Inspired by his 25 years of priestly service to the Church, Fr Henry Siew says he will be releasing a prayer booklet called Encountering the Lord in Daily Life.
The booklet contains three different prayers – Consciousness Examen, Lectio Divina and Imaginative Contemplation.
Consciousness Examen is becoming aware of God’s presence in one’s daily activities. Lectio Divina and Imaginative Contemplation both involve the use of scripture for meditation.
The booklet, to be released in April, will be pocket-sized as Fr Henry wanted them to be “readily available and something that people can carry around”.
It will be available in English and Mandarin to those attending the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, of which he is parish priest.
However, “if the demand is great, it will be made available to the diocese,” said Fr Henry, who took about two weeks to complete the booklet.
On why he decided to come up with it, he said: “Prayer is important when it comes to spiritual formation and vocation. And these three prayers I thought would be useful in acting as a guide to praying and building a relationship with Jesus.”
Fr Henry said that he had heard about these three prayers before entering the seminary but only began to actively pray them when he entered. “That is in part a reason for choosing these three prayers – they carry a special affinity with me.”
Another reason was that they were “practical”.“Some prayer booklets can be too formulated and long; I wanted something simple and direct,” said Fr Henry.
Looking back on his 25 years as a priest, Fr Henry said he has grown to appreciate the priesthood for allowing him to “realise that it is the noblest vocation”.
“Before entering the seminary, I considered being a teacher or doctor. But I realised I could teach and save souls as a priest!” he said with a laugh.
To those thinking of joining the priestly or Religious life, Fr Henry recommended that they reflect on two things. “Firstly, your own personal prayer life, and the other would be your involvement in the life of the Church, such as ministry work. What is God truly asking of you in your life?”
By Jared Ng