Prayer / Spiritual Life

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The Devil’s War on Silence

There are key strategies of indirect attack that the enemy of our souls uses to significantly disrupt our spiritual progress. One is the corruption of human sexuality. As the analogy of holy spousal love is one of the most effective in understanding divine intimacy, the enemy desires to corrupt human sexuality in order to further obscure what it means to [...]

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco)
Photograph © by Andy CoanMission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan

How the Weakness of the Cross Makes Us Strong

“When I am weak, then I am strong”; “power made perfect in weakness.” Such verses are often cited as key to spiritual growth, but do we really understand what they are talking about? Can anyone ever understand? Yes. If we couldn’t understand it at all, God would not have told it to us. God does not waste words. It is [...]

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How Can I Better Praise God?

Dear Dan, Can you give any help on how to learn to praise God? I enjoy going to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and would really like to learn how to praise Him. I don’t feel my words are adequately expressing the praise I really would like to give. Thanksgiving is easier, but I would be grateful for some advice [...]

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I cannot feel God’s presence, am I a bad person?

I am a Catholic or try to be one, and I am having problems feeling the Power of my religion. I have been so hurt throughout my life and I’ve tried to forgive the people, but it does no good. I feel like I get far more satisfaction out of my work than my faith. It’s so hard for me to [...]

Praying the RosaryPraying the Rosary

Are you really 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. [...]

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

The Problem with “Praying to Saints”

At one time in my life I viewed Christians as shallow people blindly following silly rules. As I was to discover, these perceptions were not only wrong, they were worlds away from reality. The root cause of my misconception was my confident ignorance. Until I allowed Christians to speak to me and define their faith their words, I was unable [...]

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

Saying your Prayers versus Praying your Prayers

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, [...]

Photography © Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred HeartPhotography © Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart

A Miracle in Adoration

A number of years ago I had an amazing experience in adoration. I had suffered for years with chronic and often debilitating pain. The pain caused me to isolate myself because after fighting the pain, I had so little energy to interact with or serve others. After a period of reflection and prayer I decided that I would try to fight [...]

Which Container is Your Heart?Which Container is Your Heart?

How Big is the Container of Your Heart?

Here in New Mexico, where the drought has hardened our soil making gardening so-very-un-fun, rain is considered a miraculous blessing. I was thinking about this today because it is kind of like the parable of the Sower. In that story Jesus said the Sower (God) throws out the seeds freely…but the seeds that fall on the ground are eaten by [...]

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Discovering God in Silence

A prayerful, meditative silence is the mother of truth. by Sister Mary Clare, O.C.D. Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles God cannot be found in noise and agitation. His true power and love are revealed in what is hardly perceptible, in the gentle breeze that requires stillness and quiet to detect. In silence, God listens to [...]