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Entries related to: prayer

Soaring with God

Can you recall a time when you looked at your life and thought, “There must be something more than this”? Have you ever longed to experience something more? Something better? Something greater? 
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The Power of Prayer Petitions

I regularly read the prayer petitions that come in on the monitor at St. Anthony Shrine where I live. In a two-week period, just before Christmas, I was captivated by several requests for prayers for little boys with cancer. 
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Leaning on Prayer in Difficult Times

The fog loomed so thick I could barely detect the street signs when I left for my weekly morning retreat of solitude and prayer by the Des Moines river. In spite of the blurred visibility, I kept on driving, confident the heavy mist would soon lift. It didn’t. By the time I arrived and parked my car facing the water, I could only see a white blanket of film in front of me. From past experience I knew the thick woods existed on the opposite bank and the attentive blue herons would be sitting on the branches waiting to snatch their breakfast. And so I sat there, enveloped in a world of indistinguishable reality, knowing I could do nothing to alter the landscape. I could only enter into it and wait silently for the obscure view to change.
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Anima Christi: A Mystical Prayer

  This prayer touches us on a profound level. The words are most sacred and, with the Spirit’s help, they can lead us into an immediate union with Christ. The Anima Christi (Soul of Christ) has been attributed to Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491–1556), but historians say that it predates Ignatius by as much as a century-and-a-half. Also, a long tradition tells us that it was a favorite of his. In many cases, in fact, it served as the opening prayer of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius. This sacred prayer is sublime and seems to transcend all time, all centuries.
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A Thanksgiving Prayer

During this Thanksgiving week, we’ll surely see a lot of reminders to be thankful for what we have. For many of us, these reminders seem easy to follow. But even if we find it easy to show our gratitude for the blessings we’ve received, it can still be just as easy to fall into some bad habits that prevent us from expressing thanks in the purest way we can. One specific habit that I’ve fallen into without even realizing it is something I call the “All I Want” attitude, and identifying and fighting this habit is helping me develop a deeper sense of gratitude for all the good things in my life. 
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Answering the Call to Prayerfulness

Every moment and every event of every person’s life on earth plants something in his soul. For just as the wind carries thousands of winged seeds, so each moment brings with it germs of spiritual vitality that come to rest imperceptibly in the minds and wills of [people]. Most of these unnumbered seeds perish and are lost, because [people] are not prepared to receive them: for such seeds as these cannot spring up anywhere except in the good soil of freedom, spontaneity, and love. —Th‹omas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation
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Examining Catholic Prayers

Image: Josh Applegate. One of the best things about being a part of the Catholic Church is the access we have to 2,000 years’ worth of history, traditions, and, perhaps most importantly, prayers. Countless saints, priests, and laypeople have come up with ways to pray since the Church’s inception, leaving us with the ability to communicate with God however we want. One problem with this arrangement, however, is that some forms of prayer get forgotten among the myriad of other forms. Certain kinds of prayer like the Rosary seem to be immune to this process, but one form of prayer that is becoming hugely important in my prayer life isn’t often talked about: the Ignatian Daily Examen.
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Catholic Prayer: A Surprise within a Surprise

  Image: Wayne S. Grazio. In the preparation of the book, Prayer in the Catholic Tradition: A Handbook of Practical Approaches, I wanted to surprise the readers but, in the process of editing the 45 contributions, something unforeseen also happened to me. I experienced deeply for myself the richness, breadth, and relevance of Catholic prayer as never before.
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Take a Break from Social Media to Refocus

  Whoever serves and gives seems like a failure in the eyes of the world. In reality, it is exactly in giving their life that they find it. —Pope Francis By all accounts and according to worldly standards, the Australian-born model Essena O’Neill had it made. She had built a career on social media, becoming an overnight Internet sensation with hundreds of thousands of followers and a nice chunk of change to the tune of several thousand dollars per selfie. With money and fame that went well beyond any nineteen-year-old’s wildest dreams, what could possibly be missing?
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Prayer Requests

Every week, I receive prayer petitions that are sent along with St. Anthony Messenger magazine subscription renewals. The prayer petition slips are about the size of a number 10 envelope. The last batch that I received weighed 14 pounds when they were mailed to me. That is a lot of prayer petitions!
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