The Prayers of Padre Pio

There can be no doubt that Padre Pio dedicated his life to prayer and suffering. Every breath he took was a prayer—never for himself, always for others. From the beginning of his life, he was able to easily travel from this world to the next, through deep prayer. He used this connection with God to recommend to him the prayers of his spiritual children.

This ability to make contact with the powerful presence of God through prayer enabled him to bless and pray with those in most need, wherever they were in the world.

—from the book Padre Pio: A Personal Portrait

Padre Pio: A Personal Portrait

The Community of Faith

When you read and study Scripture, you are not alone. You are part of an ancient and global community (Acts 2:42–47). It’s more than an individual expression, because it also happens in and with the universal Church. Reading and studying Scripture is both an individual expression of love and trust for God, as well as a communal expression of our faith.

—from the book Ignite: Read the Bible Like Never Before

Fallen Humans, Infinite Desires

We as human persons are made with infinite desires that only God can fulfill. But because we’re fallen, we tend to live at the level of our superficial desires—desires for comfort, fun, fame, wealth, pleasure, success. These desires are not bad, but the rosary helps us be more aware of the soul’s deepest desires, which are for God. As Saint Catherine of Siena taught, the greatest gift we can give to God in prayer is not the finite work of saying the words but our “infinitely desirous love” for God that is expressed in those words and that is being drawn out of our souls in prayer.

—from the book Praying the Rosary Like Never Before: Encounter the Wonder of Heaven and Earth

A Prayer in the Last Hour

When I am in my last hour, when I am very near death, when I am so soon to change form and travel in unaccountable ways and places, I hope I will be of sound enough mind to murmur this, to our three children, and perhaps, if the Mercy has been especially ridiculously generous, our grandchildren: It was for you that I was here, and for you I prayed every day of your life, and for you I will pray in whatever form I am next to take. Lift the rock, and I am there; cleave the wood, and I am there; call for me, and I will listen; for I hope to be a prayer for you and yours long after I am dust and ash. Amen.

—from the book Eight Whopping Lies and Other Stories of Bruised Grace

Why Do Catholics Genuflect?

Why do Catholics genuflect?

Catholics genuflect because we are often in the presence of the Supreme Revelation, who is not a piece of data but a glorious Person. “Jesus Christ is the redeemer of the human race and is the center of human history and the cosmos,” as Pope John Paul II writes in the beginning of his first encyclical. Socrates asked, What is truth? Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths. Mohammed claimed to bear witness to the truth. But only Jesus of Nazareth dared to say, “I am…the truth” (John 14:6).

—from Al Kresta, Why Do Catholics Genuflect?


The Two-and-a-Half-Minute Rosary

Do you have two and a half minutes in your day that you can give to God? This is the beauty of the rosary.

If I need a quick pause in my busy life—just a two-and-a-half-minute break—I can pull out my beads and pray a decade in order to regroup with the Lord and be nourished spiritually. That’s all a decade takes: one Our Father, ten Hail Marys, and one Glory Be. I can do that easily, pausing for a moment in between emails, in the car, in my office, in between meetings, in between errands. I don’t even have to stop some things I’m doing: I can pray a decade while cooking dinner, sweeping the floor, holding a baby, or walking to my next appointment.

—from the book Praying the Rosary Like Bever Before: Encounter the Wonder of Heaven and Earth

At Play in the Fields of the Lord

Praise and adoration take us from our self-preoccupation and lead us outward to God and to the creation that bears God’s perfect imprint. This is the key to the prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi, who praised God through Brother Sun and Sister Moon, Brother Wind and Sister Water and all creatures.

Like Saint Francis of Assisi, the spirit prompts us to celebrate our brotherhood and sisterhood with other creatures and praise God, not in isolation from creation, but through sunlight, rain, wind, trees, and flowers. Now is a good time for us to praise God in the woods, a garden, a valley, a lake, or at sea.

–from the blog “Pathways to Prayer” by Friar Jack Wintz

The Prayers of a Parent

Three children were granted to us, a girl and then, together, one minute apart, two boys; and my prayers doubled, for now I knew fear for them, that they would sicken and die, that they would be torn by dogs and smashed by cars; and I felt even then the shiver of faint trepidation that someday, if they grew up safely, and did not suffer terrible diseases, and they achieved adulthood, that they would be heart-hammered by all sorts of things against which I could not protect or preserve them; and so I did, I admit it, sometimes beg the Coherent Mercy, late at night, for small pains as their lot, for relatively minor disappointments, for love affairs that would break apart but not savagely, for work that they would like and even maybe love.

In the end, I remember vividly, I boiled all my prayers as a parent down to this one: Take me instead of them. Load me up instead of them. Let me eat the pains they were served for their tables. I don’t think I ever fully understood the deep almost inexplicable love of the Christ for us, why he would accept his own early tortured death as a sacrifice, until I had been a father for a while.

—from the book Eight Whopping Lies and Other Stories of Bruised Grace

The Truth Will Make You Free

When we tell the truth about who we are and who we have been, the Spirit can move in us. The confession of our sin makes space for freedom. The slow exhale of what was once hidden invites the wind of the Spirit to blow. And on the wind, the saving grace of the Messiah rides.

—from the book Who Does He Say You Are? Women Transformed by Christ in the Gospels

Let the Bible Change You

Whatever God says to us through the reading, and however we respond, we must take what we receive in the Word of God into our daily lives and allow it to change us. Otherwise, we deceive ourselves into believing we are following him simply because we have performed the act of reading the Bible.

—from the book Ignite: Read the Bible Like Never Before

Meeting God in the Upper Room