This article is the first in a five-part series onwhat are known as the nine grades of prayer.These were primarily revealed to us by St. Teresaof Avila and we’ve learned more over time fromothers like St. Francis de Sales and St. John of theCross.
First, let’s begin with what prayer is in a generalsense. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church,paragraphs #2559-2565, we find an in-depthexamination of prayer. But essentially, it iscommunication with God. However, it is notsimply talking to God with words, rather it isjoining your heart to His in love and making thecommunication a loving dialogue between thosetwo hearts. Just as with any relationship, themore the loving dialogue flows, the deeper theunion becomes and the more intimate thecommunication. As we’ll learn, the nine grades ofprayer are the stages and types of prayer whichdraw a soul into deeper and deeper union with God.It is important to note that each grade is notexclusive. In other words, when you move fromone grade to the next, you are not done with allof the previous grades. You will ebb and flow asyou move between the grades and you willalways need to return to the foundational forms.It is also important to note that in grades onethrough four, the individual is the primary moverand in grades five through nine, God is the primarymover. What this means is that for the first fourgrades, you, as the prayer, are in control of yourfaculties and self-discipline to work your waythrough the grades. In doing so, you may merit,by God’s will, progression into the final fivegrades where you become passive and God worksin you. In the final five grades, the individual cannotdecide to turn it off or on, rather God decideshow and when He will commune with the heartand soul. Do not be overwhelmed or discouraged!We’ll begin at the beginning and we will discussall of this in more detail as we progress throughthe grades.READ MORE
Today we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. The infinite mercy of God is something so grand and awesome, that we have been blessed with a day on our liturgical calendar dedicated to meditating upon it. What exactly is Divine Mercy and how does it relate to us and our lives practically?READ MORE
Dear beloved parishioners of Corpus Christi, Easter blessings to you all! If you have been watching our live-streamed Masses, you will have noticed during the Holy Triduum liturgies, and now through the Easter season, that Fr. Rey and I are celebrating the Mass ad orientam, literally meaning “toward the East” or toward God, rather than toward the people. There are many reasons we have decided to do this at this time:READ MORE
Now that Lent is coming to an end and Easter is on the horizon, it is time to reﬂect on the cross as our hope and salvation. After the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, our intended permanent state of perfect holiness and perfect union with God disappeared which had catastrophic consequences for the rest of the generations of humanity that were to follow. You can read any book in the Bible and see that we have been sinning ever since Adam and Eve and things never turn out well until God steps in and does something about it. You can see the eﬀects of sin all around you now, both in your own personal life and in the world at large around you. It’s amazing how good we humans are at messing up, even when our greatest desire may be to never sin again. In our human weakness, we have no ability to break out of the shackles of our sins without God’s help.READ MORE