something faith affirming and deepening about the session: being aware of Our Lord’s presence and love was deeply reassuring. It was good to share with others…to be part of a prayerful community... It gave me the courage to pray with renewed hope for peace, in the presence of Christ.’

In Advent 2023, and again in Eastertide 2024, the Jesuit Institute is running an online prayer series called ‘Adventure in Prayer’. This online course helps you to find a way of praying that works for you and is inspired by the riches of prayer in the Ignatian tradition – from the Examen (prayer of review) to Imaginative Contemplation and Lectio Divina.

We offer a free prayer booklet called Pilgrims of Prayer which covers some of these ways of praying and is available to download via your diocese or below.

Through the Jesuit Institute online courses, we offer opportunities to find out more about the Synod which is taking place in the Church and to experience something of the Spirit of the Synod, taking it into our own lives and contexts. Pope Francis encourages us to not only to engage in the Synod process but also to become living expressions of being Church. We hope that this will help us all grow more as pilgrims of love, changed through encounter, listening and discernment.

If your parish or faith community would be interested in some specific input, perhaps as part of an ongoing process within your faith community, then our team can facilitate workshops around themes of listening, discernment, prayer and the Synod.

As well as these online events, every first Wednesday of the month, we offer an online guided prayer meditation with the imagination based on themes from the gospels, the saints and seasons, the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola and even the natural world.

Especially in times of darkness in our world, Pope Francis reminds us that ‘The lamp of faith will always be lit on earth as long as there is the oil of prayer.’ We hope in some small way to contribute to the oil of prayer that lights the worldwide prayer community and to strengthen the prayer life of all those who take part.

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