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St. Peter of Alcantara and the Golden Booklet

Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator

Saturday is the memorial of St. Peter of Alcantara, a Franciscan friar who has taught many a Franciscan how to pray. Most of us were introduced to St. Peter when we were novices and were given the "Golden Booklet," a guide to help us to learn to meditate. Franciscans meditate twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Our constitutions ask that we spend at least one half hour a day in quiet, meditative prayer.

St. Peter gives a very simple outline as a guide to meditation. This outline has stood the test of time and is as trustworthy today as it was in the 16th Century.

St. Peter breaks it down into several simple steps: 1. Preparation, 2. Reading, 3. Reflections, 4. Thanksgiving, 5. Offering, 6. Petition. After preparing for prayer, the saint advises us to read a passage of Scripture or other spiritual content. Then he asks that we form a mental picture of what we have read, and from that picture, to form some practical lesson. The lesson should lead to some sort of resolution. After this we turn to giving thanks for the graces received and to offering something of ourselves to God in return. Then we can turn to asking God for God's blessings and favors.

For those who are interested in receiving a copy of the "Golden Booklet," please contact me at lfjagdfeld@aol.com. I will send a PDF file of the booklet.

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