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Catholic Spiritual Direction

What is the “Prayer of Simplicity”? (Part I of III)

TeresaofAvilaCrop

Prayer of Simplicity:  What is it?  (Part I of III) Dear Father John, I’ve heard that the prayer of simplicity is a kind of a bridge from meditation to contemplation. Can you help me to understand what this experience of prayer might be and how one might know that God is leading them down that path? The term “prayer of simplicity” is used differently by different spiritual authors, so there... Read More

How can I Avoid False Teachings on Prayer? (I of III)

Duerer-Prayer

How can I Avoid False Teachings on Prayer? (Part I of III) …A faithful follower of the Lord asks:  Dear Dan, I enjoy reading more modern writers about prayer and the spiritual life but I am always worried about false teachings that could lead me away from the heart of the Church. How can I know when an author is not orthodox or teaches something that could lead me to deception instead of to... Read More

The Solidarity of Christian Prayer

Liturgy of the Hours copy

Faith in Christ opens us to unconquerable ecclesial horizons even when love seems impossible and the world is falling apart around us.  It is about the solidarity we have in Christ. The solidarity that compels us to pray in terms of “we” and “our” instead of remaining on the level of “I” and “mine.”   The faith we have in Christ opens to a new solidarity,... Read More

Are you really praying or just fast-talking to yourself?

August 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Difficulties, Prayer

Are you really praying or just fast-talking to yourself?

Praying or just fast-talking to yourself? Coming out of a chapel after praying the rosary with a few other Catholics, a friend of mine was surprised when several of those who were with him revealed that they were moved by his prayers. They were all praying the rosary together and he had simply led a decade as requested. He was a bit surprised by their response. He was not conscious of himself during... Read More

Catechism – Vocal Prayer – 2704

August 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Catechism, Dan Burke, Prayer, Prayer, Vocal

Duerer-Prayer

Vocal Prayer — Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraph 2704 Because it is external and so thoroughly human, vocal prayer is the form of prayer most readily accessible to groups. Even interior prayer, however, cannot neglect vocal prayer. Prayer is internalized to the extent that we become aware of him “to whom we speak;”4 Thus vocal prayer becomes an initial form of contemplative... Read More

Saying your prayers versus praying your prayers

August 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Difficulties, Mental Prayer, Prayer, Vocal

In the spiritual life, the language we use intimately reflects our hearts. As an example, let’s look at prayer. Do we “say our prayers?” Or do we pray in an intimate relationship with God? The former is like saying, “I said words to my wife.” The latter is closer to saying, “My wife and I had a wonderful dinner together.” Prayer, when spoken of in impersonal terms, can depict and encourage... Read More

What is a novena?

April 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Novenas, Prayer, Prayers, Vocal

What is a novena?

Dear Father John, I have a question for your blog! I think I don’t really know what is a novena? How did it appear in the church and why? I know “neuvaine” means 9, but why 9 days before the feast/saint you are praying? Why would I  pray a novena…? This question is right on time! One of the Church’s most popular novenas is the Novena to the Divine Mercy, which starts on... Read More

How do I know if God is talking to me in prayer?

April 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Faith, Fr. Bartunek, Prayer

Dear Father John, I keep hearing (and reading) that Christian prayer is a conversation with God. But, to be totally honest, when I pray I don’t really hear God speaking to me. At least, how do I know it’s God and not just my own thoughts? Am I doing something wrong? You are right: the phrase “conversation with God” describes Christian prayer beautifully. Christ has revealed that God is a real... Read More

Meditation: Mastering the Fundamentals – A Webinar with Fr. John Bartunek

February 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Classes, Dan Burke, Fr. Bartunek, Prayer, Webinar

Mastering the Fundamentals Webinar Dear Friends – I am pleased to announce that Fr. John Bartunek, author of The Better Part, will provide us with insights into the fundamentals of Christian meditation. In this webinar he will cover the basic concepts that keep us focused in mental prayer. This webinar is scheduled for Saturday March 10th from 10:30am Central Time to 11:30am Central Time. Some... Read More

Catechism – Vocal Prayer – 2703

February 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Catechism, Dan Burke, Prayer, Prayer, Vocal

Duerer-Prayer

Vocal Prayer (Catechism paragraph 2703) …God seeks worshippers in Spirit and in Truth, and consequently living prayer that rises from the depths of the soul. He also wants the external expression that associates the body with interior prayer, for it renders him that perfect homage which is his due. About Dan BurkeDan is the founder of Catholic Spiritual Direction, the Avila Institute for Spiritual... Read More

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