With All Your Heart
With All Your Heart is a holistic parish development model that invites all members of the parish to pray, serve, share, and witness as loving disciples of Jesus Christ.
How do we build a culture of love that is stronger than the culture of the world that is grabbing the hearts of so many of our people – both young and old? By responding to the Gospel mandate – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Mt. 22:37)
What does ‘love’ in the Gospel mean? It is not what we commonly mean in our language – friendship, intimacy, or great affection.
The word for love in the Greek translation is agape – which can be expressed in English as give yourself to.
The With All Your Heart model utilizes four seasons to help parishioners give themselves to Jesus and to others, thus creating a culture of love:
Most of us have lives that are too full already. Like a bag overstuffed at the grocery store, we are ready to break. Maybe we don’t need to do more, but to do what we already do with greater love – inspired by a life through Him, with Him, and in Jesus.
Heart to Pray
What is Prayer?
Descriptions of prayer are abundant throughout Christian history. “True prayer,” wrote St. Augustine, “is nothing but love.” Prayer should arise from the heart. “Prayer,” said St. John Vianney, “is the inner bath of love into which the soul plunges itself.” “Every one of us needs a half an hour of prayer each day,” remarked St. Francis de Sales, “except when we are busy—then we need an hour.” Definitions of prayer are important, but insufficient. There is a huge difference between knowing about prayer and praying. On this issue, the rule of St. Benedict is clear: “If a man wants to pray, let him go and pray.”
St. John Damascene gave a classic definition of prayer: “Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly defines prayer as a “vital and personal relationship with the living and true God” (CCC, no 2558). Prayer is Christian “insofar as it is communion with Christ” (CCC, no. 2565), and a “covenant relationship between God and man in Christ” (CCC, no. 2564). (taken from United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, p.463). To be able to love God with all your heart, one has to have a heart to pray.
Expressions of Prayer
The disciples were drawn to Jesus; own prayer. He taught them a vocal prayer, the Our Father. Jesus prayed aloud in the synagogues and the Temple and “raised his voice to express” personal prayers such as his surrender to the Father’s will in Gethsemane.
Since we are body as well as spirit, we need to express ourselves orally. Spoken and sung prayers arise from our souls; they can be complemented by bodily gestures such as the Sign of the Cross, genuflection, kneeling, and bowing. When we become inwardly aware of God, to whom we speak, our vocal prayer can become an initial step toward contemplative prayer.
“Meditation is above all a quest. The mind seeks to understand the why and how of the Christian life, in order to adhere and respond to what the Lord is asking” (CCC, no. 2705). In meditative prayer we use our minds to ponder the will of God in his plan for our lives. What does God ask of us? The Church provides many aids for meditation: “the Sacred Scriptures, particularly the Gospels, holy icons, liturgical texts of the day or season writings of the spiritual fathers. . . .” (CCC, no. 2705)
“Contemplative prayer. . .is a gaze of faith fixed on Jesus, an attentiveness to the Word of god, a silent love” (CCC, no. 2724). Like all prayer, this form requires a regular time each day. When one gives God time for prayer, He will give time for one’s other responsibilities. (taken from United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, p.463).
To be able to love God with all your heart, one has to have a heart to pray.
Click on icon above to be directed to a printable version of With All Your Heart Prayer Card