No other prayer enjoys the endorsement of Jesus himself. The Lord's Prayer in the Gospel of Luke and of Matthew comes from Jesus. The Christian Church cherishes the Lord's Prayer as the pre-eminent and paradigmatic prayer among all possible prayers. Yet, most recite the prayer without much reflection upon its meaning.
No other prayer enjoys the devotion to the mother of God that the Hail Mary enjoys. It is prayed innumerable times in the saying of the decades of the rosary, and indeed, it is the most memorized of prayers, the prayer most likely to be on the lips of the dying. More prayed in the Catholic Church than throughout Christendom, the Hail Mary remains alongside the Lord's Prayer as twined prayers, the sun and the moon, the father and the mother of all prayer.
Rev. Ayo’s thoughtful discourses offer the student deep insight into the most popular prayers in Catholicism. In addition, he shares rich reflections on Morning and Evening Prayer and Doxology. Below is an excerpt from Rev. Ayo’s Unit 5 lecture entitled The Meaning of Prayer:
In the mystery of prayer, there remains a conviction on my part that two prayers predominate after the most crucial and holy of prayers, which is our Eucharistic Prayer. Those two prayers are morning prayer and evening prayer. Those two prayers comprise the beginning and ending of our days lived in faith, hope, and love. Those two prayers are like the bookends of the Eucharist itself, its overture and its finale. We must never neglect our morning conversation with God and our evening conversation as well. Each day we are born anew in daylight from the death of the night of sleep. Each day we enter the darkness of unconsciousness from which we may not return in this life. The mystery of our life from birth to death and the mystery of God's love for us from Christmas to Easter are mirrored every day and most clearly in whatever morning prayer and evening prayer we may be able to offer. It is our life breath. Ever we breathe in air, warm and color that air, and we breathe out. We receive our life from God in the morning, warm and color our world, and breathe forth our spirit in the evening of our life on earth.
Morning and Evening Prayer
The Lord’s Prayer
The Hail Mary
The Meaning of Prayer
- Created by Notre Dame Professor.
- Six weeks in duration, with one week for orientation.
- Typically 15-20 students in each course.
- Material delivered by video player.
- All lecture text available online in course.
- Supplemental readings are provided to encourage further exploration of topic, internet links provided for all readings.
- Written assignments (150-200 words) required.
- Facilitator moderated chat sessions with students in course.
- All course materials are available online in the course.
- View or read the lecture for each unit.
- Read assigned texts; keep notes, questions, and comments for class discussion.
- Participate in the class discussion using the Forums area: post at least 2 comments, questions, or responses per unit.
- Write 150-200 words in response to the assignment in each unit.
- Participate in at least 3 scheduled chat sessions throughout the course.
- Complete the course evaluation.
3 to 5 hours per week, depending on your learning style and schedule.
A certificate of completion awarding 25 contact hours will be sent upon completion of all course requirements.