Praying with the MGs

Laura visits the JPII Shrine in Washington DC with her kids.

Laura visits the JPII Shrine in Washington DC with her kids.

The members of the MGs follow a ‘rule of life’ that is appropriate to their state of life (as a lay or consecrated member). This simple daily plan for your spiritual life is a tradition in the Church that goes a long way to helping you acquire discipline and deepen your spiritual life. Set yourself manageable tasks and try to organise yourself to stick to it. Not fulfilling your promises can reveal a lot about what distracts you and what you might need to work on to prioritise God in your life. A rule of life should always be flexible when you are sick or if an emergency arises that needs to be taken care of. Remember charity is the primary rule of life above all else! You may like to consider some of the following suggestions for your rule of life, many of which are part of the everyday life of the current members:

  • Attend daily Mass or pray the prayer for spiritual communion,[1] try to get to adoration for prayer at least once a week
  • Go to confession at least once a month (St. John Paul II is said to have gone weekly)
  • Do some kind of ascetic practice such as fasting or abstinence for the community and the conversion of souls
  • Consecrate yourself to Our Lady according to St Louis De Montfort
  • Wear the Scapular and JPII crucifix[2]
  • See a spiritual director regularly and go on an annual retreat
  • Where possible, attend community activities such as a prayer group, pilgrimage or play.
  • Celebrate the community feast days. Feast Days additional to those celebrated in the Church calendar: JPII’s death anniversary (2 April), JPII’s Birthday (18 May), Election to the Papacy (16 October- members are encouraged to give away all that they don’t need on this day), St John of the Cross (14 Dec), and Members names days. The memorial in the Church calendar to celebrate the life of JPII (22 October) is a solemnity for MGs and a novena is said leading up the this feast day and Divine Mercy Sunday. Church prayers for the feast day of St. John Paul II (22 October)
  • The MGs pray the following prayer each day for the community:

IMG_7307Daily prayers:

- Morning prayer (25 mins)- As soon as you wake up, kneel and call to mind who you are and Who you come before. Give glory to God and thank Him for the gift of this day, the first of the rest of your life. Meditate on the Scriptures (10 minutes)- for this you can focus on the Scripture of the day or upcoming Sunday or work your way slowly through one of the books of the Bible. Spend 15 minutes in personal prayer, reflecting on what is going to happen during the day, acknowledging your frailty and need for help and asking the Lord for guidance. Try to spend some time listening. Consecrate yourself (and all your

hopes, dreams, gifts, efforts this day etc.) to Jesus through Mary. “Totus tuus ergo sum, et omnia mea Tua Sunt. Accipio Te in mea omnia. Praebe mihi cor Tuum, Maria (I belong to you entirely, and all that I possess is yours. I take you into everything that is mine. Give me your heart Mary).” It has been said that Saint John Paul II prayed this prayer each day (please note that it was incorporated into the MG daily prayer).

-   During the day (12-30 mins)- Spiritual reading (10 minutes). You could read something by St. John Paul II or a biography about his life. Pray the Angelus which St. JPII encouraged us to pray 3 times a day with him.[3]

-   Night prayer (15 mins)- Prayer invoking the Holy Spirit. Perform a daily examination of conscience/ consciousness.[4] Period of silent prayer, prayer of worship and thanksgiving for what you have noticed God doing during the day, and prayers of intercession. Finishing with “’Glory be…’ (bowing reverently to honor the Holy Trinity), ‘Jesus I trust in You’, and ‘Into your hands Lord I commend my spirit’.” You could substitute or supplement these prayers with Compline from the Divine Office. You may also wish to additionally pray Lauds and Vespers (or an abbreviated version of them such as the Magnificat booklet which is printed monthly).

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

[1] E.G. “O Jesus I turn toward the holy tabernacle where You live hidden for love of me. I love you, O my God. I cannot receive you in Holy Communion. Come nevertheless and visit me with Your grace. Come spiritually into my heart. Purify it. Sanctify it. Render it like unto Your own. Amen” Cure of Ars

[2] ‘I never put on my episcopal pectoral Cross carelessly; I always accompany this gesture with a prayer’ (JPII, Rise, let us be on our way, p. 197).

[3] “In fact, from the time I was called to the Chair of Peter, they began spontaneously to join with me in reciting the Angelus every day at the usual hours of the morning, at midday and in the evening. The recitation of this prayer has become a universal practice, testified to by numerous letters and frequent mention in the press. Through the Angelus we are spiritually linked together, we remember each other and we share the mystery of salvation and our hearts also” (JPII, Angelus, 5 June 1979, see also JPII, Address to parish of St Zygmunt, 4 June 1979).

[4]  In what ways was God speaking to me? What was He teaching me about myself? How was my King calling me to follow Him and participate in His salvific mission? Did I have a contemplative attitude? Was I receptive and obedient? How was my prayer? How did God bless me today? What can I say or do in thanksgiving? What might I have done, said or thought that would offend my Saviour and where did I fail to do the good that I could have? (e.g. was God’s will, glory and service the first of my concerns? Did I turn to anything other than my Divine Spouse for comfort and peace? Did I respond to the dignity of each person accordingly?)How was the devil working and how did I respond? Am I ready to die tonight? What changes need to be made or needs attended to? What might I do in reparation for my sins (plan of amendment)? Which sin or fault could I work on especially each day for the next week?