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Entries related to: prayer

A Call for Holy Simplicity

On many occasions, the late Pope John Paul II reminded the church of the universal call to holiness. “Everyone in the Church,” he wrote, “precisely because they are members, receive and thereby share in the common vocation to holiness.”
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The Spiritual Benefits of Meditation

Meditation has been a trusted resource throughout cultures and centuries for those who long to quiet their minds and hearts. When we turn the volume down around us, Clifford Hennings, OFM, says, we can open ourselves to hearing the voice of God. And in this era of COVID and racial unrest, mediation is all the more important.
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The Peace Prayer of Saint Francis

Though written in simple language, Saint Francis' Peace Prayer provides rich material for spiritual reflection. The following are some of my thoughts on the Peace Prayer inspired by the lines of this prayer and by the example of Francis.
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Praying with the Saints: All Are Welcome

We love, Scripture says, because God first loved us (see 1 John 4:19). That’s also why we pray—because God’s love melts our chill, sparks our desire, ignites our love. The saints exemplify what happens to people who respond wholeheartedly to these divine initiatives: They are transformed, as sparks of love leap up into a great blaze of union with God.
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Be Present

Have you ever had a conversation with someone and suddenly noticed a look in their eyes as if they were circling the moon? The pace of today’s hectic society—with all of its competing priorities, multimedia blitz, and information overload—is full of distractions that pull us out of the present. Tuning in to our breathing can be a way out.
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The Gospel of Prayer

One of the places we can turn to for help in learning how to pray is the Gospel of Luke. More so than any of the other Gospels, his is the Gospel of prayer. Luke gives us glimpses of Jesus praying in virtually every kind of situation: Jesus prays when he is joy-filled, he prays when he is in agony, he prays with others around him, and he prays when he is alone at night, withdrawn from all human contact. He prays high on a mountain, on a sacred place, and he prays on the level plane, where ordinary life happens.
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Be a Living Prayer

Unlike Saint Ignatius of Loyola’s concentrated, step-by-step instructions for prayer in his Spiritual Exercises, Saint Francis of Assisi’s guidance for those who wish to follow his example of prayer and devotion is more diffuse.
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Powerful Prayer

Each person prays in a very individual way. But there is common ground when we speak of prayer, and this helps us not only understand one another, but enable people of vastly different faith walks, religious persuasions (or none), ages, and life circumstances to unite in prayer around disasters, causes, individuals who are suffering, and other crisis-fraught situations.
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Struggling with Prayer?

We are not, by choice or ideology, a culture set against solitude, interiority, and prayer. Nor are we, in my opinion, more malicious, pagan, or afraid of interiority than past ages. Where we differ from the past is not so much in badness as in busyness. 
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What Is Silent Prayer?

I hope this blog will help you find the contemplative experience you seek. What you and I may indeed need at this juncture is what some spiritual guides and writers call the “Prayer of Inner Quiet.” One of the richest forms of prayer can occur when the heart is absolutely quiet. As the psalmist says, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
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