prayer life

Wholly Indifferent, or Holy Indifference?

There is an interesting dynamic that plays itself out in the spiritual lives of many souls. It is the struggle between the conflicting attitudes of one being wholly indifferent and of one practicing holy indifference. To be wholly indifferent means that a person is not particularly concerned with or perhaps even aware of the challenges, trials or suffering of society […]

But What About All My Good Works?

There is a subtle but dangerous trap even faithful Christians sometimes fall into when it comes to thinking about our relationship with God and our performance of our good works. It is not at all unusual for Christians to sometimes place a little too much emphasis on the merits of their individual works. This can happen for several reasons. It […]

A World of Wonder

“Sinners will find in My Heart an infinite ocean of mercy.” (Sixth Promise of the Sacred Heart) “And I think to myself what a wonderful world…” These are words from February’s theme song, What a Wonderful World. This month we will look at the stage of development where we meet those curious little ones known as “Toddlers.” “What can they teach […]

How Alive am I Willing to Be?

Why bother spending time in prayer? Very few people would be so bold as to ask themselves this sort of question, let alone ask another person. The truth is that there resides deep within all of us the inherent belief, or at least the desire to believe, that there is something real, perhaps even eternal, in this mysterious act we […]

Practical Prayer Tips from the Carmelite Sisters

Dear Sister, Is there a best time to pray, given all the activities each day holds for me—working at my job and caring for and being with my family makes a very full day? Also, I’m not fully awake first thing in the morning and already mighty tired by the time I lay my head on the pillow. I thought […]

What is my role?

There is a Scripture verse many people are probably familiar with, but it seems to have taken on a new significance in light of some of the recent trials we are facing in our modern society. It is one you do not hear mentioned very often by ministers, perhaps because it is somewhat difficult to understand, and certainly very difficult […]

Forget the Memories

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

Almost all of us remember the theme song that Bob Hope used throughout most of his career, it was actually entitled Thanks for the Memories. Unfortunately, what theologians call memories can be some of the most significant distractions to our daily prayer life. “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.” (Isaiah 43:18)  In theology, the term memory does […]

What is the Ultimate End of Our Prayer?

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

We know there are many forms of prayer. We have heard about the prayer of petition, the prayer of praise and the prayer of thanksgiving. And of course, there is the prayer of intercession, which we all practice in when we pray for each other. We also know that there are vocal, mental prayer and contemplative prayer. But if we were to try […]

Lord, Open My Lips and My Mouth Will Proclaim Your Praise

Photography © by Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

“Lord, open my lips and my mouth will proclaim your praise.” (Psalm 51:15) These words ring out in the chapel, breaking the silence of the early morning. It is still dark outside and our community of sisters, albeit still a bit bleary-eyed, has gathered to begin the day singing the Divine Office. The words of the psalms fill the air: “It […]

Focus on the Lord this Advent

We should allow the clarion call from this great saint to reverberate in our souls. Today we enter the Advent Season. It is past time to get ready… One of my strongest, most enduring memories from my childhood is the time spent preparing for Christmas. We did not have any family traditions involving the Advent Wreath or the Jesse Tree. And most certainly, like all […]