Temperatures were in the single digits, wind chill below zero, but crowds gathered for the Plymouth, MI, Ice Festival. So the SPSE team was there, too. Evangelists met many people who were happy to receive a Rosary and prayers. One woman was glad to see us Catholics out on the street, being visible about the Faith. She wanted to talk about the Rosary and how she felt God calling her to deeper prayer.

Simply put, prayer is COMMUNICATION with GOD. Can you have a relationship when there is no communication? Prayer takes many forms. We need ALL of them, different ones for different times. Prayer can be PUBLIC (joining our voice with others) or PRIVATE (alone, in secret). It can use words that are FORMAL (written by someone else) or INFORMAL (made up on the spot). It can be VOCAL (out loud) or SILENT. It can be ACTIVE (talking to God) or RECEPTIVE (listening, open to God’s will). At different times we should be praying in all these different ways.

But more important than HOW you pray is THAT you pray. Remember, prayer is WORK. It’s also a BATTLE. “Against whom? Against ourselves and against the wiles of the tempter who does all he can to turn man away from prayer, away from union with God” (CCC 2725). Did you catch that? The REWARD that makes it all worth it is UNION WITH GOD Himself. As Jesus prayed to the Father, “And this is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent” (Jn 17:3).

The daily Rosary is an amazing tool for deepening prayer life, for both beginner and more advanced. You can pray it privately or with others, silently or aloud. Its prayers — simple, Scripturally sound, easy to learn — build “muscle memory” through repetition so that, in sudden moments of need, we already know WHAT to pray and the prayers are on our lips. We use our intellect to meditate on the different Mysteries, each with its many layers of meaning. Our heart lifts itself up to God, helping us become receptive to His loving will. It takes about 20 minutes a day — and can take your Christian walk to the next level of intimacy with God.

Plymouth team, your dedication is inspiring! We need more evangelists. Won’t you join us?