Prayer: Lifting our hearts and minds to God


It is “only when we humbly acknowledge that we do not know how to pray as we ought,”[1] that we are “ready to receive freely the gift of prayer”.[2]This describes my approach to prayer during the Collaborative Dominican Novitiate (CDN). Prayer is an integral aspect of our Dominican life. It frames our day and marks the ordinary as well as the extra-ordinary occasions in our communal and private lives. During the past six (6) months of the novitiate, we have been introduced to new and familiar forms of prayer (such as St. Dominic’s nine (9) ways of prayer; Visio Divina and contemplative prayer). We have also been given opportunities to lead prayer within our community as well as at other formation events (such as, the inter-community novitiate programme).

Our prayer is truly enlivening. I especially enjoy praying the psalms through Dominican Praise; Lectio Divina; Visio Divina; Taizé prayer; St. Dominic’s nine (9) ways of prayer; praying through our senses; praying through movement; and praying utilizing art (for example, mandalas). Through prayer, I channel my hopes, cries, intentions, joys, petitions and even my doubts toward our loving God. Prayer is a sacred space in which I commune with God and others.



                                    Left: Taizé prayer                                      Right: Altar of Remembrance for All Souls Day  

I truly appreciate the consistent efforts that are made to ensure that prayer is inclusive. For example, it incorporates different languages, cultures and genders. Prayer thus tends to be representative of the diversity of those who gather.  Inclusive prayer often draws me deeper into prayer and strengthens my bond with my prayer community. It is also a testimony of God’s love for all of creation.

Recently, we celebrated Tết (Lunar New Year) and invited some of the novices of the Hyde Park community to join us for prayer, dinner and recreation. It was a truly beautiful celebration. Women of many languages, ethnicities, ages and religious congregations joined in one heart and mind to offer praise and thanks to God. We prayed; chanted; shared on the readings; interceded for all of creation; and asked the intercession of the Holy Trinity, the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Dominic. This unity in prayer is lived out in other aspects of our lives and is a testimony to the world that we are indeed one in Christ. In this way, like Dominic, we preach our prayer.

It is indeed a gift to commune with God and others. This gift of prayer carries great responsibility. God empowers us to live that which we proclaim and believe in faith. I desire to go deeper in prayer; to daily live out the prayer that the Holy Spirit places upon my heart and mind; and to inspire others to do the same by God’s grace. 

Lunar New Year Prayer and Celebration with Hyde Park Novices

[1] Romans 8:26

[2] Catechism of the Catholic Church 2559