I am the adoptive priest for the ninth grade class at St. Thomas More High School. The last several weeks I have been offering the students the opportunity to pray with the Eucharistic Prayer IV. It has some stunning lines and images in it that present a summary of the history of our salvation and therefore it is a wonderful way to proclaim the Kerygma (the basic Gospel message).
Fr. Paul Turner, who is pastor of Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Kansas City, Missouri and has a doctorate in sacred theology says, “Most breathtaking about the composition of Eucharistic Prayer IV is its ample use of biblical phrases. The text not only forms a logical arc from start to finish, but it traverses that road with the vehicle of Sacred Scripture, using one illuminating quote after another. For example, the preface opens by saying, ‘God is one, living and true, existing before all ages and abiding for all eternity, dwelling in unapproachable light.’ Deuteronomy 6:4 says, God is one; in Matthew 16:16, Peter says that God is living; and in John 17:3, Jesus says that God is true. 1 Timothy 6:16 and 1 John 1:5 say that God dwells in unapproachable light.” (For Fr. Turner’s full article, see: https://liturgy.nd.edu/assets/34766)
Lively faith as outlined in our Stewardship Initiative includes prayer and study. If you had some time this week, I encourage you to do a Lectio Divina on Eucharistic Prayer IV. What are the words, phrases and images that tug at your heart or get your attention? How do these words, phrases, and images connect to your life? Talk to God about them. Then read the article from Fr. Turner for further prayer and study. Lastly, share the fruits of your prayer and study with a family, friend or co-worker.
Eucharistic Prayer IV
It is not permitted to change the Preface of this Eucharistic Prayer because of the structure of the Prayer itself, which presents a summary of the history of salvation.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.
V. Lift up your hearts.
R. We lift them up to the Lord.
V. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
R. It is right and just.
It is truly right to give you thanks,
truly just to give you glory, Father most holy,
for you are the one God living and true,
existing before all ages and abiding for all eternity,
dwelling in unapproachable light;
yet you, who alone are good, the source of life,
have made all that is,
so that you might fill your creatures with blessings
and bring joy to many of them by the glory of your light.
And so, in your presence are countless hosts of Angels,
who serve you day and night
and, gazing upon the glory of your face,
glorify you without ceasing.
With them we, too, confess your name in exultation,
giving voice to every creature under heaven,
as we acclaim:
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.
The Priest, with hands extended, says:
We give you praise, Father most holy,
for you are great
and you have fashioned all your works
in wisdom and in love.
You formed man in your own image
and entrusted the whole world to his care,
so that in serving you alone, the Creator,
he might have dominion over all creatures.
And when through disobedience he had lost your friendship,
you did not abandon him to the domain of death.
For you came in mercy to the aid of all,
so that those who seek might find you.
Time and again you offered them covenants
and through the prophets
taught them to look forward to salvation.
And you so loved the world, Father most holy,
that in the fullness of time
you sent your Only Begotten Son to be our Savior.
Made incarnate by the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary,
he shared our human nature
in all things but sin.
To the poor he proclaimed the good news of salvation,
to prisoners, freedom,
and to the sorrowful of heart, joy.
To accomplish your plan,
he gave himself up to death,
and, rising from the dead,
he destroyed death and restored life.
And that we might live no longer for ourselves
but for him who died and rose again for us,
he sent the Holy Spirit from you, Father,
as the first fruits for those who believe,
so that, bringing to perfection his work in the world,
he might sanctify creation to the full.
Last evening, we finished our last “Faith on the Road” (FOTR) trip for the year at Sacred Heart in Philip, closing out our fourth season of bringing lively faith to parishes across the diocese, through the sharing of a meal, whole community/age-appropriate catechesis, praise and worship music, witness talks and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. It has been another great year for our team and a blessing to meet with and pray with different parish communities throughout our diocese.
A comment that I hear often as we are crisscrossing the diocese visiting different parishes is simply, “Thank you for coming.” I have a sense that pastors and parishioners are grateful that the diocese is coming to them rather than them always having to go to the diocese, i.e. Rapid City. Another benefit of Faith on the Road is that there is no cost to the parish. All it takes is an invitation from the pastor, the DRE, or the youth minister’s to come to their parish.
Early in the fall, the FOTR team picks several themes to present. In the past, our themes have been on stewardship, lively faith, prayer, Diocesan Pastoral Plan and vocations. This year the topic that parishes seemed to ask for most often was on the theme of “desire.”
In my presentation on desire, I began with a quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
THE DESIRE FOR GOD
The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for:
The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. 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.Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 27
Craig Dyke, the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, developed this fillable chart as a way for our middle school and high school youth to discuss this topic of desire. I found the chart to be a very helpful tool as well; not only to look at the desires of our own hearts, but to a look at what God desires for us and then to bring all of these desires to Jesus in prayer. The chart is below Perhaps you can use it as a family, in your parish youth group, or parish council/stewardship committee or the vocation committee. From my experience, praying through this chart of desires has brought forth very fruitful conversation.
See you next fall for Faith on the Road!
The Desires of Your Heart
| ||What do you desire?||What do you fear?||What Does God Desire for You?|
|To Hear?|| || || |
|To Taste?|| || || |
|To See?|| || || |
|To Have?|| || || |
|To Do Right Now?|| || || |
|To Do this |
| || || |
|To Do as an Adult?|| || || |
|For Your |
| || || |
|For Your |
| || || |
|For Eternity?|| || || |
“May He grant you your heart’s desire, and fulfil all your plans!” (Psalm 20:4)
“Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).
“Seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.
Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself” (Mt. 6:33-34).
“Everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Mt. 7:8).