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Prayer

Sweet Hour of Prayer! Or Not? How do You Experience Prayer?

August 9, 2018 2 Comments
Sweet Hour of Prayer! Or Not? How do You Experience Prayer?

How do you think of prayer? Is it another thing you “have to do” among many other things on your list? Or is prayer a time when you refrain from doing? Is prayer a requirement you regret or a rest you relish? What is prayer for you? The danger in answering questions like these is […]

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And with Sweet Sleep Mine Eyelids Close – A Meditation on a Beautiful Hymn of the Night

July 24, 2018 1 Comment
And with Sweet Sleep Mine Eyelids Close – A Meditation on a Beautiful Hymn of the Night

One of the great night prayer hymns, “All Praise to Thee My God This Night,” appears in numerous hymnals of the English tradition. Sadly, it is not in our current breviary, but I hope that the new one might feature it. It was written by Thomas Ken in 1709 and is most often sung to […]

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Humility in Prayer According to St. Teresa of Avila

July 9, 2018 2 Comments
Humility in Prayer According to St. Teresa of Avila

I have written before on humility in prayer as St. Augustine sets it forth. In today’s post I look to the same topic, but this time as St. Teresa of Avila presents it in her treatise The Way of Perfection. In setting forth her teaching, I have substantially reworked the order of her reflections. St. […]

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A Mysterious Word in the Lord’s Prayer

December 13, 2017 16 Comments
A Mysterious Word in the Lord’s Prayer

Pope Francis recently made news by indicating a preference for translating the phrase “lead us not into temptation” as “do not let us fall into temptation.” He did not say that the English rendering should be changed, only that He was supportive of a recent similar change made to the French translation. I have written […]

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Praying for Those Who Have Died Is a Work of Mercy

November 2, 2017 5 Comments
Praying for Those Who Have Died Is a Work of Mercy

What is the value of one prayer? I suspect it is far greater than any of us imagine. Prayer changes things, sometimes in obvious ways, but more often in subtle and even paradoxical ways. But prayer is surely important, even when we don’t experience its immediate effects. Perhaps this is why Jesus taught us to […]

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Meanwhile We Pray – In Humility, Always in Humility

October 26, 2017 3 Comments
Meanwhile We Pray – In Humility, Always in Humility

We are often quite certain that we know what is best for us. Therefore, we pray, asking God for good health, prosperity, or victory in some cause. But what if it is better for us to be unhealthy, to be poor, or to lose? Can we really say we know what is best and confidently […]

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On the Power of Liturgy and Prayer

May 31, 2017 0 Comments
On the Power of Liturgy and Prayer

There is a text from the Acts of the Apostles (read last week at Mass) that sets forth quite well some of the qualities of the Sacred Liturgy. Although the “liturgy” cited in this passage is not a Mass, the description should apply to all our liturgies; from the Liturgy of the Hours to baptism, […]

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The Universal Prayer

March 16, 2017 2 Comments
The Universal Prayer

To my mind, one of the most remarkable prayers ever written was one attributed to Clement XI, who was pope from 1700-1721. Many have never heard it. The prayer is called “universal” because of its sweeping themes. Upon completing it one might well ask if anything at all was left out! If you are looking […]

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