Spiritual Fitness with Fr. Will

Week 1: Praying with the BCP

In this session, we will look at the Book of Common Prayer with an emphasis on daily prayer. The Book of Common Prayer is at the heart of our life as Episcopalians but can often intimidate us when we try to open it up. We will start to navigate the various parts of the BCP to understand some of the services that make up our liturgical life together. We will end our time together by learning to use the BCP to say the daily prayer of the church.

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Week 2: Praying with the Rosary

This week we will explore using the rosary as a way to pray. We will look a little at the history of the rosary as a popular form of Christian prayer and devotion. Most of our time will be spent learning to use the rosary as an aid and guide to prayer. We will go over the different prayers, mysteries, and meditations within the rosary itself as well as explore why it can be such a powerful devotion. The rosary purposefully guides us through the story of our salvation in Christ while giving us words, images, and resolutions to guide us in our response to that story. We will end our time together by using the rosary to meditate and dwell upon the life of Christ.

Week 3: Ignatian Scriptural Meditation

We begin the first of two weeks focussing on reading the Bible. We will learn about and practice a way of reading the Bible that comes down to us from St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus. Ignatian mediation allows us to enter imaginatively into the stories of the Bible to find ourselves in its world and to hear from what we find there. Our time will begin with an introduction to the practice before a time of guided meditation on a certain Biblical text. When we are done you will be able to practice this style of meditation on your own.

Week 4: Devotional Reading of Scripture

Our final Spiritual Fitness session, for the time being, follows on from last week’s Ignatian meditation. We will be learning the Sulpician method for meditating on Scripture. It is a simple and straightforward way of devotional meditation that can be adapted to a number of different circumstances. The method goes back to Father Jean-Jacques Olier who taught it to his parishioners in the church of Saint Sulpice in Paris as well as the priests who studied at the attached seminary. It focuses us on a three step engagement with Christ in adoration, communion, and cooperation. We will use it to engage with Scripture but it can be used on its own or as a way to cultivate specific Christian virtues.