“God must be adored as the absolute master of all things. He must be loved as a Father. Therefore, pray to him with respect, fervor, attention, and confidence; undertake all things through obedience for his glory and the salvation of souls; have a pure intention, an ardent zeal, and a burning charity.” ~Blessed Basil Moreau
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that prayer is a vital necessity, and that it is inseparable from the Christian life: “Pray constantly . . . always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.” St. Paul adds, “Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance making supplication for all the saints.” For “we have not been commanded to work, to keep watch, and to fast constantly, but it has been laid down that we are to pray without ceasing.” This tireless fervor can come only from love. Against our dullness and laziness, the battle of prayer is that of humble, trusting, and persevering love.
At Saint Joseph Grade School, we seek to teach and to practice many forms of prayer. We hope that our students might take this gift with them when they part us, that their hearts might continue to open to Christ throughout their lives. Below are just a few examples of the prayer we practice.
We practice daily prayer at SJGS in several ways. Perhaps most beautifully, we begin each day as a whole school community in our gym with all-school prayer. We listen to a reading and reflect and pray together as one body. We pray again before lunch and at the end of the day. And, of course, teachers and students find millions of other reasons to pray throughout our school days, whether we look to God for strength, forgiveness, or hope, or in gratitude and joy!
Each Friday, a different grade participates in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the church. In practicing this form of prayer, we teach our students to contemplate of the Mystery of Christ truly present before us. We “watch and wait,” remaining silent in His Presence, and open ourselves to His Graces which flow from the Eucharist. By worshiping the Eucharistic Jesus, we become what God wants us to be! Like a magnet, the Lord draws us to Himself and gently transforms us.
Several times throughout the year, our students will come together to pray the Rosary. Before our Crowning of Mary each May, we gather in the church for a “Living Rosary,” a beautiful service in which students act as the beads of the Rosary.