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While they were at table…. prayers and reflections

03 August, 2012

This is a book is especially useful for visits to the Blessed Sacrament and Holy Hours of eucharistic devotion.

109 pp. Veritas Publications. To purchase this book online, go to www.veritas.ie

THE BOOK:
at tableThis is a book of very moving and deeply felt prayers and reflections arising form a heart steeped in love and adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. It is especially useful for visits to the Blessed Sacrament and Holy Hours of eucharistic devotion.

Anna Burke is a Sister of Mercy who works in Pastoral Renewal in the diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois. She has worked in education and faith development in Florida, Zambia, South Africa and Ireland. Her particular interest is in praying with Scripture. Her previous publications include Sacred the Hour: The Rosary Story in Mystery (2007), Where Blessings Flow: Words of Glory and Thanks (2008), When Silence Falls: The Stations of the Cross (2008) and In the Secret of My Heart: Moments of Stillness in the Heart of Christ (2010), all published by Veritas.

 

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION
PART ONE: PRAYERS AT TABLE
WE GATHER
WE LISTEN
WE GIVE THANKS
WE OFFER GIFTS
WE SPEAK PEACE
WE BLESS
WE GO FORTH
WE ADORE
PART TWO: STORIES AT TABLE
THE AWAKENING
THE LIVING MEMORY
THE REAL HUNGER
THE RESTING PLACE
THE HOLY HOUR
THE FOOD OF LIFE
THE COSMOS ON FIRE
THE DRINK OF WATER
THE SHARED GIFT
WHAT IS TRUTH?
THE ACCEPTANCE
THE ALTAR OF THE WORLD
A WOMAN OF THE EUCHARIST

INTRODUCTION
It is always the right time to stop in amazement before the love that stayed beyond rejection and death. Jesus, who had found his birthplace on the earth, bound himself to us in a relationship that was invincible. Leaving us was unthinkable at this level of love. He would remain forever on the table of the world.

In his encyclical of 22 February 2007, Sacramentum Caritatis, Pope Benedict XVI calls us to find relief for our hunger in ‘the food of truth’. The Pope, in continuity with his first encyclical Deus Caritas Est and revisiting the thoughts of his predecessor John Paul II’s Ecclesia de Eucharistia, invites us into the sacrificial meal, from where we draw our very life. Pope Benedict asks all people to draw near to God’s love because it holds the deepest desire of the human heart.

In this book, the author ponders some of the images and metaphors from Sacramentum Caritatis in particular, and offers her reflections and prayers as a resource for personal and communal meditation and contemplation.

Part One: Prayers At Table leads us on a journey through the Mass. The prayers focus on the various liturgical moments of the sacred rite and help to heighten our awareness of the communion of all creation in the Sacred Mystery. These `Prayers At Table’ offer a valuable resource for catechesis on the Mass, prayers of intercession, times of – prayer with Eucharistic theme, and private prayer.

Part Two: Stories At Table helps us to explore some key texts from Scripture which direct us to the table of communion. These reflections, inspired by Pope Benedict XVI, together with ‘Homily Thoughts’, provide significant material for assistance in a variety of situations, including praying with Scripture, Eucharistic prayer, times of reflection in Mass, prayer groups and Eucharistic adoration.

When faith stumbles we find our reason at the table where he handed over his life.

When hope wavers we find our anchor at the table where he is always present.

When love fails we find our restoration at the table where he offers us the Bread of Life.


 

WE GATHER

God is here, keeping pace with us, welcoming us. We gather in friendship.
Every knee shall bow,, every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

God is here, in every heartbeat, in every anxiety, in every breath. We gather in faith.
Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

God is here, in every man, woman and child, in every personality, in every struggle. We gather in reverence.
Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

God is here, in every misunderstanding, in every stress, in every regret, in every broken effort. We gather in reconciliation.
Every knee shall bow,, every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

God is here, in the Eucharist, in the Bread of Life, in the flesh of Jesus. God is truly here. We gather in thanksgiving.
Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

God is here, in every prayer, in every sigh, in every song, in every silence. We gather in worship.
Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

WE LISTEN

O God, I am listening. I desire a sacred dialogue with you that I may hear the call of deep relationship.
Let me hear your voice, O God.

O God, I am listening. I hear the story that connects human history, from Egypt to Jerusalem to the ends of the earth. May I be a bond of connection in this story.
Let me hear your voice, O God.

O God, I am listening. I acclaim the saving action of God through the Word, Jesus Christ. May I be a herald of this news across the fields of my journey.
Let me hear your voice, O God.

O God, I am listening. I feel my heart burning within me at the sound of your voice. May I come to recognise the distinguishable quality of your voice wherever and whenever it speaks to me.
Let me hear your voice, O God.

O God, I am listening. I am deeply affected by the words of mercy that come from rom your mouth. May my listening give me the ability to distinguish voices and to know the caller.
Let me hear your voice, O God.

O God, I am listening. I am open to the influence of the Word who has power to provide bread for the whole world. May I be transformed by this Word and become a giver of bread.
Let me hear your voice, O God.

O God, I am listening. I receive on my table the Bread of your Word. With Mary, I understand how this Word is the hope of our time, the river in the desert and I ask Mary to help me also to be a Christ-bearer.
Let me hear your voice, O God.

WE GIVE THANKS

At the dawning of each day we give you thanks O God, for the victory of light, for new beginnings.
I thank you forever, my Lord and my God.

At the morning hour we give you thanks, O God, for parents and grandparents, teachers and guardians who directed our first steps and our first words to your love and protection.
I thank you forever, my Lord and my God.

At the evening of our lives in the setting of the sun we give you thanks O God, for the miles we walked together.
I thank you forever, my Lord and my God.

At the moment of opportunity in the vision of the dream we give you thanks O God, for the colours, shapes, sounds and smells that awaken our senses to life.
I thank you forever, my Lord and my God.

At the ninth hour when fear and sickness bring down the night, we give you thanks O God, for carrying us through the darkness.
I thank you forever, my Lord and my God.

At the season of joy and celebration we give you thanks O God, for health and happiness and laughter and song.
I thank you forever, my Lord and my God.

At the times of achievement and victory we give you thanks O God, for good health, creative skill and perseverance.
I thank you forever, my Lord and my God.

At the hour of death and departure we give you thanks O God, for the journey accomplished, for the promise of going on.
I thank you forever, my Lord and my God.

At every step of life’s journey we give you thanks, O God, for family, friends, neighbours and workmates, who light our way with friendship and hope.
I thank you forever, my Lord and my God.

WE OFFER GIFTS
We offer the gift of our food, given to us for eating and for sharing. May it be a sign of our unity with all people who hunger for the Bread of Life.
Receive our gifts O God, for the glory of your name.

We offer the gift of our speech, given to us to tell of the wonders of God. May it become part of the great voice of the assembly, gathered at the table to worship and to serve.
Receive our gifts O God, for the glory of your name.

We offer the gift of our material goods, given to us for responsible stewardship, to serve the cause of human dignity and peace on earth. May these gifts of shared resources, be a sign of our communion in the Body of Christ, who gathers all people at the Table of the World.
Receive our gifts O God, for the glory of your name.

We offer the gift of our faith, given to us from the heart of God, that we might build our lives in Christ and come to know the height and depth of God’s love. May our faith be a signpost on the road.
Receive our gifts O God, for the glory of your name.

We offer the gift of our hope, given to us that we might survive the darkest hour and keep the lamp burning. May our hope keep us trusting in the wisdom of God for answers, and in the dream of God for fulfilment.
Receive our gifts O God, for the glory of your name.

We offer the gift of our love, given to us that we might be fully alive with the passion of Christ, for giving and forgiving, for breaking the bread and sharing the cup. May our love be part of the great and ultimate love of God, born in time, offered on the altar, available in the meal.
Receive our gifts O God, for the glory of your name.

WE SPEAK PEACE

Peace to all people of good will, who pour dew drops on frozen soil and cause the sun to come out.
Blessed are the peacemakers; they shall see God.

Peace to all people of good will, who go to meet the enemy and open the bridge of hope.
Blessed are the peacemakers; they shall see God.

Peace to all people of good will, who close the chapter on suspicion and separation and extend the hand of friendship.
Blessed are the peacemakers; they shall see God.

Peace to all people of good will, who acknowledge their own blindness and break ranks to stop the cycle of violence.
Blessed are the peacemakers; they shall see God.

Peace to all people of good will, who offer their lives in the service of others, as peaceshapers and peacemakers, as peaceseekers and peacekeepers.
Blessed are the peacemakers; they shall see God.

Peace to all people of good will, who think with understanding and send out a blessing.
Blessed are the peacemakers; they shall see God.

Peace to all people of good will, who share their material and spiritual resources on the altar of the world.
Blessed are the peacemakers; they shall see God.

Peace to all people of good will, who replace the harsh word with the kind word, who respond to criticism with understanding, whose spirits are enlarged by love.
Blessed are the peacemakers; they shall see God.

Peace to all people of good will, who make contact, and dig tunnels and keep the candle lighting and offer the cup of tea. Peace to them for where they reside, God lives.
Blessed are the peacemakers; they shall see God

WE BLESS

PRIEST: I bless you with the love of Christ. May his love carry you safely all your days.
ALL: Christ be within me, Christ be below me, Christ be above me, never to part.

PRIEST: I bless you with the peace of Christ. May his peace relieve the pain and anxiety that is in your hearts.
ALL: Christ be within me, Christ be below me, Christ be above me, never to part.
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PRIEST: I bless you with the presence of Christ. May his presence be beside you, within you, before you, always.
ALL: Christ be within me, Christ be below me, Christ be above me, never to part.

PRIEST: I bless you with the healing of Christ. May his healing fill you and restore you.
ALL: Christ be within me, Christ be below me, Christ be above me, never to part.

PRIEST: I bless you with the forgiveness of Christ. May his forgiveness magnify your vision and inspire your decisions.
ALL: Christ be within me, Christ be below me, Christ be above me, never to part.
PRIEST: I bless you with the faithfulness of Christ. May his faithfulness deepen your friendships and strengthen your relationships.
ALL: Christ be within me, Christ be below me, Christ be above me, never to part.

PRIEST: I bless you with the Body of Christ. May the Eucharist be the source and summit of your journey back to God.
ALL: Christ be within me, Christ be below me, Christ be above me, never to part.

WE GO FORTH

Christ of the journey lead us out of this place for we are nourished for the road ahead, confident and unafraid.
May we go forth with Christ.

Christ of the server, guide us as we seek out the forgotten people, for we are nourished for the mission field, our eyes opened with compassion.
May we go forth with Christ.

Christ of the traveller, stay with us as we leave Jerusalem, fitted with the memory, carrying the towel and basin, our feet ready for the extra mile.
May we go forth with Christ.

Christ of the healer, walk with us into the places of sorrow, for we are nourished for the night watch, our hands anointed with reconciliation.
May we go forth with Christ.

Christ of the speaker, give us the words of eternal life, for we are nourished for the proclamation, our voices alive with the Good News that Jesus Christ has saved us.
May we go forth with Christ.

Christ of the captive, direct our search for prison doors, for we are nourished with the freedom call, our hearts telling of the amnesty, that we may open the snares and let the people go free.
May we go forth with Christ.

WE ADORE

Blessed be God
Blessed be the holy name of God
Blessed be the sacred universe that God created
Blessed be the life systems that reflect the glory of God
Blessed be Jesus the divine son, true God and true man
Blessed be the name of Jesus
Blessed be the heart of Jesus, burning for us
Blessed be the face of God in Jesus
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, who pleads our cause
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, who guides us in holiness
Blessed be the Holy spirit, fire and energy of God
Blessed be Mary, Mother of God
Blessed be Mary, Queen of heaven and earth
Blessed be Joseph, spouse of Mary
blessed be Joseph, just and humble man
Blessed be all the angels and saints of God, on earth and in heaven
Blessed be all who speak of God’s love
Blessed be all who long to see God
Blessed the holy communion of people who praise.


LET US PRAY
Blessed be God.
Blessed be the holy name of God.
Blessed be the companionship of God on the road.
Blessed be the conversation of God in the silence.
Blessed be the wisdom of God in the confusion.
Blessed be the Word of God in the story.
Blessed be the cave of God in the struggle.
Blessed be the light of God in the darkness.
Blessed be the faithfulness of God in the ending.
Blessed be the continuity of God in the death.
Blessed be the village of God in the evening.
Blessed be the table of God in the gathering.
Blessed be the bread of God in the mealtime.
Blessed be the family of God in the communion.

 

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