|Part of the call of the Year of Faith is to renew our knowledge of, and commitment to, the faith that was gifted to us at Baptism. Veritas therefore happy to offer a Year of Faith: Book of the Month. These books are intended to both form and inform readers on a wide variety of faith topics. As an initiative for the Year of Faith, you might like to start a Year of Faith Book Club in your work, school or parish community, where these publications can be discussed and shared..
Year of Faith: Book of the Month for November: Sacred Space: The Prayer Book 2013, from www.sacredspace.ie
Sacred Space: The Prayer Book 2013 invites us to make a sacred space in our day and to spend ten minutes praying wherever we are, with the help of a prayer guide and the scripture readings of the day. The authors describe every place as a sacred space, and advise that one may wish to keep this book available to be picked up and read at any time of the day: at work, whilst travelling, or on a bedside table. This helps us to remember that God is everywhere, all around us, constantly reaching out to us, even in the most unlikely situations.
|| The pages of the book guide the reader through a series of prayer stages:
- Something to think and pray about each day this week
- The presence of God
- The Word (leads you to the daily scripture and provides help with the text)
An excerpt from Sacred Space: The Prayer Book 2013
Something to think and pray about each day this week:
The coming days
Advent is in many ways the most beautiful and profound time of the Christian year.
Advent means ‘coming’, and the season is about our waiting for the most mysterious and wonderful coming of all, into the heart of our lives, our needy lives. The words of St Paul are relevant: ‘It is full time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light’ (Romans 13:11-12).
So over and over, from the heart of the Christian people, and down through the centuries, the prayer has gone up: ‘Show us, Lord, your steadfast love. And grant us your salvation.’ ‘Come, Lord, and bring us peace. Let us rejoice before you with sincere hearts.’ And we can pray now: ‘Lord, help us to wait, with patience, with longing, for your coming – your coming into our poor lives. As once your people waited, and you came in our midst as a child, to be among us – so help us now to wait, and hope, and love what we wait for: your coming, and your peace.’
The Presence of God
Lord, help me to be fully alive to your holy presence.
Enfold me in your love.
Let my heart become one with yours.
Many countries are at this moment suffering the agonies of war.
I bow my head in thanksgiving for my freedom.
I pray for all prisoners and captives.
At this moment, Lord, I turn my thoughts to You.
I will leave aside my chores and preoccupations.
I will take rest and refreshment in your presence Lord.
The word of God comes down to us through the scriptures.
May the Holy Spirit enlighten my mind and my heart to
respond to the gospel teachings. (Please turn to your scripture
on the following pages. Inspiration points are there should you
need them. When you are ready, return here to continue.)
Sometimes I wonder what I might say if I were to meet you in person, Lord.
I might say ‘Thank You, Lord’ for always being there for me.
I know with certainty there were times when you carried me.
When through your strength I got through the dark times in my life.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen.
Sunday, 2 December
First Sunday of Advent; Luke 21:25-28
Jesus said, ‘There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in a cloud” with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.’
Jesus is using traditional Jewish symbolism to describe what will happen when God’s final judgment occurs. He says that people ‘will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud’. The cloud is a symbol for God’s presence. Jesus’ message bursts with hope and confidence because, unlike those who have reason to fear his coming, Jesus’ followers will be able to hold their heads high because their liberation is at hand.
Previous Year of Faith Books of the Month:
October 2012: Heaven Sent: My Life Through the Rosary by Fr Gabriel Harty