My pastor loves the liturgy; he uses incense like a fumigator when it’s called for. By the end of the weekend’s Masses you have to part the smoke with your hands to see the altar. The old ladies cough and sneeze and dab their rolling eyes, but I love the way it gets in my clothes and hair. I take it home and inhale the scent of prayer for the rest of the day. Combining incense, liturgy, sacrifice, and prayer was God’s idea!
Thank you, Friends of the Show, for loving and lifting me 🙂
LOVE the Word™ is a Bible study method based on Mary's own practice: lectio without the Latin.
L – Listen (Receive the Word.)
O – Observe (Choose one or more of the following personality approaches to connect the passage to your life and recent events.)
F | Franciscan – Perhaps you might plan an old-fashioned prayer meeting at your parish? Let's just pray for each other!
I | Ignatian – Spend some time in Adoration this week. Take careful note of all you sense there. You might also burn liturgical incense in your home. How do you feel when you smell it?
A | Augustinian – When do you find it difficult to pray? Consider how precious and potent your prayer is when you offer it as a sacrifice in those moments. What comes to mind? What was the most sacrificial prayer you remember ever praying? What has God said to you about your prayer habits through this week's show?
T | Thomistic – Maybe you'd like to obtain some blessed salt, this week, and sprinkle it around your house.
V – Verbalize (Pray about your thoughts and emotions.)
Remembering that He loves you and that you are in His presence, talk to God about the particulars of your O – Observe step. You may want to write your reflections in your LOVE the Word journal. Or get a free journal page and guide in the right-hand margin.
E – Entrust (May it be done to me according to your word!)
Thank you Lord, for granting us the petitions you have inspired us to ask, through Christ our Lord. Amen +
*LOVE the Word™ exercises are offered according to FIAT: the four personalities, or “prayer forms,” explored in Prayer and Temperament, by Chester Michael and Marie Norrisey: Franciscan, Ignatian, Augustinian, and Thomistic: FIAT! These prayer forms correspond to the Myers-Briggs personality types.
Notes and References
Old Testament Incense
Exodus 30:1-10, description of the tabernacle incense altar
Exodus 37:29, second description of the tabernacle incense altar
Incense included salt
Ezekiel 16:4 – salting newborns
2 Kings 2:19-22, salt used to cleanse undrinkable (bitter) waters
Numbers 18:19, “covenant in salt”
2 Chronicles 13:5, David is an eternal king through a salt covenant
Psalm 141:2, incense = prayer
Malachi 1:11, Old Testament prophecy of the time when Gentiles (non-Jews) would offer a “pure offering” accompanied by incense
New Testament Incense
Luke 1:8-11, Zechariah offers incense in the temple at the hour of prayer
Mark 14:32-36, “Not my will but yours.”
John 17, Jesus prays for us
1 Thessalonians 5:17, Pray without ceasing.
James 5:16, The continual prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.
Revelation 5:8, incense = prayer
Revelation 8:3-5, incense = prayer
St. Therese of Lisieux, Autobiographical Manuscript C, 25: “For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and love, embracing both trial and joy.”
Fulfilled, Uncovering the Biblical Foundations of Catholicism, Chapter 10, Holy Smoke
Ignite, Chapters 6 & 7, The How of the Bible
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Read the Transcript
You can download a complete, word-for-word transcript here, when it becomes available,