Prayer / Spiritual Life

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Enduring His Wife’s Addiction

Shuffling through the mail, Brad Kremmer pulled out several envelopes from credit card companies and ripped them open. His muscles tightened as he skimmed over the new balances. “She’s lied again,” Brad realized. His wife, Jennifer, had promised to stop gambling at the casino and going on out-of-control buying sprees. Instead, she had gone through at least another two thousand […]

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Watching and Waiting — Advent in Carmel

by Sister Timothy Marie, OCD Advent in Carmel To experience Advent in Carmel is to enter into a rarified atmosphere that is filled to the brim with Carmel’s living legacy of Advent customs and observances. My first Advent in Carmel remains fresh in my memory today, still as vibrant and alive as when it happened. I feel at a loss, […]

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God’s Desire for You

For years, though I had been a committed Christian and enjoyed what many call a truly personal relationship with Christ, I had not really internalized the thought that God desired me. That He wants and longs for a relationship with me. The idea seemed odd that the great God of our universe would have any sense of personal longing for a […]

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When We Struggle in Our Prayer Life

One of the biggest obstacles for me in the early days of my faith journey was the lack of a prayer life. I knew I needed to pray, but I couldn’t ever remember sincerely praying about anything. I was struggling with the typical male challenge of asking for help, especially asking God for help! I rationalized this by thinking, “Who […]

"General Judgment" (detail) by Michelangelo"General Judgment" (detail) by Michelangelo

Why should we meditate on hell and judgment?

Dear Dan, Why would the Church recommend that we meditate on such horrible things as hell and the last judgment (aren’t there four things.)? Anyway, if there is a benefit to doing such a thing, what would that look like? Dear Friend, “The Last Things”, or “Eschatology” is the subject that deals with the ultimate truths of our existence. Often […]

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How can I pray when I can’t even think straight?

Dear Dan, How do I pray when I am sick and can’t think? I feel as though my words are just going out into thin air and no one in heaven hears me. What words do I use and Who will listen? Dear Friend, This is a difficult question both to experience and to answer. I have suffered significant ongoing […]

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New Prayer Books Worth Checking Out

I have a bit of a “thing” for prayer books, it’s true. For one thing, they make great gifts. For another, they help if you’re stuck in a corner with your prayer life (which, ahem, I may or may not be quite often). These new books are perfect for teens…and for the rest of us too! Prayers for Young Catholics […]

"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber

Is being “slain in the Spirit” the same as contemplative ecstasy?

Dear Dan, I have experienced what people call “resting in the spirit” or being “slain in the spirit.” It was amazing. The priest prayed for me and I fell to the floor as if I had passed out (no injuries as I was already praying on my knees facing the Altar). However, I was still aware of others around me […]

"Christ in Gethsemane" (detail) by Heinrich Hofmann"Christ in Gethsemane" (detail) by Heinrich Hofmann

Pray Like Jesus to Transcend Suffering

“God loves you,” we tell our children. “And your guardian angel watches over you.” Then they go and skin their knees. “Go to God with your needs,” we say. But how do we respond to: “I prayed and prayed, so how come things still aren’t better?” It’s hard to know what to say if we are wondering that very same […]

Praying the RosaryPraying the Rosary

Is it possible to pray at the speed of light?

Dear Dan, I recently determined that I would begin praying the rosary regularly and as part of that commitment, I attend a weekly rosary prayer group at my parish. I was initially excited to attend but have found that the speed of their prayer is a bit blinding. They prayed an entire mystery along with other prayers in about ten minutes! […]