Vision for Boston
- A Layperson's House of Prayer
At the Boston Catholic Men’s Conference in March 2006,
one of the keynote speakers described the city of
Boston as “Ground Zero”. His description came about
because he sees in this city a place where the immorality
of some of its shepherds, our priests, as well as a lack of
Christian/Catholic strength from lay women and men
has resulted in the near destruction of this, our Church,
the Bride of Christ.
In reference to this Church, Jesus said “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt 16:18). Down
through the centuries we can trace the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit – enlivening and enlightening,
strengthening and encouraging a Church which at times seems almost engulfed by evil. Ignatius of Loyola
espoused a mysticism which premised the similarity between God and His creatures. His teachings renewed a
faltering Church and she turned again to prayer and reflection on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. A
“service mysticism” emerged. Teresa of Avila instructed that God is the center of our existence and as we
approach Him in prayer, we meet Him: and self is born on the journey. The power of the Spirit within Teresa was
such that it brought about reform in the Carmelite order.
The twentieth century theologian Karl Rahner taught that mystical experience is to be found in the lives of all
people because God addresses all of His creatures, however implicitly. And Rahner profoundly affected the
findings of the Second Vatican Council.
We are mystical people whose destiny it is to be in the presence of God. Today, especially in the beautiful city of
Boston, there is a desperate need for profound contemplative prayer. Although several contemplative religious
orders currently provide that petition to Our Father, there are no visible establishments where lay people are seen
to dedicate their time and their lives to specific prayer for the people of Boston and the world.
Pope Benedict XVI has stated “the centre of Christ’s life was His permanent contact with His Father – contact
which results in the intimacy of prayer. Here and in no other place occurs that profound change in a person
which we need for the world to become better.” A nuclear power plant of prayer, run by and serviced by lay
people, would provide the opportunity to take to heart the models of mysticism through which the great workers
of Christ have enlightened us throughout the past centuries. A lay person’s House of Prayer would offer to our
needy world the “service mysticism” of Ignatius. It would provide a constant, hour by hour impassioned plea to
God that He, in His Mercy, would make more explicit Rahner’s notion of God’s implicit beckoning. Through the
Holy Spirit, it would raise profound contemplative prayer to God which would ignite the flame of desire for God
thus propelling many to embark on Teresa of Avila’s path toward self-discovery through our Creator. And Boston
and beyond will become a city on a hill for Christ (Matt 5:14).
If you share this vision of a lay person's prayer house for Christ and wonder
what you can do to help achieve it, please Contact Us
Vision for Boston