The Mokena Marian recently asked Father Dindo Billote, pastor of Saint Mary Mokena, about his top three favorite prayers. He believes that the following best prayers are a fantastic way for Catholics to build their faith and grow closer to Christ.
Praying the Rosary is essentially taking a journey with Jesus and the Blessed Mother through Scripture and Catholic tradition. It begins with the Apostles’ Creed, an Our Father and three Hail Mary prayers. Then, each set of 10 beads represents a “mystery,” or truth of the faith.
There are four mysteries of the Holy Rosary: The Joyful Mysteries, the Luminous Mysteries, the Sorrowful Mysteries and the Glorious Mysteries. Typically, people will meditate on one of these sets of mysteries per Rosary, but you can always pray four Rosaries in a row.
The Joyful Mysteries
The Joyful Mysteries meditate upon Christ’s Incarnation and early life and are prayed on Mondays and Saturdays. They are:
- The Annunciation of Christ’s birth
- The Visitation of Elizabeth by the Blessed Mother
- The Nativity of Christ’s birth
- The presentation of Christ in the temple
- The finding of Christ preaching in the temple
The Luminous Mysteries
The Luminous Mysteries meditate upon Christ’s life and works and are prayed on Thursdays. They are:
- The Baptism in the Jordan
- The Wedding Feast at Canna
- The proclamation of the Kingdom of Heaven by Christ
- The Transfiguration of Christ
- Christ’s institution of the Eucharist
The Sorrowful Mysteries
The Sorrowful Mysteries meditate upon Christ’s Passion and death and are prayed on Tuesdays and Fridays. They are:
- Christ’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane
- The scourging of Christ at the pillar
- The crowning of thorns
- The carrying of the cross
- Christ’s crucifixion and death
The Glorious Mysteries
The Glorious Mysteries meditate upon Christ’s Resurrection and the events that followed and are prayed on Wednesdays and Sundays. They are:
- The Resurrection
- The Ascension
- Pentecost, or the coming of the Holy Spirit
- The Assumption of Mary into heaven
- Mary’s coronation in heaven
Each mystery begins with an Our Father on the large bead, followed by 10 Hail Mary prayers, one on each smaller bead. When you get to the next large bead, recite the Glory Be, Fatima Prayer, reflect on the mystery, say the Our Father, and then continue with Hail Mary prayers on the next ten beads.
While praying, meditate on each mystery. The Blessed Mother gave us this beautiful prayer to draw us closer to Christ and to help us grow in purity and chastity. Praying the Rosary daily will greatly enrich your prayer life and relationship with Jesus.
The Chaplet of Divine Mercy
Brought to us by St. Faustina Kowalska, who had multiple visions of Christ, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy is a devotion dedicated to the limitless fount of Christ’s mercy.
In one of His appearances, Christ promised St. Faustina that “Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death” (Diary of Sister Faustina). It later would become one of Pope Saint John Paul II’s favorite prayers. Read the story of Divine Mercy.
The devotion is a reminder that Christ will protect and love us until the end of time. If we pray it with sincerity, the Chaplet acknowledges our faith and trust in God, who will shower us with His grace and protect us from all evil.
The Chaplet is very simple to pray, and you can use your Rosary beads.
On the “Our Father” beads we pray:
“Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.”
On the “Hail Mary” beads we pray:
“For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”
On the medal, conclude the devotion by praying “Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, Have mercy on us and on the whole world” three times.
Lectio Divina, Latin for divine reading, is a Scripture-based prayer form in which you choose a Bible passage to read, meditate on its meaning, pray over it and contemplate in silence.
When reading your chosen passage (the daily readings for example), do so slowly, and pick out words that strike something in your heart. It’s perfectly fine to spend time meditating on even a few words or phrases in the passage, since all of it has deep meaning from God. Furthermore, those words or phrases that strike your heart might be messages from the Holy Spirit meant specifically for you.
After reading and reflecting, leave your own thoughts aside, pray and open your heart to what God is telling you. The final contemplative stage of Lectio Divina is when you are resting in the Word of God, separated from all worldly issues and concerns. Lectio Divina is not simply a Bible study, it is an encounter with the Living Word of God through Sacred Scripture.
Learn more about Lectio Divina from the Order of the Carmelites.