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The Heart is the meeting place with God. In this Mission we teach: ‘Go now and open the door my child, step into this place that I have made for you to meet with your Father.
Close the door behind you and call Me from this place, your heart, and I will come’.
The Father dwells within us with a love that awaits our call to Him in faith, hope and trust. When our prayer is built layer by layer by these elements the result is a relationship with God that only the prayer of love of a child to their Father can obtain. That is why prayer must be from The Heart. If our hearts are far from God, the sincerity of our words cannot contain the essential elements needed for that relationship to exist and our prayers are words with little to no value.
As the image and likeness of God (once lost, but through the desire to change, it is found again) we are now in a place of relationship with God. It is the next place that we find a covenant which is being established: Prayer from the Heart.
The Mission promotes only two main prayers that it asks are prayed daily individually, and once a week in community, in what are called prayer cenacles: The Morning Prayer and the Sorrowful Mysteries for the Conversion and Peace in the world.
The term prayer cenacle is used instead of prayer group as historically the word cenacle, from the Latin “cenaculum”, is known as the upper room, the place of the last supper; the place where the apostles stayed when in Jerusalem. As it were, the first Christian Church; the place where the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples of Christ on Pentecost. As these are all significant events they are also symbolic for our cenacles, which gather together as disciples of Christ and missionaries as in the first Christian Church.
They consist in 4 or more people who meet once a week to pray the Mission’s Rosary and after they pray, they learn the steps of the Mission and the responsibility they have as part of the Mystical Body of Christ. They encourage a return to the parish to pray together in front of the Lord. They create community and redevelop Catholic neighborhoods as neighbors pray together, and they are encouraged to the good works of the Mission and an active parish life.
As a Mission, we use the meditations contained within the Sorrowful Mysteries to focus our prayer in the person of Christ. It is through the same oneness with Jesus that we ask “in the name of Jesus and through His most precious and efficacious blood”, for those elements and forces in our societies which are causing the greatest destruction in our lives and in the life of our communities, cities and countries. It is with and by the blood of Christ that we dare ask with renewed confidence, for peace in this world, in our families and within ourselves. It is a most effective means of community prayer as well as a means of drawing closer to our Lord everyday through His Passion.
The organization and participation in prayer cenacles is open to all. We can form prayer cenacles for children, for the youth, for the elderly, for women, for men, for business people, politicians, etc. For a change to be truly effective and permanent in our cities/states/countries, it must include all aspects of our society, so we look for the active involvement of all.
There can also be already existing prayer cenacles that belong to other apostolates and movements that wish to unite with the Mission. In those cases, they are only asked to incorporate the Mission’s prayers (the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary with the meditations and intentions of the Mission) in their prayer group or cenacle.
Prayer is a gift of grace and a purposeful action on our behalf. The second Vatican Council states that the dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. It states that this invitation to converse with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being; for if man exists, it is because God has created him through love and through love, continues to hold him in existence. He cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and entrusts himself to his Creator.
That is why the enemy of God, the devil, does not want us praying because those who do not are kept away from union with God. The Church tells us that the spiritual battle of the Christian’s new life is inseparable from the battle of prayer; prayer therefore is a fight, a battle against the reluctance of ourselves. The principal difficulties and temptations facing the practice of prayer are: distraction, dryness, indifference, forgetfulness, lack of faith and discouragement. The remedy is found in faith, conversion and as our Catechism states, in the vigilance of heart. When we pray together, in public or community prayer such as these prayer cenacles, these difficulties and temptations facing prayer are lessened by the grand action of the Holy Spirit upon the whole of the group praying.
We are taught by the Fathers of the spiritual life in the prophetic tradition that we cannot pray at all times if we do not pray at specific times, consciously willing it. Prayer cenacles are those special times of Christian prayer in both intensity and duration. As Catholics, we are convinced that when we pray together we can change the course of the world if only we would have the faith of a little tiny mustard seed. If we are all praying the same prayer for the same intentions each day, countless, thousands of us, then this prayer will be basically unceasing and The Father shall hear and agree. For our Lord Jesus told us in Mt 18, 19-20: “Amen I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”.
The prayer cenacles of the Mission are its most important source of intercessory prayer. The founder of the Mission always used to say: “in these times, we are in a war of good against evil”. So we need to “watch and pray that we may not undergo the test, for the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” (Mk 14, 38). It is important that the members of the prayer cenacles become aware of this war that is raging in the world and “draw their strength from the Lord and put on the armor of God so they may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil” (Eph 6, 10-11).
Once the members are gathered together, we suggest the following general scheme to conduct the prayer:
- Greeting and welcome: This moment is important because it allows us to prepare ourselves for prayer and it helps to develop a friendship among the members of the prayer cenacle..
- Invocation of the Holy Spirit: We must always begin our prayer “in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”, and we invoke the Holy Spirit’s presence and guidance among us.
Come Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of your faithful
and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created and You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations. Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
- Prayer of the Mission’s Rosary: We follow the instructions on the prayer book or leaflet with the Mission’s prayers and dispose ourselves to meditate these sacred mysteries. We pray slowly, realizing prayer is an intimate dialogue with God, becoming aware of His presence among us and sincerely and humbly addressing our requests to Him through the intercession of our Blessed Mother..
Teaching: We dedicate 10 to 15 minutes to share one of the following:
- The Gospel of the day: trying to interiorize what God might be saying to us on that specific day through His Word.
- Our founder’s writings on the Mission’s Cornerstones: so we might understand these times and the need for personal conversion and the tools available to us to achieve it..
- Closing Prayer: We end the cenacle with a small prayer of thanksgiving and an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be..
- Final notices: The leader of the prayer cenacle dedicates a few minutes to inform the members of the accomplishments and activities of the Mission in their city and in the other countries it is present, so they feel part of a larger Mission and are encouraged by the fruits of their prayers..
As the members of these cenacles persevere in prayer, they usually begin feeling the need of something more, as a natural progression in their spiritual formation. Hence, in order to help introduce them “into the life, liturgy and charity of the People of God” (CCC 1248) the Mission suggests the following material than can replace what is shared in step no. 4:
- A text on the True Devotion to Our Blessed Mother or The Secret of the Rosary by St. Louis-Marie of Montfort.
- A fragment of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
- The life of a saint.
- According to the exhortations of our Church, we can also meditate on Papal Encyclicals, the Pope’s homilies and teachings.
- Finally, we can also share material on the liturgical time of the year: Ordinary time, Lent, Paschal Tridium, Easter, Advent and Christmas.
It will be a moment of reflection to deepen their faith as a daily way of life in community, with God at the very center of it, always in accordance to the teachings of our Catholic Church.
- General Prayer cenacles: in homes or parishes where men and women of all ages may participate..
- Men´s Prayer Cenacles: Aware of all of the temptations, attacks and dangers that men today are subject to, the Mission offers them these prayer cenacles named after their Patron: “The Men of St. Joseph”. In He who was placed as the Guardian and Protector of the Holy Family, they too assume their duty and responsibility to Guard and Protect their God given families on earth: “loving their wives as Christ loved the Church and handed himself over for her, to sanctify her...that she might be holy and without blemish (Ef 5, 25-27), and bringing their children up with the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ef 6,4).
They meet every 15 days to pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Mission’s Rosary and to receive a teaching with specific tools to help them become true men of God, individually, as husbands, as parents, workers, friends, etc. They are also prepared to make their personal consecration to St. Joseph in a Solemn Mass of Consecration, to be renewed every year. Likewise, they are advised to pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary personally so they may meditate on St. Joseph’s role in the Holy Family.
- Women’s Prayer Cenacles: The Mission also promotes cenacles for women called “Disciples of the Virgin Mary”. 1. The family is truly under fierce attack in these times. If family is destroyed, it’s only a matter of time until faith begins to crumble as a result. It is therefore vitally important that women assume their rightful place bringing their sensitivity, intuitiveness, generosity and fidelity in living their unique vocation. Because the education of children, the transmission of faith, and the harmony of the home depend largely on her. That is why the Mission facilitates these cenacles for women, in which the attentive listening to the Word of God is promoted, hand in hand with Mary who knew how to keep these things and pondered them in her heart (Lk 2,19); so that following Her example, they may discover the Will of God in their lives individually, as wives, mothers, workers, etc., and give their “YES” as Mary, at all times. Called to imitate the first Disciple, model of maternal love, to Whom all disciples were entrusted to in John at the foot of the Cross, they learn from Her, the true meaning of life in Christ.
Children’s Prayer Cenacle: Our main priority with children is to accustom them to prayer, i.e., that they know what they are doing and saying and are able to thank and worship God and intercede for others. Hence, as a new cenacle for children begins, we start meditating all 5 decades of the Sorrowful Mysteries, but we only pray one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be in each one.
In time, as the group perseveres and we observe their readiness to do more, we can start praying one decade, then two decades, etc., until the entire Rosary is recited, always remembering to properly meditate each mystery. Since for many it will be their first experience praying the Rosary, they are taught all the mysteries of the Holy Rosary, not only the Sorrowful. The children of these cenacles are consecrated once a year in a Solemn Mass of Consecration, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary and have as their Patron the Divine Child Jesus.
- Youth Prayer Cenacle: We are aware that young people are under the constant assault of the world, therefore now more than ever, there is an urgent need to embrace them so as to illuminate their path in these times of darkness. We must repeat to them the invitation that Pope St. John Paul II made at the beginning of his Pontificate: “Be not afraid! Open wide the doors for Christ!” (October 22nd, 1978). It was him who started the World Youth Day in 1986 when he realized that if he had been able to accompany a small group of university students early in his priesthood, he could also accompany the youth of the world and become their friend. He earned their confidence because he took them seriously. They sensed that he understood their concerns. He challenged them to give their lives to Christ, appealed to their high ideals and invited them to take a lead in the New Evangelization. That is why he is the Patron Saint of the young members of these cenacles and they are advised to read his Apostolic Letter “Dilecti Amici” to the Youth of the World on the occasion of the International Youth year.
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