6. Jesus also taught that we should be persistent and not
give up hope. (Luke 18:1)
This is especially important when our prayer seeks to change
someone or get them to act in some way. God gave us free will and so he is
self-limited. He will not over ride that free will. Instead, he can teach,
encourage, cajole, even plead, but he will not force us to do something.
Therefore, we need to be patient and persistent in our prayers. Remember that
St. Augustine's mother, a saint herself, prayed for a long time for her son
before he finally heard God and changed. I sometimes think that in the story
of the persistent widow it is God who is the widow and the reluctant judge is
the person we are praying for. God keeps trying to get him to do what is right
and good, but he is stubborn. Never-the-less God's patience and persistence
can win in the end. Our job is to keep praying while God keeps trying to solve
Also remember that God has a better sense of timing than we
do. He knows when the right moment will come. There are bound to be factors
operating that we know nothing about, negative consequences that could occur
should God act at the wrong time. This is where faith in the sense of trust in
God is essential. We must believe that He really does know what He is doing
(or not doing).
7. St. Paul teaches us to rejoice always, pray without
ceasing , and give thanks under all circumstances. 1Thes. 5:16-18. Paul also says we must not
return evil for evil (1Thes. 5:15), and Jesus commands us to pray
for our enemies (Matt. 5:44).
For much more extensive examples of scripture and prayer
see Bible Passages on Prayer.
Giving thanks is very important in prayer. For
example, the word "thanks" is used more than 35 times in the
Psalms in the RSV. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by
prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
Philippians 4:6 (NIV). "Devote yourselves to
prayer, being watchful and thankful." Col. 4:2 (NIV).
- You can reviewe references to thankfulness in Naves [or look up: one of the ten
lepers whom Jesus healed, Luke
17:15,16; and before taking food, by Jesus, Matt.
14:19; Mark 8:6,7; Acts 27:35.]
For an online Catholic translation of the bible, look and the
American Bible (NAB) or for another Catholic
translation of the Bible, check out the Douay-Rheims version. You can also a look at
the Latin Vulgate text or search for a passage in
the Latin Vulgate at Bible Gateway.
- For non-Catholic translations of the bible, you can look at the WWW Bible Gateway.
I'd recommend the RSV. (Back to contents?)
- Click on the image to see a larger version.
How to pray.
Catholics usually begin their prayers with The Sign of the Cross.
- 1. Liturgy. The
mass and sacraments are the greatest prayers and are the essential public
prayers used with the other members of the Body of Christ. However, our
personal prayer life away from the liturgy will have a great effect on how
much benefit we will receive from liturgy.
- "A soul given to prayer profits more from the sacraments and other means
of salvation than another whose prayer is without constancy and intensity. One
may recite the Divine Office, assist at Holy Mass and receive the sacraments,
but if the soul does not give itself faithfully to prayer its progress will
often be mediocre." Blessed Columba Marmion,
- A. The Mass and Sacraments
are the official prayers of the Church. They are more
than just public or officially mandated prayers. They are points of
interaction with God. He is truely present and acting in specific ways. For
example, in the sacrament of penance God forgives, in baptism He overcomes the
separation caused by original sin and integrates a person into his people. In
the Sacrament of the sick, He acts to heal spiritually, emotionally, and even
- The mass, however, is the normal public worship of the
church in which He becomes genuinely, truely, even physically present, under
the forms of bread and wine, in addition to being present in His Word and in
the person of the priest who leads the community in worship. [CCC
1088] But that is not all, for the very events of salvation
are made available to those worshiping. [See CCC
1363-1367.] Because of this all our prayer and "[a]ll other
liturgical rites and all the works of the Christian life are linked with the
eucharistic celebration, flow from it, and have it as their end." The
General Instruction to the Roman Missal.
- The Liturgy of the Eucharist and
Sacrament are all forms of prayer and bring us the presence of God in a
unique and powerful way. As the Second Vatican Council taught:
- "Christ is always present to his Church, especially in
the actions of the liturgy. He is present in the sacrifice of the Mass, in the
person of the minister (it is the same Christ who formerly offered himself on
the cross that now offers by the ministry of priests) and most of all under
the eucharistic species [i.e. under the appearance of bread and wine]. He is
present in the sacraments by his power, in such away that when someone
baptizes, Christ himself baptizes. He is present in his word, for it is he
himself who speaks when the holy Scriptures are read in the Church. Finally,
he is present when the Church prays and sings, for he himself promised: Where
two or three are gathered in my name, I am there in their midst.
Indeed, in this great work which gives perfect glory to
God and brings holiness to men, Christ is always joining in partnership with
himself his beloved Bride, the Church, which calls upon its Lord and through
him gives worship to the eternal Father.
- It is therefore right to see the liturgy as an
exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ... Accordingly, every
liturgical celebration, as an activity of Christ the priest and of his body,
which is the Church, is a sacred action of a preeminent kind. No other action
of the Church equals its title to power or its degree of effectiveness."
Vatican II: Constitution on
- For more on liturgy you can look at The Sacrifice of the Mass, Catechesis, Meeting Christ in the
Liturgy, Antiphon, a liturgical journal, or you can
look through the links at the Theological
Library , the Benedictine's Liturgy
index, and the Resources for
Catholic Educators, Liturgy. There is now a on-line
copy of the General Instruction for the Roman Missal
which states the rules each priest and parish must follow in its celebration
of Eucharist. You can also check the MCITL Liturgy
Library and Catholic
Liturgy.com. For more on why to worship at mass, see:
Power of the Mass . To prepare for mass, you
can read the daily
or Sunday lectionary selections at the NCCB/USCC site which uses the New
Stations of the Cross below. Also for Lent, Penitential Practices for
B. The Liturgy
of the Hours is a
form of prayer dating back to the earliest history of the church. It consists
primarily of scripture, especially the Psalms, and provides different material
for several parts of the day, and it all changes daily. You cannot very easily
get bored with repetition. This form of prayer has been used in Monasteries,
and by clergy and religious, from ancient times down to the present day. It
can be used by anyone. Link to Universalis to receive a better explanation
and to find the Liturgy of the Hours for today. Look at the end of the
Office of Readings for a non-scriptural text
taken from church tradition. The General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours, an official document, is online. A good explanation of this prayer
is found at Liturgy of the Hours site from the
Archdiocese of New York, and you can view an outline of the
structure of each hour. For those who would like to
download the texts to use in family and group prayer, go to the Liturgy of the Hours
Apostolate. The Grail translation of
the Psalms is very good, and is used in the official
Breviary. A good place to look is the Daily
Office using the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. The
page Prayer, the heart of Monastic Life gives
insight into Benedictine approach to prayer. The liturgy of the hours uses the
Psalms extensively so you may want to read over an introduction to the
Psalms: The Prayer Book of God. See also
related to the use of the Liturgy of the Hours is
Lectio Divina, which means divine or sacred reading. The goal is
praying with scripture, learning how to savor
the word of God, encountering God in His Word, and becoming changed by it.
This is an important aspect of monastic spirituality. Useful material can be
found at the Benedictine page About Lectio
Divina. Look at the on line text, Lectio Divina
And the Practice of Teresian Prayer by Sam Anthony
Morello, OCD. He says:
- "[L]ectio divina is prayer over the Scriptures. The monastics of the
- and medieval church developed this into a fine art.
- The elements are four: 1) lectio itself, which means reading,
- as the careful repetitious recitation of a short text of Scripture;
- meditatio or meditation, an effort to fathom the meaning of the text
- make it personally relevant to oneself in Christ; 3) oratio, which
- prayer, taken as a personal response to the text, asking for the
- of the text or moving over it toward union with God; and 4)
- contemplatio, translated contemplation, gazing at length on
- The idea behind this final element is that sometimes, by the infused
- grace of God, one is raised above meditation to a state of seeing or
- experiencing the text as mystery and reality; one comes into
- experiential contact with the One behind and beyond the text. It is
- exposure to the divine presence, to God's truth and benevolence."
- (Copyright Washington Province of Discalced
Carmelites, ICS Publications.
- Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial
use, if this
- copyright notice is included.)
- For an explanation of the four elements mentioned above go
to the chapter called Framework of
Teresian Prayer where the above quote is found. Be
sure to take a look at Carmelite
Literature on the Internet.
- There are articles on Lectio Divina at About Lexio Divina
from the Order of St. Benedict. You can also try the
Lection Divina Home page. For a very
short and simple statement on how to use this method to get more out of
scripture see Holy Reading
from a Presbyterian Parish.
- An extensive list of materials on the bible can be found
at Bible Resources for Student and Public Use
by Felix Just, SJ an assistant professor of
New Testament Studies at Loyola Marymount University. Look at his page on
the Lectionary for tables on lectionary
readings and links to useful websites on the readings.
- To find bible passages you can use for lectio divina, see
The Parables of Jesus, The
Miracles of Jesus, and a list of synoptic gospel
parallels at Matthew, Mark and Luke. Also see the daily
readings for mass at Readings from the National Conference of
Catholic Bishops site.
For daily meditation and inspiration, there is a Verse of the
Day online. You can see the lectionary
readings using the NAB from the US Conference of
Catholic Bishops. CIN (The Catholic Information Network) has
Word Page along with some commentary on-line. There
is the Catholic Calendar with lots of information on
the day's liturgy; see also Sunday Homilies Catholic Scripture Study .You
could also look at the daily verse and the monthly
Johannine Hour at the Taize Community. Morning and Evening Prayers
are available through episcopalnet.org.
3. As you saw
above St. Paul teaches that we should pray constantly (I Thes. 5:17). There are a couple of ways to try to do this: the Prayer of
the Heart, the suggestion in the side bar, or the prayer in #4 below.
[See the Catechism of the Catholic Church, sec. 2757.]
Prayer of the Heart. " This
simple invocation of faith [i.e. the repetition of the name of Jesus]
developed in the tradition of prayer under many forms in East and West. The
most usual formulation, transmitted by the spiritual writers of Sinai, Syria,
and Mt. Athos, is the invocation, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy
on us sinners." It combines the Christological hymn of Philippians 2:6-11 with the cry of the
publican and the blind men begging for light. By it the heart is opened to
human wretchedness and the Savior's mercy. " Catechism of the Catholic Church, section 2667. "The invocation of the holy name of Jesus is the simplest way of
praying always. " Sec. 2668. A good description of the Jesus
Prayer and bibliography can be found at the St Vladimir's Seminary in the Article by Albert S.
Rossi. Also an explanation can be found at the
Jesus Prayer originally printed in Orthodox
Life, and The Jesus Prayer. See also, Writings from
the Philokalia on Prayer of the Heart, Farber & Farber. This is
a true classic from the Orthodox Tradition. See, Prayer without Ceasing. Search for the
Pholokalia at Amazon.com. For information on how Catholics value orthodox
teaching see above.
"Those who have truly decided to serve the Lord God
the remembrance of God and uninterrupted prayer to Jesus
mentally saying: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have
mercy on me,
a sinner." St. Seraphim of Sarov, Sayings
of the Fathers.
[I have used this prayer often over the years. It is very
good when you don't have something else to talk about. One variation I have
used is to add a prayer intention, like: "Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on us
sinners. Please heal and help Mom and Dad." You would then repeat this over
and over. I have found it to be very effective when used with heart felt
sincerity. As you repeat your prayer, conscious concern can become trust that
God is listening and will act. This also complies with the Lord's command to
be persistent and not give up hope. (Luke
18:1)] For additional links see the Jesus Prayer section
of Prayer, Meditation and Contemplation.
- 4. A prayer used in the Western
Tradition is: "O God come to my assistance, O Lord
make haste to help me." This is said by everyone who prays the Liturgy of
the Hours at the start of each hour.
Abba Issac, one of the Desert Fathers, said to St. John
- "The formula was given us by a few of the oldest fathers who
remained. They communicated it only to a very few who were athirst for the
true way. To maintain an unceasing recollection of God, this formula must be
ever before you. The formula is this: 'O God, come to my assistance; O Lord,
make haste to help me.' Cf Psalm 40:13 NIV. Ps 69:2 DR.
- Rightly has this verse been selected from the whole Bible to
serve this purpose. It suits every mood and temper of human nature, every
temptation, every circumstance. It contains an invocation of God, an humble
confession of faith, a reverent watchfulness, a meditation on human frailty,
an act of confidence in God's response, an assurance of his ever-present
support. The man who continually invokes God as his protector is aware that
God is ever at hand.
- I repeat: each one of us, whatever his condition in the
- needs to use this verse." (Emphasis added.)
Quoted by Basil Pennington in his book, Centering Prayer. For more of
what Abba Isaac said relative to contemplation, see A
Scriptural Prayer to aid prayer.
- This icon and others was found at the Icon Archive, now the
OCF Icon Archive.
- 5. For
most traditional Catholics, the one method of prayer we
were taught was the Rosary; however, more and more people do not know
how to use this prayer. Historical
material on the Rosary is at its entry in the 1913 Catholic
Encyclopadia. You can learn how to
pray the rosary for your personal devotion or to
satisfy curiosity. Be sure to look at the Power
of the Rosary, and review the papal documents
on the Rosary, and Paul VI's
Marialis Cultus; also look at the Cathechism's mention of the rosary.
The Marian Magisterial Documents may also be
useful. To assist you in this prayer, there is a downloadable Virtual
Rosary with all the prayers in proper order with an
image to help with meditation on the proper mystery of the Rosary. (They have
programs for Windows, Mac, and Palm Pilot.) For those who think the rosary is
only a pre-Vatican II prayer form look at the Rosary
Since Vatican II. Pope John Paul II urges the use of
the rosary as a prayer for peace. Also be sure to
look at the Holy Father's new document on the Rosary, Rosarium
Virginis Marić, which includes his suggestion of the
new mysteries of light. For a large list of links on the Rosary see Rosary
- The Rosary is on our site with explanation,
meditations and additional prayers from the Key Of Heaven (a
1906 prayer book).
Bible Passages on Mary, the Mother of God.
- Be sure to look at the Popular
Devotions Page of the Theological Library. For
background information on the use of beads in prayer see the Catholic
Encyclopedia entry. A nontraditional form of the
rosary is the Ecumenical Rosary which has non-Catholic
Christians in mind, a Christ centered approach. Also, there is a Scriptural Rosary. See the Vatican II
statement on popular devotions.
- Fifteen promises to those who recite the rosary.
- [The editor would like to introduce a note of caution. A popular devotion is
something that is not required for salvation, even if recommended by Mary in
an apparition such as Fatima, but it can be
encouraged as very beneficial. Also, a number of possible appearances of Mary
that have occurred, however they are not all approved, and not all "messages"
are to be considered genuine. Even those that have approval are private revelation and
not required for Cathollic faith. See the Catholic
Catechism sec. 67. To discover if an appearance and its messages are
regarded as genuine contact your own Diocesan officials, or the Bishop within
whose Diocese the purported apparition occurred.]
- 6. Sometimes people like to use prayers
already composed. Perhaps, they can better say what we want to say to God, or
at times when we are insecure about what to say it is a place to start. Be
sure to consider the Lord's Prayer. You can see an description of traditional daily Catholic prayers on our site or see Catholic Prayers which has a large number of
prayers. (They also have a long list of catholic
pages), Prayer at the
Diocese of San Jose, or the prayers from Et Cum Spiritu. The prayers
given by the
Monks of Adoration, the prayers of St. Francis, a treasury
of Latin Prayers, The Enchiridion
of Indulgences 1968, and the Catholic
Online Prayer Menu. Look at articles on
Prayer, the Prayers in Times of Trial and Notes
from Lovers of the Lord. There are some basic prayers
at our page on specific morning prayers. You
can look at some prayers from the Orthodox tradition, and an interesting use of
the psalms for specific intentions in the Blessing Psalter. The Anglican Church Book of Common Prayer and the
Book of Common Prayer main page may be
helpful. Of commercial prayer books, one that is worth considering is The
Catholic Prayer Book, compiled by Msgr. Michael Buckley and published by
Servant Books, P.O. Box 8617, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
- "So, when you don't know how to go on, when it feels as if your fire is
dying out and you can't throw fragrant logs on it, throw on the branches and
twigs of short vocal prayers, of ejaculations, to keep feeding the blaze. And
you will have used the time well." St. Josemaria Escriva,
The Way, Sinag-Tala Publishers (1994)p. 21. ["Ejaculation" here means:
"A sudden, short exclamation, especially a brief, pious utterance or prayer."
American Heritage Dictionary.] Click here for examples.
Another traditional prayer
Catholics have used is the Stations of the Cross. It was a way for
ordinary people to engage in "pilgrimage", to walk the path Jesus walked to
Calvary. The Way of the Cross or the Stations of the Cross are explained at New Advent entry taken from the 1913 Catholic
Encyclopedia. (Caution: although the history is probably ok, because this
article is from 1913, it is background only. This devotion is encouraged by
indulgences. See our page on Indulgences or The Enchiridion of
Indulgences.) There are Stations of
the Cross - Scriptural Version, The Way of the
Cross with prayers by Msgr Romano Guardini, the
Passionist Research center way of tte Cross,
and I would strongly recommend the Via
Crucis, the Stations of the Cross in
- The Stations of the Cross (frames) with
fine art and several sets of prayers is on our site and Way of the Cross with black and white
graphics and no frames. (This one is from an old prayer book,
the Key of Heaven.)
For today, a good way to profit from this traditional
devotion is through meditation. Specifically, use your imagination to be
present as Christ walks to Calvary. See yourself as a participant, rather than
merely an observer. You can even take the role of Christ in your meditation to
feel and experience what he went through for us. (For more on how to meditate
see Meditation below.)
A litany is
another type of composed prayer. For a description, a short history as well as
a list of approved litanies, see our page, Litanies
Described and Explaned. Using the name of God has
always been thought to be powerful. We could easily call on the name of Jesus
by using the litany of the Holy Name. For example,
"Jesus, Son of the living God, have mercy on us" and "Jesus, splendor of the
Father, have mercy on us" are two of the petitions in this litany.
- The Jews so revered God's name that they would almost never
utter it, except for the High Priest, and then only in prayer. Jesus called
God our Father and so it is easy to call on him using this name. However, when
I am serious about a prayer I sometimes do call on the English translation of
the name of God, given to Moses: "I am who am." Thus you could say: "You Who
Are, I respectfully ask..." I would not suggest anyone do this lightly or
- Devotion and use of the name of Jesus however, has always
been encouraged. For more on the use of the name, including some quotes from
saints and scripture see the Power of the Name of Jesus.
- In the litany of the
saints, used in the Easter Vigil liturgy, we call on
a long series of saints to pray for us. This particular litnay is very
ancient; it began with the martyrs in
the catacombs. If you want to personalize a litany,
or make it more specific, replace the "have mercy on us" with your prayer
intention or need. With the litany of saints, you could say: "St. John, please
pray for Cliff's health". Add your own favorite saints, if they are not in the
litany, and some of the new ones recently canonized. There are other
traditional litanies, such as the Litany of the Passion. For more litanies for
private use see the
E-book of 27 litanies. You could also try the
litany of the Sacred Heart. For more on the
Sacred Heart see our page on this Devotion.
7. Something suggested in the Catechism
of the Catholic Church is a place set aside for prayer in the home. It can be
a "prayer corner" with Sacred Scripture, and with an icon or statue, in
order for the one praying to be there in secret with our Father. (Matt. 6:6
"But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your
Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward
you."NRSV) See the Catechism of the Catholic Church at sec. 2691,
paragraph 2, guides to prayer. You can also add
candles and incense. These items cause some Christians to be nervous, but they
have long been a part of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox traditions. See, The
Council of Nicaea (7th Ecumenical,787 AD) It
says that art depicting Jesus and the saints is permitted. "We [the council
bishops], therefore, define with all certitude and accuracy that just as the
figure of the precious and life-giving Cross, so also the venerable and holy
images, as well in painting and mosaic as of other fit materials, should be
set forth in the holy churches of God... [To these we can add] the Book of the
Gospels and to the other holy objects,incense and lights may be offered
according to ancient pious custom. For the honor which is paid to the image
passes on to that which the image represents, and he who reveres the image
reveres in it the subject represented... " (Emphasis added). Look at the
Council of Trent's declaration on veneration of images and for more on this see our page on Catholic Tradition and Teaching on Religous Art and the Apostolic letter by Pope John Paul II on Veneration of Holy Images.
This icon was obtained from The Icon Archive, now the
OCF Icon Archive. See the image of Jesus at Mt. Ibiron, which is one of the monasteries
at Mt. Athos, and the explanation of Ukrainian icon painting with
examples at the Icon
Gallery from Christus Rex. Other locations: Orthodox
Icons, and a large file of Russian Icons. The Metropolitan Museum of
Art. has some icons, for example the Head of Christ. You might also look at the
Church in America home page. Byzantine Catholics are
united with the Pope and fully catholic but not members of the Roman Rite.
Therefore, their liturgy and customs often differ, but we do not differ in
matters of the faith. However, our Orthodox brothers and sisters are not fully
united with us at the moment even though very little separates us from full
communion. You can learn more at the Orthodox home page. Additional places with Icons can be found at Orthodox
7. Prayer in a natural
environment can be very helpful. Pope John Paul has said: "We can pray
perfectly when we are out in the mountains or on a lake and we feel at one
with nature. Nature speaks for us or rather speaks to us. We pray perfectly."
See, John Paul II, The Way of Prayer, Crossroad
Publishing Co. (1995). St. John Vianney early in his ministry
would take walks to exercise and to pray. He thirsted for solitude and peace
and loved the fresh breeze of the open country. It has been said that his
happiness was to pray in the woods were alone with God he would contemplate
the divine greatness. He even the song of birds would help raise his soul to
the Creator. See Abbe Francis Trochu's work The Cure D'Ares at
page 119, reprinted by Tan Publications. (St. John also prayed
for his parish for very long periods in the church including during the night.
During his walks he would say the breviary and continue to call out to God for
However, prayer in nature is not the only way to pray.
Sometimes people feel that this sort of prayer is all one needs. Aside from
the continuous belief of Christians down the ages that worship in common is
good and necessary, there is the statement of the Lord that when two or more
are gathered in His Name, He is there in their midst. (Matt. 18:20 ) Thus, both group prayer and
prayer in a natural environment are valuable and important. St. John
Vianney gave up the walks and prayer in the fields and woods in order to be
more available to people who needed him, especially with regard to the
- Another possibility is to create a meditational
environment that helps with mindfulness and contemplation. It would be a
place with plants, perhaps a fountain, or Zen style sand garden. You could add
a bell and statue if you like. The idea is to bring together elements that are
natural and peaceful. A Buddhist might also sit on the floor in a lotus style
position, we could sit cross legged or use a pillow. Actually there is no
reason not to have both a meditation corner and a prayer corner. In the
latter, you can use more traditional elements (candle, incense, icon) and
engage in simple ritual. See also Mary Prayer Gardens.
- 8. Look into renewal movements, such as
Charismatic Renewal for ways to enliven faith and
prayer. (The US Bishops have a publication on Charismatic
Renewal, and a statement which is on
line.) The Western Washington Catholic Charismatic Renewal is at Box
68803 Seattle, WA 98168-0803. Phone: (425)775-1247. Look at the
Center on the World Wide Web site for articles on the
renewal and for material on the Gift of Tongues. For more on Tongues see the
material on this gift at Saccre web pages.
- Also, the Cursillo movement has been helpful to many people. At the National Cursillo Center you can find
information about various locations world wide. In the Catholic Archdiocese of
Seattle, you can call 425-775-1247 to contact the Cursillo movement. Yacama, Wa Cursillo
and Portland Or.
Cursillo have pages and information on the web.
- Another movement that has been helpful to married couples is Marriage Encounter. This site also has
contacts in many regions of the US. In Western Wasington you can look at the
Mount Rainier Marriage Encounter. Also Seattle Engaged Encounter which
provides very valuable assistance to couples preparing for marriage.
- 9. A retreat experience can be
very valuable. We all need to come away from our daily concerns periodically.
It is even more important with someone who wishes to grow spiritually. We need
to be silent, to quiet the normal demands on time and attention so we can
speak to God more deeply and to listen. Going on retreat can provide this
opportunity. It is a time to remember what is truely important, to read
spiritual wisdom gathered by others with great struggle in lives of holines
and perhaps to speak to a spiritual director. It is a time to think about
truth, and to listen to God's love spoken gently in the heart. You can do this
privately, but people more often benefit attending a retreat with others at a
center devoted to this ministry. Consider St. Placid
Priory , The Palisades Retreat Center, one of the
other retreat and conferences centers within the
Archdiocese of Seattle, the Jesuit
Retreat House in Los Altos, CA
(the pastor had a great retreat there in 1993), the
Jesuits also have a world wide index of their
retreat houses, the Benedictine's have a list of their Retreat houses, such as St.
Meinrad (where the pastor went to
California Franciscans have several locations, or
check with your parish or diocese for retreat opportunities in your
- "The principal reason of the success of retreats...is their
very necessity. In the fever and agitation of modern life, the need of
meditation and spiritual repose impresses itself on Christian souls who desire
to reflect on their eternal destiny, and direct their life in this world
towards God." From Retreats in the Catholic
- (Back to contents?)
There is confusion about the difference between "meditation"
and "contemplation". These words are often used interchangeably. Meditation is
mental prayer rather then vocal; it is thought rather than ritual. "Meditation
engages thought, imagination, emotion and desire." Catechism
of the Catholic Church, guides for prayer
, sec. 2708.
1. Use your imagination to enrich
scripture and prayer. Don't forget that it was St. Ignatius of Loyola who
strongly promoted the use of imagination in meditation. His work, the Spiritual Exercises, is a monumental classic
of the Catholic Tradition. In it he shows how fantasy will enhance our
understanding and appreciation of Scripture, and how we can talk to Christ
using the imagination.
When we read something, a story or a novel, we create a
picture of it in our minds. St. Ignatius simply builds on this natural
tendency. Thus, in the material for the second week of the Spiritual Exercises
he says, " The first Prelude is a composition, seeing the place: ...here [we]
see with the sight of the imagination, the synagogues, villages and towns
through which Christ our Lord preached."
Later in the second week, Ignatius gives more detailed
instructions about meditating on the Nativity. (Please note that when
Igantius uses the word "contemplation" he means the modern notion of
meditation, i.e. a thought process, mental activity.)
- "THE SECOND CONTEMPLATION IS ON THE NATIVITY
First Prelude. The first Prelude is the narrative and it will be here how
Our Lady went forth from Nazareth, about nine months with child, as can be
piously meditated, seated on an ass, and accompanied by Joseph and a
maid, taking an ox, to go to Bethlehem to pay the tribute which Caesar
imposed on all those lands (p. 135).
Second Prelude. The second, a composition, seeing the place. It will be
here to see with the sight of the imagination the road from Nazareth to
Bethlehem; considering the length and the breadth, and whether such road is
level or through valleys or over hills; likewise looking at the place or
cave of the Nativity, how large, how small, how low, how high, and how
it was prepared.
Third Prelude. The third will be the same, and in the same form, as in
the preceding Contemplation.
First Point. The first Point is to see the persons; that is, to see Our
Lady and Joseph and the maid, and, after His Birth, the Child Jesus, I
making myself a poor creature and a wretch of an unworthy slave, looking at
them and serving them in their needs, with all possible respect and
reverence, as if I found myself present; and then to reflect on myself in
order to draw some profit.
Second Point. The second, to look, mark and contemplate what they are
saying, and, reflecting on myself, to draw some profit.
Third Point. The third, to look and consider what they are doing, as
going a journey and laboring, that the Lord may be born in the greatest
poverty; and as a termination of so many labors -- of hunger, of thirst, of
heat and of cold, of injuries and affronts -- that He may die on the Cross;
and all this for me: then reflecting, to draw some spiritual
- Note how St. Ignatius inserts himself into the scene taking
the part of a slave. The better way to meditate on a passage of scripture is
not to look at it the way you watch television, as a passive observer, but as
a participant who experiences the story rather than someone who merely
Next Ignatius says, "I will finish with a Colloquy as in the
preceding Contemplation, and with an OUR FATHER." The dictionary defines
"colloquy" as a conversation, and so we would engage in conversation with the
Lord about the scene. St. Ignatius of Loyola, Spiritual Exercises. (The quoted
material from St. Ignatius is in the public domain.)
Imagination is mentioned in two other
Come into God's Presence and Prayer without Ceasing.
To find at bible passages you can use for meditation, see
The Parables of Jesus, The
Miracles of Jesus, and a list of synoptic gospel
parallels at Matthew Mark and Luke.
- 2. Meditation has often been understood as thought about
some spiritual idea, passage of scripture, point of faith, or virtue. It can
be the process whereby we think about something to understand it, consider its
implications, and application to our lives. It is the way we analyze something
spiritual. It is not something that is merely study, which helps inform the
mind, but it is something that leads to prayer. It leads to conversation with
- Phil. 4:8 "Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is
commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of
praise, think about these things."NRSV.
- "We must have some definite subject of thought...[so it is good] to read
either a text of Holy Scripture or a few lines out of some other holy
book, for instance: 'The Spiritual
Exercises of St. Ignatius'" or the Imitation
"St. Teresa tells us that in her meditations she helped herself with a
book for seventeen years. By reading the points of a meditation from a book,
the mind is rendered attentive and is set on a train of thought. Further to
help the mind you can ask yourself some such questions as the following:
What does this mean? What lesson does it teach me? What has been my conduct
regarding this matter? What have I done, what shall I do, and how shall I do
it? What particular virtue must I practice? But do not forget to pray."
..."[A]bove all, never give way to the mistaken notion that you must
restrain yourself from prayer in order to go through all the thoughts
suggested by your book, or because your prayer does not appear to have a
close connection with the subject of your meditation. This would simply be
to turn from God to your own thoughts or those of some other [person]."
"To meditate means in general nothing else than to reflect seriously on
some 'spiritual subject. ...' Meditation is a great means to salvation. It
aids us powerfully in the pursuit of our destiny to know, love, and serve
God 'that we may be happy with him forever...'" Lasance, My
Prayer-Book, 1908, pp. 136-137. Imprimatur, Archbishop of New
- For material to use in meditation, look at Scriptural Maxims, Spiritual Food and
Some sayings of the Fathers of Orthodox
Christianity; also St. Alphonsus' Maxims for Attaining Perfection and Sighs of Love Towards God.
- If you are unsure of what to do for
meditation or how to start, the Imitation of Christ in the chapter on
meditation suggests: "If you
do not know how to meditate on heavenly things, direct your
thoughts to Christ's passion and willingly behold His sacred
wounds." This is especially helpful, according to the Imitation,
if we are suffering ourselves. "If you turn devoutly to the wounds
and precious stigmata of Christ, you will find great comfort in
suffering, you will mind but little the scorn of men...When Christ
was in the world, He was despised by men; in the hour of need He
was forsaken by acquaintances and left by friends to the depths of
scorn. He was willing to suffer and to be despised; do you dare to
complain of anything? He had enemies and defamers; do you want
everyone to be your friend, your benefactor? How can your patience
be rewarded if no adversity test it? How can you be a friend of
Christ if you are not willing to suffer any hardship? Suffer with
Christ and for Christ if you wish to reign with Him.
- Had you but once entered into perfect
communion with Jesus or tasted a little of His ardent love, you
would care nothing at all for your own comfort or
St. Alphonsus Liguori's Manner of
Making Mental Prayer my be useful.
- See Vision 2000 for
meditative, reflective material based on the daily readings in the
lectionary. Also you might look at the Passionist Research Center, and its Cyberetreat.
- A retreat is always a very good way to improve
spiritually. A good way to grow in Ignation spirituality would be a retreat
guided by the Jesuits. The Jesuit Retreat House in Los Altos, CA is a
wonderful facility and provides a good place for prayer and growth.
(Even a full Ignatian retreat is available.) (I had an excellent
retreat experience there in 1993.)
- 3. Art as a source of thought, meditation, and prayer
- Christ the Judge with Mary
his mother. Michelangelo's Last Judgment.
- The Saint's in
Michelangelo's Last Judgment
Damned in Michelangelo's Last Judgment
Angel's Trumpet at the Last Judgment
and expulsion from Eden. From Michelangelo's ceiling of the Sistine
- The Face of God. Symbols
and Images of God the Father.
- The Face of Christ. The
Human face of Divinity. How Christ has been portrayed in art.
Defeat of Evil. Raphael's St. George defeating the dragon.
Church as the Boat of Peter, struggles while riding a hostile sea:
St. Francis of Assisi Preaches to the Birds
Three Trees, and Crucifixion.
Woman Praying, Nicolaes Maes. Giving thanks in all circumstances.
4. The Lord's Prayer itself is a good vehicle for
- Pope John Paul II says "all that can and must be
said to the Father is contained in those seven requests, which we all know by
heart." There is "such a depth that a whole life can be spent meditating
on the meaning of each of them." Each petition speaks to us of what is
essential to our existence. John Paul II, The Way of Prayer, Crossroad
Publishing Co. (1995) pp. 30-31 (Emphasis in the original).
- Because of the Lord's Prayer, "No one can
excuse himself by saying he doesn't know how to pray or what to pray for."
- There is an extensive discussion of the Lord's Prayer
in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, at section
two of part four, on Christian prayer, starting
with sec. 2759. St. Thomas Aquinas says: " The Lord's Prayer is most perfect,
because, as Augustine says (ad Probam Ep. cxxx, 12), "if we pray rightly and
fittingly, we can say nothing else but what is contained in this prayer of our
Lord." The Summa Theologica, II of II, Artl. 9, question 83. St. Thomas goes on to discuss
various questions about the Lord's prayer in this article. Also, see the commentary
of the Lord's Prayer based on the Catholic Catechism, and the Council of Trent's catechism.
Also, Why we say Amen at the end of the
Lord's prayer, or all prayer, by Luther. See the discussion on the Lords
Prayer in About Traditional Basic Catholic Prayer, and Martin Luther's comment on this prayer.
"The Our Father contains all the duties we owe to
God, the acts of all
the virtues and the petitions for all our spiritual
and corporal needs."
-St. Louis de Montfort
- The Lord's Prayer has been translated into 1221
languages and dialects.
- See also, Father Marco Adinolfi's analysis
of the Lord's Prayer and why it has been considered to be a summary of
revelation; and the paraphrase of the Lord's prayer by St. Francis. St. Cyprian on why to use the Lord's Prayer.
- The Didache gives the text of the
Lord's Prayer as: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom
come. Thy will be done as in heaven so on earth. Give us this day our daily
bread. And forgive us our debt, as we also forgive our debtors. And lead us
not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil: for thine is the power, and
the glory, for ever. " This document is probably contemporary with the gospels
(around 80 AD) and states that the prayer should be said 3 times a day.
- "[Speak] slowly. Think about what you're saying, who is
saying it and to whom. Because talking fast, without pausing for reflection,
is only noise - the clatter of the cans." St. Josemaria
Escriva, The Way, Sinag-Tala Publishers
- View Minute
Meditations at St. Anthony Messenger. You casn also receive short
meditation material by email from the Daily Spiritual Seed at
firstname.lastname@example.org and is being handled by http://onelist.com (Back
The Catechism of the Catholic Church also teaches
we should go even further than meditation and seek knowledge of the love of
Jesus and to seek union with him. Sec. 2708. Quoting St. Teresa of Jesus, the
Catechism says contemplative prayer is nothing less than a close
sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with
him who we know loves us. Go to
a brief description of contemplation, a.k.a. centering prayer.
The key here is "our attention is fixed on the Lord himself."
Sec. 2709. We are not thinking about Jesus,
or about what he said and did. We are not imagining what he looks like, nor
what he might say in conversation. We are not pleading with him for help for
ourselves or others. What we do is say to him:
- "This little bit of time is my gift to you. I will simply
sit here in your presence, focus my attention on you, and direct my love
toward you. I will not allow anything to distract me, not anxiety about my
future, not worry for the sick, not even a vision of angels. This time in
silence is my gift to you." (RJS)
The silence is an interior silence as well as exterior. The
use of conscious breathing can help one get to the point of inner peacefulness
so that attention can be fully directed to the Lord. We can also use a "prayer
word" to help bring our attention back if we become distracted. Distractions
will come, but we choose to let the thoughts and images go by rather than give
them center stage. Don't let youself become frustrated, that is an emotion
that will just pull you away from comtemplation. If needed, use breathing or a
prayer word to bring you back to the inner peacefulness and silence, so you
can make yourself present to God. (This is not Quietism which is
condemned, but an inner silence with attention focused on God present and love
of Him present. We believe God is present through faith but this can become
the Prayer of Quiet
through grace, a
step towards mystical union in the tradiional understanding of
- "2710 The choice of the time and duration of the prayer arises from a
determined will, revealing the secrets of the heart. One does not undertake
contemplative prayer only when one has the time: one makes time for the
Lord, with the firm determination not to give up, no matter what trials and
dryness one may encounter. One cannot always meditate, but one can always
enter into inner prayer, independently of the conditions of health, work, or
emotional state. The heart is the place of this quest and encounter, in
poverty and in faith." Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Look at the suggestion by St. John Cassian and Abba
This is the form of prayer encouraged by the great mystics,
St. John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila. You can see an explanation of
contemplation as a result of Lectio Divina at the Monastic
Primer provided by the New Malleray
Abbey. A good site is at Contemplative
Ministries. See Centering
Prayer at Lecio Divina Org. and Fr.
Basil Pennington's book there; also the Method
of Centering Prayer by Thomas Keating. I would
strongly recommend the set of tapes by Fr. Keating, "Contemplative Prayer".
Keating's material and more are at Contemplative
Outreach. "A Daily Spiritual Seed" is a daily (M-F)
email newsletter on Christian spirituality, featuring a short quote from a
saint or mystic. To subscribe, send an email to
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
(stylized text version). Another email of spiritual material comes from the
Daily E-pistle. You can subscribe at
http://www.catholic-forum.com/e-pistle.html or send an e-mail at
. See also Gethsemani's page of Thomas Merton
Books Check out the Abbey of
Gethsemani. Merton pages. Look at Firewatch, also see Thomas keating: The Practice of
"Contemplation goes beyond concepts and apprehends
as a separate object but as the Reality within our
the Being within our being, the life of our
life." Merton, The New Man.
"Contemplation is a mystery in which God reveals
the very center of our own inmost self."
Qutoed by Fr. James Conner, OCSO in "The Meaning of the
Contemplative Life According to Thomas Merton".
See Nate Prentice's Contemplation Page.
Pope JohnPaul II has also seen the Rosary as linked to
contemplation. See his Apostolic
Letter on the Rosary.
"A path of contemplation
But the most important reason for strongly encouraging the
practice of the Rosary is that it represents a most effective means of
fostering among the faithful that commitment to the contemplation of the
Christian mystery which I have proposed in the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte as a genuine
"training in holiness": "What is needed is a Christian life distinguished
above all in the art of prayer". Inasmuch as contemporary culture, even amid
so many indications to the contrary, has witnessed the flowering of a new
call for spirituality, due also to the influence of other religions, it is
more urgent than ever that our Christian communities should become "genuine
schools of prayer".
The Rosary belongs among the finest and most praiseworthy
traditions of Christian contemplation. Developed in the West, it is a
typically meditative prayer, corresponding in some way to the "prayer of the heart" or "Jesus prayer"
which took root in the soil of the Christian East."
(Back to contents?)
Getting Started in Prayer
St. Francis de Sales tells us: "Pray for your prayer's
We can often be distracted, even when we pray. All prayer is
a conversation with God, and we need to give him our full attention, otherwise
it is like getting an appointment with someone and then day dreaming during
the interview. There are times when it is appropriate to remember the past so
as to seek forgiveness, or to learn from it, or to remember good things with
joy, but in fact the past is gone. There are times when we need to think about
the future, to do planning for example, and there are times to use our
imagination, especially in meditation, but we need to remember that the future
and fantasy are not actually here. The only moment that is real is the present
moment. It is in this present moment that we meet God.
One way to begin prayer is to return ourselves to the present
moment, and then to focus our attention on God in that moment. Begin by
focusing your attention on your breathing. Give it your full attention. Breath
in slowly, then breath out slowly. Do this for a minimum of three breaths, or
for as long as it takes for your inner self to become calm and to give up any
thoughts or images. If it helps, you can even say in your mind what you are
doing, such as "breath in one, breath out one, breath in two, breath out
two..." A good example of using conscious breathing in prayer is given at
Prayer and Blessing, a method from the
Next you can switch to a prayer word or phrase while
continuing the in-out breathing. An example might be "Jesus", "God, be
merciful to me, a sinner" Luke 18:13, "Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me", or
"Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me", Luke 18:38. On a more positive note
one could say "Praise God", "Thank you Lord", "Come Holy Spirit, fill my
heart." etc. The longer phrases are nice because one half can match the
duration of the in breath and the last half used during the out breath. You
could just continue this as a form of meditation for as long as you like, or
go on to another form of prayer once you have removed your distractions and
are able to give God you full attention.
Remember that breath is an important symbol in our religious
tradition. When God created mankind, He blew the breath of life into Adam,
Gen. 2:7, and thus into us all. When we are aware of our breathing we can be
aware of God still breathing into us the life we have. In addition, God the
Holy Spirit is symbolized by wind, John 3:8 and Acts 2:2; and wind is just the
rapid movement of air. Thus, when we breath we can see this as taking in the
Even though we receive the Holy Spirit in Baptism and
Confirmation, we too often allow His presence to dwindle. The flame that is
our faith can burn down to the barest ember, but if the we blow on the fire,
if we try to increase the presence of the Holy Spirit, then the fire of our
faith can become a bonfire to illuminate our darkness and the darkness of our
world. To visualize the inflow of the Holy Spirit, along with aware,
controlled, breathing, is itself a prayer that God will indeed enter us more
fully. (There is no reason to think that prayers only consist of words.)
Time and Place? It can be any time and any
Contemplative prayer and meditation method taught by St.
Ignatius require finding a quiet place and spending time there from 10 to 30
minutes. For many, this may be difficult, at least psychologically. We all
have our routine and we don't always want to change it. Never-the-less we can
find more time for prayer, if we just look at our daily routine.
What is your mind doing during the "morning ritual" when you
are getting ready to leave the house? Do you spend time reading? Why not
spiritual reading or a psalm? Do you sing in the shower? Why not a hymn. Do you think about the day? Why not do
that while asking for guidance on the day? Do you drive to work, or drive as
part of your work? Why not listen to audio tapes on spirituality, or the bible?
Take the train? Again, you could listen to tapes or do spiritual reading.
Addicted to the mourning news on TV, or the paper? There are abundant
opportunities to pray for the people you hear about who are victims of crime
or misfortune. Add to that a prayer asking God to protect you and your family.
While at work, what do you do, or what do you think about while on break, or
at lunch? You could read a psalm, a short bit of spiritual reading, or just
talk to God. Any friend is interested in hearing about your day, even your
worries and troubles. God is that friend. If you don't experience friendship
like that think of Him as family (the good kind). Didn't somebody say
that family are the people your stuck with, that you can't get rid of? He wont
- "You wrote to me: 'To pray is to talk with God. But about what?' About
what? About him, and yourself: joys, sorrows, successes and failures,
great ambitions, daily worries - even your weaknesses! And acts of
thanksgiving and petitions - and love and reparation. In short, to get to
know him and to get to know yourself - 'to get acquainted!'" St.
Josemaria Escriva, The Way, Sinag-Tala Publishers
- As to finding psalms and other material to use morning and evening or even other parts of the day, the
Liturgy of the Hours is published in shorter versions than the ones used by
priests. Look for the one volume edition or the even smaller one, Shorter
Christian Prayer, at your Catholic book store. (You could try the Kaufer
Co. in Seattle or Tacoma, or amazon.com.) I would also strongly recommend the
The Imitation of Christ. You may
perhaps feel that some parts are "out of date", but when you feel this way you
have also discovered a point to think about carefully. In modern America, is
there still any place for obedience or humility? What do you think God
One summer job I had while in seminary college was sweeping
the floors in a factory on third shift. Not demanding work, and no one else
was around. So to over come boredom and the absence of people, I would say the
Hail Mary repeatedly all night long. Now I would use the Prayer of the Heart
(a.k.a the Jesus Prayer). A charismatic Christian might quietly use the gift
of tongues. If the work you do doesn't demand much thought (like me sweeping
floors) you could use the imagination to go to a "special place" a secrete
room, a garden, the natural setting to be with the Lord. This was an approach
St. Catherine of Sienna used as a girl when her parents demanded she do most
of the household work to keep her from prayer. See the chapter "The Secret
Room" in Lost in God, by Terry Matz. It is published by Liguori. See
also St. Francis de Sales on Coming into God's Presence.
- "As regards the place of meditation [i.e.
mental prayer], St. Alphonsus says:
- 'We can meditate in every place, at home or elsewhere,
even in walking and at our work. How many are there who, not having any
better opportunity, raise their hearts to God and apply their minds to
mental prayer, without leaving their occupations, their work, or who
meditate even while traveling. He who seeks God will find Him, everywhere
and at all times.'" Lasance, My Prayer-Book, 1908, p. 136.
Imprimatur, Archbishop of New York, 1908.
- "He who learns to live the interior life and to take little account of
outward things, does not seek special places or times to perform devout
exercises. A spiritual man quickly recollects himself because he has never
wasted his attention upon externals. No outside work, no business that
cannot wait stands in his way. He adjusts himself to things as they happen."
Imitation of Christ, Meditation.
The Habit of Prayer.
- "The habit of prayer is no burden to any one, for we can
pray worthily at any time, in any place, and any posture. Even the motion of
the lips is not necessary; the mind and heart can be engaged in it when we
read or converse or go about our daily work. Moreover prayer produces a
delicious feeling of hope and rest in God; and this feeling is worth more
than the happiness that wealth can purchase or the world give.
- God respects not the arithmetic of our prayers, how many
they are; nor the rhetoric of our prayers, how elegant they are; nor the
music of our prayers, how melodious they are; nor the logic of our prayers,
how methodical they are; but the sincerity of our prayers, how heart-sprung
they are. -- Anon." Lasance, My Prayer-Book, 1908, p. 136.
Imprimatur, Archbishop of New York, 1908.
See About Short Prayer and Invocations, ejaculatory prayers.
The Power of Prayer
- "[Prayer] has no delegated grace to avert any sense of
suffering; but it supplies the suffering... with endurance: it amplifies
grace by virtue, that faith may know what she obtains from the Lord,
understanding what--for God's name's sake--she suffers. But in days gone by,
withal prayer used to call down plagues, scatter the armies of foes... Now,
however, the prayer of righteousness avers all God's anger, keeps bivouac on
behalf of personal enemies, makes supplication on behalf of persecutors...
Prayer is alone that which vanquishes God. But Christ has willed that it be
operative for no evil: He had conferred on it all its virtue in the cause of
good. And so it knows nothing save how to recall the souls of the departed
from the very path of death, to transform the weak, to restore the sick, to
purge the possessed, to open prison-bars, to loose the bonds of the
innocent. Likewise it washes away faults, repels temptations, extinguishes
persecutions, consoles the faint-spirited, cheers the high-spirited, escorts
travellers, appeases waves, makes robbers stand aghast, nourishes the poor,
governs the rich, upraises the fallen, arrests the falling, confirms the
standing. Prayer is the wall of faith: her arms and missiles against the foe
who keeps watch over us on all sides. And, so never walk we unarmed."
prayer (He lived and wrote about the year
(Back to contents?)
- To pray, lift your mind and heart to God
- Give Him your every hope and fear.
- Let Him lift these great weights from you
- And let your clouded vision clear.
- (by Roger J. Smith)
- If you have prayer requests, you can contact
Maryknoll, the Christ
in the Desert Monastery, St. Patrick Church in Seattle, the Benedictine Web of Prayer, The Prayer
Line, Liguori, Holy Innocents Church, the #Catholic prayer
book, The Prayer Requests' page, and the Dominican Shrine of St.
Jude in Chicago. Another group accepting prayer
requests is The Taize Ecumenical Community in France,
this form. You can send a prayer
intention card to someone through ewtn.com.
The Resurrection House of Prayer has a prayer
request page, and Prayers of Petition through the Society of the Little
- Recall that Jesus said if two of you agree on anything it
will be granted. Matt. 18:19-20.
For Catholic news, you can look at the National Conference of Catholic
Bishops site, and the Catholic News Service. Don't forget the
official web site of the Vatican, The Holy See or the Canadian
Catholic Conference. (Catholic World
News: subscription needed for full text.)
- You can view news at the Indepenent
Catholic News based in London and run by volunteer
Catholic Journalists. (It is a new site, under development, and
designed for those with older equipment in mind, such as those in developing
- General Catholic related links : The Theological
Library (excellent) take a look at their Directory of
Catholic Directories, Catholic
Pages, AlaPadre's Catholic Corner, or check out
the Top Fourty sites on the
Catholic Internet, at the 1997
Catholic Internet Directory. Looking at Catholic
Periodicals may also be useful. You can also check at
EWTN, their library.
- There is an extensive list of Books on Line on
Christianity. The texts include material from all
denominations and will include anti-catholic liturature, so caution is
- For additional links on prayer: Other
prayer links. Prayers, Catholic Resources for
Educators with its page on prayer, The Theological Library on
Devotions, and prayer, Spirituality at the Internet Theology Resources, Enchiridion of Indulgences (This is an
official text that describes spiritually valuable prayer and gives the text of
traditionally encouraged prayers.) See prayer
links and the Gift of
Prayer by Victor Hoagland, C.P. part of the Bread on the
Waters Web Pages.
Prayers for the sick and homebound.
"The Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the
Bible, copyrighted 1989, by the Division of Christian Education of the National
Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. All