Saturday, September 28, 2013

Five Finger Prayer

Recently, Fr. James Martin, S.J. had dinner with a family which had several children.  The tweens taught the Ignatian what they called Pope Francis's "Five Finger Prayer".   It is dubious that the Five Finger Prayer originated with Pope Francis.  But considering the pastoral sensibilities which Pope Francis has displayed during his six months sitting on the Petrine See, the five finger prayer shows Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio's sensibilities. 

It would not be surprising if the now Pontiff used this tactile theological explanation himself in Buenos Aires. But the Holy Father's prayer gained traction on Facebook on September 5th.

1. The thumb: The thumb is the closest finger to you. So start praying for those who are closest to you. They are the persons easiest to remember--your family and your friends. They are the persons easiest to remember. To pray for our dear ones  is a "sweet obligation."

2. The next finger is the index finger. Pray for those who teach you, instruct you and heal you. They need the support and wisdom to show direction to others. Always keep them in your prayers.

3. The following finger is the middle finger, which is the tallest. It reminds us of our leaders: the presidents, kings, governors, mayors, and all those who have authority. They need God's guidance.

4. The fourth finger is the ring finger. Even though it may surprise you, this is the weakest of all your fingers. It should remind us to pray for the weakest, the sick, the poor, or those who face many problems. They need your prayers.

5. Finally you have your pinkie which is the smallest finger--the smallest of them all. Your pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself. When you are finished praying for the other four groups, you will be able to see your own needs, but in the right perspective, and also you will be able to pray for your own needs in a better way.

This handy conceit is superb for catechesis for children.  But thinking about the deeper meaning within the Five Finger Prayer should lend insight to everyone.  

h/t: Fr. James Martin, SJ

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