Welcome to the Online Lenten Book Club!
During these six weeks of Lent, we are reading and reflecting on the classic on prayer, Pray To Your Father in Secret by Jean Lafrance. For more information about the book club, visit this blog post.
Week 4, Chapter 3 - The Working Out of Salvation
We read Scripture to integrate Christ’s life into our own lives, not just to hear his story. Everything we do—reading, praying, working—is to become one with Christ. We don’t look to God outside of ourselves, but rather within. Becoming one with Christ gives eternal value to our lives.
The Eucharist has meaning because it plays out Christ’s death and resurrection, and at its core—as at the core of all prayer—is the love of God for everyone. It is not enough to go through the gestures of the Eucharist; you have to commit yourself to Christ by giving up your life. You will struggle between acceptance and refusal, as Christ did, but you will come to the contemplation of the transfigured face of Christ in the “departure from Jerusalem” and feel the joy of the resurrection. At the heart of your faith and your prayer is the experience of the risen Christ, in which he shares with you his life and his joy.
You will become a truly spiritual person—that is, a person of prayer—when you live completely in the present moment. To pray is to sink deeper and deeper into that abyss where the Trinity lives. The Spirit lays hold of you to give you to the Son, and the Son gives you to the Father.
For Reflection & Discussion
- Fr. Lafrance emphasizes God’s love for all people. How many barriers do you put up between yourself and others? How can you live out that love for all, even when you disagree with them?
- “The more we seek Christ’s love, the more our hearts are broken.” Why do you have to go through a time of desolation before you can enter into a full relationship with God?
- The passion and death of Jesus are present every time you receive Communion. How is Christ’s sacrifice different from the sacrifices made by the Israelites to God?
- Jesus understands unappreciated love. What can you learn from his experience in the garden at Gethsemane to deepen your own prayer life?
- Kafka said, “There is something broken in the world.” What is it? What can you do about it?
We invite you to share your insights and answers to these questions
in the comments area below.
Lenten reading plan:
Week 1 Introduction and Preface
Week 2 The God of Dialogue
Week 3 The Way of Salvation
Week 4 The Working Out of Salvation
Week 5 The Dialogue with God
Week 6 Conclusion
Study Guide written by Jeannette de Beauvoir. © 2017 Daughters of St. Paul. All rights reserved.
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