Sunday, September 07, 2008

Seminar-Workshop on Prayer & Spirituality for Young People

Today, from 9 am to 5:30 pm, I conducted a seminar-workshop on Prayer & Spirituality to the youth in our parish (Our Mother of Perpetual Help parish). There were over 70 who attended, mostly leaders and members of the core-group coming from the various BECs (Basic Ecclesial Communities).
There were 4 sessions with the following topics:
1. Why we need to pray
- the fruits of prayer
- the spiritual, psyscho-somatic dimension of prayer & meditation
2. When, where and how we pray
finding time and space for prayer
methods/forms of prayer & meditation
- praying with the body
- praying the rosary - meditation on the story of Jesus with Mary
- lectio divina
- centering prayer
- contemplation on an icon/image of Jesus
- prayer of petition, thanksgiving,
- examination of conscience & seeking forgiveness
- conversational prayer
- prayer & visualization
- music & prayer
- combining forms/methods
3. Praying with others - Social, Communitarian & Ecclesial Dimension of Prayer
-Why we need to pray together
-Forms of community prayer
- Liturgical Prayer
4. Spirituality of Communion, A Holistic & Integral Spirituality
- Communion with God, one another, nature
- Integrating prayer/contemplation with action (loving service, proclamation)
We ended the seminar with a, celebration of the Eucharist. In my homily I explained to the participants the meaning of the Eucharist and why we need to celebrate it together constantly.
(I was amazed by interest of the young people who attended the workshop. They were not at all bored. They were very attentive and they actively participated in the various forms of prayer that we tried. It just confirms that there is a hunger among young people for spirituality. It is a hunger that the Church must respond to. Otherwise, they will just turn to other religious traditions to learn how to pray and meditate.)

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