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Entries related to: praying

Psalm 36: Sin Speaks to the Sinner

The Book of Psalms was composed many centuries before Jesus’ time. The psalms are beautiful prayers that fit every condition and circumstance of life. They praise the Lord’s goodness and cry out in complaint and despair for the suffering we experience. The Book of Psalms, inspired as it is by God, gives us a powerful insight into human nature. The imagery is strong and so telling in its description. One such example is the opening verse of Psalm 36, entitled “Human Wickedness and Divine Providence.”
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A Doer’s Prayer

This time of year, for many, can be an overwhelming confrontation with all that there is to do. The holidays fade away. The decorations come down. We return to the world, carried along by our resolutions or our goals, our dreams for the year, or our need to make up for lost time over the holidays. We are thrown back onto the treadmill. Each day is just another step forward on the doer’s march.
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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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Seven 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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Talking to God: Morning Prayers

Throughout the day, we should be mindful that God wishes to continually hear from us. But how can we possibly speak to God every minute when we are obviously busy?
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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. It is true to think of Saint Francis’ writings as occasional and unsystematic. Nevertheless, taken as a whole, they offer constructive clues for what we might describe generally as Francis’ “instructions on prayer.”
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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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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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