prayer life

The Holy Sepulchre in JerusalemThe Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem

The Church Where Jesus Was Crucified

More than a decade ago I received a gift that left an indelible mark on by soul, a trip to the Holy Land. One of the most memorable of my encounters was at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is built on the mount where our blessed Lord was crucified. As I entered into the huge and holy structure on [...]

woman-praying-bible-featured-w740x493

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 [...]

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

A Constellation of Saints

There are as many saints as there are stars in the sky… The night sky in its magnificent beauty has beckoned to me ever since I was a small child. At night, especially on a summer’s night, I would slip away and sit on our front porch, or better still, I would lie on the grass and just look up [...]

"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, [...]

"Christ in the House of Mary and Martha" (detail) by Johannes Vermeer"Christ in the House of Mary and Martha" (detail) by Johannes Vermeer

The Danger of Martha’s Vindication

I have noticed a troubling trend in past years when the Gospel reading about Mary and Martha’s encounter with Christ surfaces. Of course we all know the passage: “Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the [...]

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 [...]

"The Madonna of Carmel and the Souls of the Purgatory" (detail) by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo"The Madonna of Carmel and the Souls of the Purgatory" (detail) by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

“Flower of Carmel” — One of the Most Beautiful Prayers Ever Written

Every year on July 16th, Carmelites throughout the world celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, patroness of the Carmelite Order.  If you want to know how we feel about Mary, our Mother, spend a few minutes reflecting on one of the most beautiful prayers ever written, the Flos Carmeli. Most of us pray — before meals, morning and/or [...]

pixabay-bench-in-meadow-silence-featured-w740x493

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 [...]