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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Fr Jacques Philippe teaches Campion students to pray

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“Prayer is good and fruitful when it is an act of faith, an act of hope, and an act of love.”

With this keen insight, renowned French author and priest Fr Jacques Philippe set the tone for an enriching evening that resonated deeply with attendees at Campion College and Sydney Catholic Youth’s recent Zoom event.

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With attendees gathering in the Campion College Grand Hall for a live screening of the call and additional participants joining remotely, Fr Jacques offered a timely reflection on the transformative power of prayer, echoing Pope Francis’ call for 2024 to be designated as a Year of Prayer.

Encouraging attendees to find their unique path in prayer, Fr Jacques highlighted the freedom and diversity in how we can approach God.

“There are many, many different ways to pray,” he affirmed. “Everybody has to pray according to what the Spirit is asking him.”

For those facing inevitable challenges and dry spells in prayer, Fr Jacques offered a message of resilience and hope.

“As soon as I am in a state of faith, even if I do not feel anything, I am in contact with God’s love and God’s mystery,” he reassured.

“I cannot always have a fantastic spiritual life, but I can always believe in God’s love and God’s mercy and welcome it through faith and confidence and hope.”

The evening culminated with a dynamic Q&A session. A special media booth was set-up inside the college library for students and guests attending in person to ask their questions to Fr Jacques directly. Attendees watching from home also posed their questions through Zoom.

David Baker, a first-year student at Campion College, asked for further guidance on how to distinguish between sensitivity to God’s presence during prayer and feelings that may arise as a result of our corporeal prayer routines.

Fr Jacques highlighted that it can be easy to feel good when we pray, because it is a time of quietness, but this feeling will not encourage deep happiness.

Instead, we would do well to remember that through prayer, God is not an abstract reality but a reality capable of touching our human sensibility.

This truth holds regardless of the manner or method of our prayer, and so true happiness can be found through “the joy to believe in God’s love, the joy to hope in Him, to trust in him, and also the joy to love him and to welcome his love.”

Watch the full talk at the Campion College website: www.campion.edu.au/fr-jacques

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