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Entries related to: prayer

Saint Francis' Prayer before the Crucifix

"Most High glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart. Give me right faith, sure hope and perfect charity. Fill me with understanding and knowledge that I may fulfill your command."
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Meditation: Prayer from the Heart

How do we begin to meditate? The way of meditation I would recommend is in many ways universal, but also an integral part of the Christian tradition of prayer. In this tradition it is called the “prayer of the heart.” This distinguishes it from either mental prayer or the external forms of worship with which many Christians have come to identify prayer.
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Humanizing God

We are all familiar with the ways in which Jesus used imagery to help us understand who he was. He described himself as the shepherd and we are his sheep. Of course, we know we are not really sheep, but we understand the loving care of a shepherd for his flock. That’s just one example.
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7 Easy Tips for Personal Prayer

Saint Augustine  wisely said, “You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” But the deep meaning of our longing isn’t always so obvious. Ultimately, our restless aching is a yearning for God. We need to connect with God. We need prayer. We know this, both in our more reflective moments and in our more desperate moments. It’s then that we feel our need for prayer and try to go to that deep place. But given our lack of trust and our lack of practice, we struggle to get there. We don’t know how to pray or how to sustain ourselves in prayer.
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The Easiest Prayer Ever

Plenty of people think they don’t pray well. Or that they somehow pray wrong. Or that everyone else has an easier time praying. With this in mind, let me introduce you to a kind of prayer that anyone can do. Whether you’ve been on dozens of retreats or are just beginning to incorporate prayer into your day, the examination of conscience can be a wonderful—and easy—support for your spiritual life.
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The Hail Mary: Jesus at the Center

At first glance, the Hail Mary seems to be primarily about Mary. However, as St. John Paul II emphasized, this prayer is meant to focus our attention on Jesus Christ. “Although the repeated Hail Mary is addressed directly to Mary, it is to Jesus that the act of love is ultimately directed” (RVM, 26).
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A Monday Meditation

I recently cycled across town to a pub on the Philadelphia waterfront. I sat at a table with a breathtaking river view: piers lined with magnificent sailboats, water splashing gently against the dock. We had gone from dodging traffic to the serenity of the majestic Delaware River in a matter of minutes. My thoughts transitioned to meditation.
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The Lord Is My Shepherd: A Look at Psalm 23

For most people who like to pray the psalms, Psalm 23 is clearly a favorite. My prayer is that, with the gracious help of the Holy Spirit, we may each come to a fuller understanding of this psalm. May we be drawn, like a humble lamb, to trust the good shepherd, who watches over us with total love. May this popular psalm become for us a prayer of simple trust!
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Prayers to Ring in the New Year

Pope Francis gave us clear instructions for prayer with his 2013 encyclical The Joy of the Gospel: “I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day.”
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We Are In the Presence of God

There are many writers whose work I admire, and among them is First Nation Canadian writer Richard Wagamese. In his book One Story, One Song, one of the chapters is called “Impossible Blue.” In it, the author describes “a special shade of blue that appears where the sun meets the horizon every morning.
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