Prayer Sharing

Valley Farm Ravine. Pickering

Most every morning before breakfast I go for a short walk on the spacious grounds of Manresa Retreat Centre, Pickering, Ontario. One morning as I was walking I thought about the spiritual exercise of faith sharing and then the thought occurred to me why not prayer sharing. As I begin to write this blog it is the morning of my 85th birthday and I thought of sharing some of my prayers on my spiritual journey.

In the winter of 1973 I did my tertianship (last months of Jesuit formation) at Colombiere Center, Clarkston, Michigan. Again for the second time in Jesuit formation I did the 30 Day Spiritual Exercises ( the Long Retreat) of Saint Ignatius. Toward the end of that retreat my spiritual director suggested that I might want to compose a prayer that I might find helpful in my years as a Jesuit. I am delighted to share this prayer with you. And yes, the prayer has been helpful.

“May the Lord have mercy on me, forgive me of any wrongdoing, give me his joy, grace, peace and healing and bring me one day with him to our Father in heaven.”

Here at Manresa not only are our grounds spacious but we are surrounded by Valley Farm Ravine and to our west we have Grand Valley Park. The West Duffins Creek meanders through the ravine. Over the years our neighbours have made several ungroomed trails through the forests of the ravine and park. These trails are an invitation to praying with nature. It is a prayer without words. You just have to be aware/surprised of the handiwork of the Divine Landscape Architect and it costs you nothing. You do not have to pray awe, wonder, reverence, praise and thanksgiving. Your walk in nature is awe, wonder, reverence, praise and thanksgiving.

Before coming to Manresa in June of 2017, I would often attend the Sunday Eucharist at the Anglican Church of the Redeemer in Toronto at Bloor St. and Avenue Rd. The Lead Pastor and Incumbent was the Rev’d Andrew Asbil. He would always begin his Homily with the prayer, “Take our lips and speak through them. Take our minds and think through them. Take our hearts and fill them with love for you. In Christ many names we pray.” I was very attracted to this prayer and have made it my own. I have modified it slightly by adding, “Take my hands and feet and care with them.”

A favourite post communion prayer, “Lord, I want and chose that You live in me and I live in You today and forevermore.” Another, “Lord, this is my faith and my hope that if I live with You, I will die with You and if I die with You I will also rise with You.”

I have surprised myself and finished this blog on the evening of my birthday. As God has given me the gift of 85 years, I want to give you the gift of my prayers. As they have helped me in my spiritual journey, I hope and pray that they may be helpful in your spiritual journey too.

Paul Baker, SJ, is a Jesuit Brother in the ministry of prayer at Rene Goupil House in Pickering, Ontario.

  • Susan Garbett-Snidal
    Posted at 02:03h, 14 February Reply

    Happy Birthday!! Thank you for these wonderful and uplifting prayers. I will be making then my own as I try to grow my prayer life. To share is to love.❤️

  • Paul Desmarais
    Posted at 07:10h, 14 February Reply

    Thank you Paul for these inspiring words and sharing your personal prayers.
    And Happy birthday.

  • Viola Athaide
    Posted at 07:19h, 14 February Reply

    What simple, wonderful prayers coming straight from your heart. Thank you for sharing them with us. May we too grow in our relationship with God as we say these prayers.

  • John Montague
    Posted at 07:52h, 14 February Reply

    Happy Birthday Paul, and thank you for your beautiful reflection.

  • Jennifer
    Posted at 09:20h, 14 February Reply

    Happy Birthday! May you have many, many more years with Good Health above all. Thank you for the beautiful prayers which I will also make my own. I will pray for you too when I pray them. May God Bless you and keep you in His loving care!

  • Philip Shano
    Posted at 09:27h, 14 February Reply

    Thanks Paul. Beautiful reflections. I’m sure that many retreatants would be able to relate.

  • Marilee Pittman
    Posted at 09:30h, 14 February Reply

    Wonderful prayers! Thank you. I love collecting prayers that speak to me in my day to day ordinary way.
    Happy birthday

  • Peter Bisson
    Posted at 10:53h, 14 February Reply

    Thank you so much Aul!

  • Peter Bisson
    Posted at 10:54h, 14 February Reply

    Thank you so much Paul!

  • Charles Pottie-Pâté
    Posted at 11:05h, 14 February Reply

    Paul, THANK YOU and belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY.
    what a wonderful reflection piece on prayer, on your prayer that you have shared with us. what a gift you are to our least company of Jesus. I am graced to be part of the same entry year and all the years we have shared together…..may you continue for many years yet to come…

  • Grace C.
    Posted at 13:28h, 14 February Reply

    Thank you for your meaningful prayers. I will write them in my journal and refer to them in the future. And thank you for reminding us of our dependence on nature – with or without words. Happy 85th Birthday!

  • Pauline Lally
    Posted at 15:14h, 14 February Reply

    Thank you

  • Sr. Ann Marie Walsh, FCJ
    Posted at 17:01h, 14 February Reply

    Thanks, Fr. Baker for sharing your heart-felt prayers. Happy Birthday and many blessings as you celebrate the wonderful gift of life and God’s many blessings over these 85yrs!

  • Harold Lenfesty
    Posted at 20:22h, 14 February Reply

    Fr. Baker, Congratulations on both your birthday and your many years of service to the Society of Jesus. Your prayers, interwoven with your reflection on Nature, in particular the Manresa area woodlands, are a gift to those of us fortunate enough to read your Post.

  • Victor Reyes
    Posted at 08:38h, 15 February Reply

    Thank you, Br Paul!

  • Connie Shaw
    Posted at 14:21h, 16 February Reply

    Thank you. Very meaningful. Happy Birthday Blessings.

  • Benjie Golong
    Posted at 21:01h, 23 February Reply

    Belated Happy 85th birthday Paul. Thank you for sharing the link through Frank.

Post A Comment

Subscribe to igNation

Subscribe to receive our latest articles delivered right to your inbox!