Two’s Company, Three’s...a Prayer: Dec. 12, Third Monday of Advent

During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah,  where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. ~ Lk 1:39-40

In the morning, we snatch five minutes to pray for the day that will be. At noon, we whisper a hurried prayer of thanks or petition for the day that is. Nearing bedtime, we drowsily and prayerfully reflect on the day that has been. Both these passing moments of prayer and our more spacious times of reflection are usually solitary activities, carried out alone, in a quiet place.

Advertisement

But we need not see prayer as activity for a solo operator only. The radiant expressions of praise that billow forth from the meeting of Mary and her older cousin Elizabeth—known in Scripture as the Visitation—suggest that there is joy in praying with others. Perhaps we might identify a friend, classmate, fellow parishioner—even an older cousin, like Elizabeth!—with whom we can meet regularly for half an hour of shared prayer.

RELATED: To subscribe to these Advent reflections,sign up here and check "Digital Content Updates."

Perhaps we can assemble a group of like-minded people—young mothers, mid-career executives, medical school students—to accompany one another in prayer. Perhaps we can simply revel in the magnificent sound of our fellow worshippers’ voices rising in unison from the pews into heaven: “Lord, hear our prayer.” Praying with others will expand our souls and enliven our hearts. It will fill us, as it filled Elizabeth, with the Holy Spirit, and it will multiply our joyful sense of the presence of God, who has promised to be wherever two or three are gathered in his name. 

RELATED: Read all of our Advent reflections for 2016

Most holy Trinity, create in us hearts willing to share the experience of prayer, and sanctify the moments we spend with others as we pray in your name. Amen.

For today’s readings, click here.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

The appointments are part of an ongoing effort to give a greater role to women in the work of the Roman Curia offices, the central administration of the Catholic church.
Gerard O’ConnellApril 21, 2018
Ivette Escobar, a student at Central American University in San Salvador, helps finish a rug in honor of the victims in the 1989 murder of six Jesuits, their housekeeper and her daughter on the UCA campus, part of the 25th anniversary commemoration of the Jesuit martyrs in 2014. (CNS photo/Edgardo Ayala) 
A human rights attorney in the United States believes that the upcoming canonization of Blessed Oscar Romero in October has been a factor in a decision to revisit the 1989 Jesuit massacre at the University of Central America.
Kevin ClarkeApril 20, 2018
Journalists photograph the lethal injection facility at San Quentin State Prison in California in 2010. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)
In California, Catholic opponents of the death penalty are trying to protect the largest population of inmates awaiting execution in the Western Hemisphere.
Jim McDermottApril 20, 2018
Photo: the Hank Center at Loyola University Chicago
Bishop McElroy said that Catholics must embrace “the virtues of solidarity, compassion, integrity, hope and peace-building.”