Mental Prayer

February 15, 2016

There are many forms and styles of personal prayer.  Vocal prayers such as the Our Father and Hail Mary; meditative prayers such as when we are praying the Stations of the Cross or the Rosary and contemplating with our imagination a scene from the life of our Lord.  Among the others, there is one type of prayer that should be incorporated into our daily routine: Mental prayer.


Mental prayer is a dialogue, it is the conversation of people in love: a conversation in which there is no place for boredom or distraction; a heart-to-heart talk to which we look forward impatiently, to which we go with a hunger to get to know Jesus better and really relate to him; a conversation conducted with the delicacy of a soul in love and which ends with a renewed desire to live and work only for the Lord.


Everyone should consider their daily schedule and determine when and for how long they will be able to pull away for this time of mental prayer.  I know many busy souls that strive to set aside 30 minutes for mental prayer in the morning and another 30 minutes in the afternoon.  These periods of mental prayer are not a burdensome obligation to be fitted somehow into the day but appointments with Our Lord and His Mother to which we look forward and around which other things are arranged.  This does not mean a rigid or slavish insistence on making your meditation every day at the same time; but you should show a strong preference for the usual time and if for some important reason a change is necessary, pray earlier in the day rather than later.


Look for a time and a place where you can dedicate all your energy to talking with God without interruptions or distractions.  Adoration chapels such as the ones at Christ the King and Our Lady of Lourdes in Raytown are great places to go and meet our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament for some time together.  Persevere in mental prayer even when you are tired, when the Lord grants you consolations and when he denies them, when you receive illuminations and when you find yourself in the most complete aridity.  We must lift up everything to God with unceasing prayer.

Lenten Guidance

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