Prayer is intimate conversation with God

We are blessed as Catholics to have a variety of prayers and spiritualities. Our liturgy is rich with prayers that help us to meditate on the Trinity; the relation of God the Father, to God the Son, to God the Holy Spirit. That relationship also encompasses each of us.  During mass we confess; we ask for God’s mercy on each and every one of us; we praise God for who He is; we pray not only for our needs but for those of the whole world; we profess our faith in who God is; we praise God for what He has done and what He continues to do; we call on God to feed us with the Bread of life, and lastly God sends us out to share Him with the world.   One can adopt a number of different spiritualities such as:  Carmelite (St. Teresa of Avila and St. Therese of Lisieux), Ignatian (St. Ignatius of Loyola).

When we recite the rosary, we meditate on the life of Jesus through His and our mother, Mary.  Some pray the Divine Office or Christian Prayer.  Others invoke the intercession of the saints and pray litanies and novenas.  There are many devotees to the Blessed Mother, such as Legion of Mary.  There are those who meditate on the Scriptures and read other religious writings; pray the Psalms; engage in Bible study and faith sharing groups.   Charismatics use spontaneous prayer and pray in tongues.  There are others who use silence.   As Catholics, however, I believe we encounter Jesus, most often and intimately, in silent prayer in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.

As a result of the shelter in place during the COVID-19 pandemic a number of Telephone Prayer Lines, Conference prayer meetings, and live streaming of prayer events have emerged.

Jesus said: Ask and you will receive; Knock and it will be opened; Seek and you shall find. Believe that you will receive everything you ask in Jesus’ name, if it is for your good.   Pray, pray, pray……


Five Examples of Spirituality in the Catholic Faith

As the body of Christ, we need to achieve spiritual maturity by growing as people grounded in a sound, strong, and deep understanding and love of our Catholic faith.   Catholic spiritual traditions play an important role as we mature spiritually.  These traditions exemplify the charisms, styles of prayer and inspiration of some great Catholic leaders and saints who through prayer grew to embody the virtues of charity, humility, and simplicity. We are blessed to have  St Benedict, St. Bonaventure, St. Catherine of Sienna,  St. Clare, St. Francis of Assisi, St Francis DeSales, St Ignatius of Loyola, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Thomas Aquinas, St Vincent de Paul, and my personal favorite: St. Thérèse of Lisieux, as our models to name a few.  Find below a very, very brief description of some examples of spirituality within the catholic tradition and links to learn more.

Benedictine Spirituality is attributed to the teachings of St. Benedict of Nursia, an Italian monk who lived in the 6th century.  His spirituality is to live for God alone through prayer and conversion.   St. Benedict suggests that we are to look for God not in the abstract but in the ordinary events of everyday life.  St. Benedict stated:  "The first step of humility is unhesitating obedience which comes naturally to those who cherish Christ above all."  Learn more….. https://benedictinewomen.org/blog/benedictine-spirituality-in-the-21-century/

Carmelite Spirituality originated with the European lay hermit movement of the 12th century.   The teachings of St. Teresa of Avila who indicated that we develop an intimate relationship with Jesus through daily conversations with Him greatly influenced this spirituality.  She stated, “For prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God.”   The focus of her Carmelite spirituality is worship through contemplative prayer.  My favorite Carmelite, St. Therese of Lisieux, related that the sources of her spirituality were the Bible, the writings of St. John of the Cross, and the book “The Imitation of Christ”.  St. Therese said:  “I pray like children who do not know how to read, I say very simply to God what I wish to say, without composing beautiful sentences, and He always understands me."   “The little way makes holiness accessible to us despite our weaknesses and our ordinariness. It is a way of trust and love.”  Learn more….. https://ocarm.org/en/content/ocarm/carmelite-spirituality

Franciscan Spirituality is attributed to the teachings of St. Francis of Assissi who indicated to look to the “Christ child, Christ crucified, Christ in the Eucharist.”   St. Francis emphasized simplicity, humility, and care of the poor, that is to follow the Jesus of the gospels.  Two sayings of St. Francis I love are:  “The deeds you do may be the only sermon some persons will hear today” and “I have been all things unholy. If God can work through me, He can work through anyone.”   Learn more…..www.franciscanmedia.org/franciscan-spirituality-god-is-love/.

Ignatian Spirituality is attributed to the teachings of St. Ignatius Loyola who indicated that:  God can be found at every moment of our life.  He is known worldwide for his “Spiritual Exercises” in which we are called to acknowledge the daily workings of God in our lives.   His exercises help us grow in our relationship with God.  St. Ignatius asked that we “Do all things for the greater glory and honor of God”.  Learn more…https://www.ignatianspirituality.com/.

Vincentian Spirituality is based on the teachings of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Mariliac.    Five basic principles are God leads,  He waits for us among the poor.  Jesus invites us to participate in His mission (Luke 6).  He joins us in prayer and helps us to perform works of charity.   Learn more....http://amvin.org

In the Prayer Section, you will find prayers invoking each of these saints to assist us in developing a greater commitment to prayer and to help nurture our faith.