Praying together

By Rev. Philip Sutherland, S.J., graduate student in the Department of Philosophy

Last month I talked about the importance of retreats. But we don’t have to leave Marquette to get quiet time with God. There are many spaces on campus that we can use for prayer and reflection. Of course, there is the St. Joan of Arc chapel in the middle of campus. But there is also Gesu parish and the Chapel of the Holy Family in the AMU. There is also a small chapel where the Eucharist is reserved next to the Chapel of the Holy Family, and it offers a quiet place for prayer.

These are spaces where we can both pray individually but also as a community. Mass is offered somewhere on campus Sunday through Friday. In fact, this semester we started a first Friday Mass at 8:30 a.m. at St. Joan of Arc Chapel. But you don’t have to be Catholic to come to Mass and pray with us. We also have affiliated ministries for non-Catholics such as the Canterbury Fellowship, InterVarsity, the Impact Movement or the Hillel Milwaukee group. These groups offer opportunities for prayer, social interaction and faith sharing. If you are looking for a Christian faith-sharing group, we offer Camino groups for students.

St. Ignatius required all Jesuits to do an examen twice per day. This prayer is a method to find God’s presence during the day and reflect upon where we were moved closer to God and farther away from God. These prayers form the basis of discernment because they habituate us to more easily discover how God moves in our lives at all moments of the day. It is so easy to get busy and forget to take time to pray, even for a few minutes. I encourage you to take a few minutes for quiet prayer and reflection wherever you are, perhaps even in one of our spaces on campus.