Archbishop’s column: friendship with Jesus nourished by prayer

Archbishop John DewAugust 2012 About 12 years ago I wrote an article on prayer for the Marist Messenger. I remember basing it on the invitation of Jesus to ‘Remain in…

Archbishop John Dew
August 2012

About 12 years ago I wrote an article on prayer for the Marist Messenger. I remember basing it on the invitation of Jesus to ‘Remain in my love’. I wrote that these words of Jesus from Chapter 15 of John’s Gospel define prayer for me. However, most memorable was the number of people who contacted me to say how much the article had helped them in their personal prayer.

Last August the archdiocese held the first PrayLive day at the cathedral. Many of us were surprised at the number of people who arrived early in the morning and spent the whole day at the cathedral to hear five different people speak of their experiences of prayer.

Yet another wonderful reaction was to the small pamphlet the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference published on Lectio Divina. We printed 40,400 copies at first and needed to print more to meet the demand. I know of one parish who gave it to other Christian denominations in their area and those people asked for more copies.

The pastoral letter of the bishops ‘Prayer in the Busyness of life’ also proved popular and needed to be re-printed; likewise the pastoral letter ‘A Shoreless Ocean’ which reflected on suffering, which is also a place of prayer.

The reaction to my Marist Messenger article, the response to the Lectio Divina pamphlet, the pastoral letters and the large attendance at PrayLive 2011 all spoke to me about the deep interest in prayer. It was gratifying to see so many people come to the cathedral because they wanted to learn more about prayer and they wanted to spend some time in prayer.

This year PrayLive 2012 will be held on Friday August 24. This is a further opportunity to learn about prayer and to have some quiet time to pray and reflect. Presenters this year will be:
• Sr Natalie Murphy RSM, reflecting on praying with Catherine McAuley and her Suscipe
• Sr Judith McGinley OP sharing on ‘Praying with the Church’
• Lay pastoral leaders Mary-Anne Peetz and Sharon Penny, who will present on ‘Praying through and in Ministry’
• Fr Jim Dooley SM, on ‘Our Journey to Internal Prayer’
• The title of my address is ‘Examen: most grateful? least grateful? sign of hope’

When Jesus invites us to ‘Remain in my love’, he clearly does so because he wants us to know that he loves us. I remember learning when first at the seminary, ‘We meditate to awaken love, we contemplate because we love’.

This year you are invited to PrayLive 2012 to pray with and to reflect on how prayer deepens our friendship with Jesus, how it enables us to be more aware of God’s deep love and friendship for us. God’s love, awakened within us, enables us to make the response of people who live discipleship, which in turn leads us into responsible and intentional stewardship all because our friendship with Jesus is nourished in prayer.

On Saturday following PrayLive, Sr Mary Franzmann PBVM will share with us on ‘Our Baptismal Call’; this day’s reflection will also enable us to deepen our friendship and commit to stewardship.

Those planning to attend this Saturday presentation need to register with or with but registration is not needed for PrayLive.