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Browsing Fr. Joel Hastings

Eucharistic prayer choice and C.S. Lewis

Using Eucharistic Prayer I instead of II or III:  it is about opportunity for more intentional prayer.

     You may have noticed recently at Mass that I have frequently chosen to pray Eucharistic Prayer I (also known as the “Roman Canon”).  I would like to explain my motivation for increasing my use of this prayer with the hope that you will join in this opportunity for deeper intercessory prayer and for that greater depth of meaning of the sacred mysteries that this prayer opens up to us.

     Though some find Eucharistic Prayer I difficult as it is lengthier than the other commonly used settings, its length (or for the matter the brevity of the other prayers) will hopefully not be a stumbling block for any – as there is a great depth to Eucharistic Prayer I that is not found in the other settings.  First of all, it is noteworthy that for at least 1500 years (and probably closer to 1700) until 1970, Eucharistic Prayer I was the ONLY prayer ever used in offering the Liturgy of the Eucharist.  Some minor adjustments have been made to it through the centuries by various popes, giving it even greater depth and clarity in meaning.  This depth includes the clear language on the Eucharist as a sacrifice, the naming of many early Church saints and martyrs (that connect us to our roots), and the very humble petitions on behalf of all, both living and dead.  These petitions are the key element that I want to share with you.

     When Eucharistic Prayer I is prayed, there are two moments when the priest is to make a deliberate silent pause to call to mind particular people and intentions. The first pause (near the prayer’s beginning) is to call to mind the living and their circumstances; the second (after the consecration) is to call to mind the
deceased. Both of these moments offer a direct way for the priest to remember the particular intention for a given Mass, along with many others persons and prayer
intentions. To that end, I believe I will more effectively be able to pray the Mass for the assigned intention (as this deliberate pause will help me keep it at the front of my mind), while also keeping in mind those people or needs that any have asked me to pray for in the present.  It is a beautiful way to bring to mind and heart even more
persons and needs at every Mass – more than the other Eucharistic prayers will naturally allow – and therefore, I hope you will join me in seeing the beauty and value of praying this prayer regularly – bringing your own intentions to mind in silence in these same moments.

Why did C.S. Lewis never become Catholic?

     Clive Staples Lewis lived in Great Britain in the first half of the twentieth century.  He was an author who wrote on Christian topics (including his famous fiction works “The Chronicles of Narnia” and his compilation of radio shows entitled “Mere Christianity.”)  His works (of which I have admitted only read a few) have timeless principles that speak to the truth of Christianity and its worldview.

     When it comes to his conversion, I confess that I am unaware of his reasons for not embracing Catholicism in his conversion to Christianity.  I do not want to claim that his reasons are unknown (for perhaps others who are better read on C.S. Lewis may know this answer.)  However, my own knowledge of him or of any sentiments he may have openly expressed on this matter are truly lacking.  Perhaps it is that he never answered this question himself – or if he did, I am not aware of what he may have said. (Sorry :( ).


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