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Entries related to: prayer

The Saints Are Our Friends

  Who doesn't love the saints? Who among us hasn't reached out to them in times of trouble? Fr. Gary Caster has long-admired the saints. In fact, his favorite is Thérèse of Lisieux. But Fr. Caster warns us not to look at them as switchboard operators conveying our messages to Christ. They are our friends—companions on our faith journeys.  
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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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Tips for Improving Your Prayer Life

style="text-align: center;">    As Christians, we go into prayer with the best of intentions, but we often get distracted or impatient. We complicate what should be a simple moment of grace with God. Fr. Gary Caster has been there, too, and he offers some important tips for slowing down and allowing God to find us.
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Notes from a Friar: Letting God Love Us

In recent years, a gradual illumination has come about in my life. And this has greatly affected my understanding of God’s will. In the second half of my life, this intuition or insight has made my soul feel lighter and brighter—and more joyful.
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Saint Teresa of Avila on Prayer

According to Saint Teresa—one of the Church’s great spiritual masters—prayer is a matter of coming into living contact with Jesus; it is not just recitation and repetition. Simply going through the motions doesn’t deserve the noble title of “prayer,” and it won’t lead to the union of our souls with Jesus. It was only through her living contact with Jesus that Saint Teresa began to love him.
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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 Best Place to Pray

  When you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. (Matthew 6:6) The obvious answer to the question is: anywhere and everywhere, “walking in public or strolling alone...seated in your shop...while buying or selling...or even while cooking” (St. John Chrysostom). There are no limits. When I was teaching high school, I used to work out at a local fitness center that many of the students used. They would see me running on the treadmill at night, praying my rosary. Often students asked me, “Does praying on the treadmill count?”
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Can We Earn God's Love?

A common misconception is that we have to do something virtuous or heroic to find favor with God. But the opposite is true, says Fr. Gary Caster, author of Prayer Everywhere: The Spiritual Life Made Simple. “What we have to do is accept what has already been proven by God in his son, Jesus,” Fr. Caster says. 
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Pray Where You Are and Be As God Made You

And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, building up the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11–12) Saint John Paul II was fond of reminding the various groups of people to whom he spoke, “Be who you are!” Young people, married couples, consecrated men and women throughout the world heard this important reminder. I first heard him speak these words at World Youth Day in Denver in 1993. It was an exciting time, one of great hope and promise, and his words struck at the heart of what so many of us too easily forget. 
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7 Habits of Prayerful People

How easily the golfing pro drives a ball 280 yards! How gracefully the Olympic skater glides across the ice! How effortlessly the master teacher communicates even difficult concepts! But we are not fooled. We know that behind the apparent ease, grace, and spontaneity are years of discipline and training—the habits that have shaped the golfer, ice skater, teacher into a pro.
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