First of all, Happy Solemnity of the Assumption to you, a wonderful feast for the Great Mother of God, Mary Most Holy. And on this great feast, Church Militant has begun bringing you our Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer live every workday. We begin Morning Prayer each work day live at 8 a.m. ET and wrap up each day with Evening Prayer live at 4:45 p.m., again Eastern time.
We also have available to anyone who would like to spend the few dollars for one our St. Michael's Media Chapel Prayer book, the same one the staff uses here in the chapel each day. We've deliberately kept the cost low so we can encourage you to get one and join us each day or as often as possible in our prayer.
If you are a regular here at Church Militant, then you know one of the tragedies in the Church these days that we always point to is the decided loss of Catholic identity. There are many reasons for this, but one of them is a loss or downgrading of the devotional life, the prayer life of Catholics or, more to the point, the loss of a Catholic prayer life among Catholics.
Since the earliest beginnings of this apostolate, we have always prayed at the beginning and end of each day. This is, of course, the public communal prayer of the apostolate. The individuals also pray outside of the studio day. But here at the studios, we are engaged in a daily public communal activity for the glory of God and Holy Mother Church, and that work has to be sanctified and offered to God in a daily, public, communal manner.
One of our very good mentors in our early days was the splendid and saintly Fr. Pablo Straub, a regular when Mother Angelica ran the show at EWTN. On a number of occasions, Fr. Pablo (God rest his soul) sat in that very sanctuary delivering homilies during his Masses, and was very clear with us that for all the cool technology we have here, this chapel is the most important room at this apostolate — absolutely it is.
This past election season, we started making good use of our technological ability to go live. We do that every day from our Sheen studio with Headlines and Download. And now, we are happy to "go live" from our chapel for Morning and Evening Prayer every work day.
The livestream will be available on the front page of the Church Militant website at the very top. If you come to the site during either Morning or Evening prayer, it will be coming to you live right there. You don't have to do anything — just pray with us. And please encourage others to pray with us as well. The Church is in need of much, much work, and the work of the Church must be performed by people striving for holiness, and holiness is not possible without prayer — a constant, stable prayer life.
This is why St. Paul adjures the Catholics in Thessalonians, "Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thess. 5:16–18). Prayer is the lifting of our wills and intellects to God, leaving the bounds of time and space interiorly and ascending to the celestial. If we are sufficient in our prayer, our bodies will one day join us in Heaven, as has already happened to Our Blessed Mother, which we celebrate today.
But in the here and now, it is of necessity that we pray; and to stress the importance of prayer, consider this: Prayer is the only activity there is in Heaven. Since Heaven is the goal of prayer, then Heaven is prayer fully realized. Prayer, again, is the raising of the heart, mind and soul to God. It is an activity, but is also a manner or state of being. This is what St. Paul means when he says to pray without ceasing.
The Apostle does not mean for us to never sleep and kneel down in prayer 24 hours a day, every day of our lives. He means for us to always have our beings — our souls, minds, will, intellects — focused on the Divine. Sometimes, like at chapel time, we directly involve our bodies as well, which we also do at Mass and Adoration and in processions and so forth. But our hearts and minds are not contained by time and space and can travel to Heaven, so St. Paul reminds us to be in Heaven as much as we can while we are on the way to it in eternity and will be waiting for our bodies to join us.
So given the importance of prayer, we invite you to join us as often as you can, mornings and evenings, to pray our St. Michael's Media prayers along with the Church's Liturgy of the Hours. And once more, if you'd like to order a copy of our prayer book, just click on the link. In an effort to save costs, we only printed a limited number, so it is a case of "while supplies last."
See you this afternoon at 4:45 p.m. ET or 8 a.m. ET tomorrow morning. Blessed be God.