November 19, 2021

A daily ritual leads to a greater awareness of God’s presence

By John Shaughnessy

Gary Taylor draws near to God’s presence and mercy in a ritual he follows every day.

Taylor’s ritual begins with the daily Scripture readings for Mass provided by the Church.

“If I fail to read, hear and reflect upon the word of God, my initial faith encounter with him fades away. I do not know him, and he does not know me,” Taylor says.

“I keep God’s presence front and center through my spiritual practice of keeping the lectionary readings of the Church with me and turning to them often within the day.”

As he focuses on the readings, he also prays over them and writes reflections on them—a continuous process that makes him even more aware of God’s presence in his life.

“I have many binders of these reflections and use them for spiritual reading, mental prayer and adoration,” says Taylor, a member of St. John the Baptist Parish in Osgood in the Batesville Deanery. “This habitual spiritual practice most definitely has brought me closer to God.”

Taylor shared one of his reflections, “Our Hope is in God’s Mercy.” Here are some excerpts from that reflection:

“Our hope, O Lord, is in your mercy. We trust in your mercy. Let our hearts rejoice in your salvation; be good to us, O Lord!”

“Jesus’ presence is with us in every moment. He is close at hand. His teachings are written in our hearts.”

“In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere ‘to the end’ and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God’s eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ.”

“Be humble. He who humbles himself will be exalted. Humility is the foundation of prayer. Be a beggar before God; be holy serving all God’s children. Become the mercy you hope in!” †

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