BY ROBYN BAILEY Regional Youth Ministry Coordinator
The first 5-10 minutes of the prestigious Oscars Awards Ceremony is usually composed of 1 or 2 people, the hosts, standing in front of hundreds of well-known celebrities to perform a monologue. In short, these people talk at the crowd to deliver cheesy one-liners and give awards for merit in the film industry. Their only response is frequent laughter and smiles from the crowd; if their jokes hit the mark. If the hosts were in a different room and performed their monologue live with no audience, I wonder how they would know if their jokes made the cut.
People may consider prayer to be similar to this monologue. It is common for people to think that prayer is simply telling God how you feel, what’s going on around you, and what you want or need. While this is true, prayer is so much more expansive than any monologue. God will always listen to us and encourage us to grow in love. However, we need to give time and space for God to communicate. This dialogue between you and God is one of the crucial conversations you’ll engage in.
I’ve heard people say, “I need to pray every day.” Is this even necessary?
In short, frequent prayer can be beneficial. Your thoughts and feelings can change in a heartbeat depending on what day it is, what time it is, or even what type of chocolate we’ve had. These can all have various effects on us. God wants to hear the good times, the bad times, even the boring times, and He doesn’t mind when.
If your parent or a loved one came home and wanted to tell you something but because you were preoccupied with other things couldn’t find the time, it would take a lot longer for them to be able to share their news with you. Likewise, if we don’t give the opportunity for God to share and speak to us, how will we hear the Good News?
Practically, How Do I Talk and Listen to God?
I found that interacting with God can be done in many different ways. There is no wrong way to pray. It means that we can talk to God through any mediums that connect us closer to Him. We are going to break down a few forms of prayer that you can try.
Journalling is safe and private to connect with God, it’s a recording of our journey cultivating a relationship with the Lord, His teachings, blessings and our prayer requests. There have been many times where I have written something and only then do I understand my own thoughts and ideas. If you date each entry, you can go back in a year to reflect on what was happening around you and what God was saying to you.
As Catholics, we believe that the Bible and its contents are the words of God. So essentially, the Bible is God speaking to you through poems, stories, and letters. Some people can find it a little overwhelming when they see the size of the book. Luckily, we don’t have to read the book cover to cover to understand what God is saying. It may be good to start with reading a few lines or paragraphs instead of pages. Some suggestions for you to look up and start reading is Psalm 94- 100, The Gospel of John, and the Letter of James. These are shorter books and can be easier to understand.
Music is a way of life. We surround ourselves with the latest beats while reminiscing on the good old favs we have stored on our playlists. There is a rich history of different forms of music that Christians have used in order to pray. Some include praise & worship, gregorian chants, and Taize. Luckily for us, Christian music is always at the tips of our fingers on YouTube, Spotify, or your favourite streaming service. Simply search for a genre or a song and away you go.
Prayer is different for everyone. My experience in how to pray will be different from yours. If you are stuck for ideas ask a friend, teacher, youth ministry leader, or Priest for some suggestions on how to liven up your prayer this week.
Account means the account held at your financial institution from which we are authorised to arrange for funds to be debited.
Agreement means this Direct Debit Request Service Agreement between you and us, including the direct debit request.
Business day means a day other than a Saturday or a Sunday or a listed public holiday.
Debit day means the day that payment is due.
Debit payment means a particular transaction where a debit is made, according to your direct debit request.
Direct debit request means the Direct Debit Request between us and you.
Us and we and our means the Catholic Development Fund.
You means the customer(s) who signed the direct debit request. Your financial institution is the financial institution where you hold the account that you have authorised us to arrange to debit.
Debiting your account
By submitting a direct debit request, you have authorised us to arrange for funds to be debited from your account according to the agreement we have with you.
We will only arrange for funds to be debited from your account:
As authorised in the direct debit request; if the debit day falls on a day that is not a business day, we may direct your financial institution to debit your account on the following or previous business day. If you are unsure about which day your account has or will be debited, please check with your financial
Changes by you
If you wish to stop or defer a debit payment you must write to us at least 5 business days before the next debit day.
This notice should be given to us in the first instance.
It is your responsibility to ensure that there are sufficient clear funds available in your account to allow a debit payment to be made.
If there are insufficient clear funds available in your account to meet a debit payment:
you or your account may be charged a fee and/or interest by your financial institution;
you or your account may be charged a fee to reimburse us for charges we have incurred for the failed transaction;
you must arrange for the payment to be made by another method
Please check your account statement to verify that the amounts debited from your account are correct.
If you believe that there has been an error in debiting your account you should call us on 1800 047 703 and confirm the details in writing with us as soon as possible so that we can resolve your query quickly.
You should check:
with your financial institution whether direct debiting is available from your accounts offered by financial
your account details which you have provided to us are correct by checking them against a recent account statement; and
with your financial institution before completing the direct debit request if you have any queries about how to complete the direct debit
Warning: if the account number you have quoted is incorrect, you may be charged a fee to reimburse our costs in correcting any deductions from:
an account you do not have authority to operate; or
an account you do not
We will keep any information (including your account details) in your direct debit request confidential.
We will make reasonable efforts to keep any such information that we have about you secure and to ensure that any of our employees or agents who have access to information about you, do not make any unauthorised use, modification, reproduction or disclosure of that information.
However, we may use your contact details to provide information about the fund. Should you wish this not to be the case, please advise the fund in writing.
Our diocesan logo is theologically rich and very succinct. As a hand, it depicts our mission as a diocese and as individuals within the diocese, of bearing (bringing, carrying) Christ’s love to one another and to the world around us. In this, we are the hand of Jesus Christ, and we are offering ourselves to him so that he might work through us.
We can be the bearers of his love only as a response to his call and in the strength of his grace. We are reminded of this in two ways—through the symbol of the dove (the Holy Spirit) also present in the logo, and by the incorporation of the cross that segments the logo. The presence of the cross is a reminder that bearing the love of Christ will inevitably cost us if we live it authentically. However, in the way that the Cross is the portent of redemption and life—an echo of the tree of life in the book of Genesis—so becoming bearers of the love of Christ will also bring us to life.
The four fingers of the hand also represent the four regions of our diocese. The first is bluerepresenting the beautiful water of the Shoalhaven. The second is a blue and green combination representing the waters and escarpment of the Illawarra. The third is greendepicting the hills and plains of the Macarthur. The fourth is dark green illustrating the forests of the Southern Highlands.