Tag Archives: mental prayer


“Need we be astonished if Saint Augustine assures us frequently that the whole Christian life is only a long-continued direction of the heart towards that eternal justice for which we sigh here below. Our happiness lies in being always satiated with it. Now, this thirst is a prayer: desire, then, this justice unceasingly, and you will pray unceasingly.

Do not imagine that it is necessary to utter a long succession of words, and to put oneself to great trouble, in order to pray to God. To pray is to ask Him that His will may be done, to form some good wish, to raise our hearts to God, to sigh for the good things which He promises us, to grieve at the sight of our miseries and of the risk we run of offending Him and violating His law.

Now this prayer demands neither science, nor method, nor reasoning; it should not be a mental labour; all that is necessary is a moment of our time and a good impulse of the heart. One can pray without any definitive idea; a moment, a movement of the heart, is all that is needed, and even that moment may be employed in something else. God’s condescension towards our weakness is so great, that He permits us, in case of need, to share this moment between Him and His creatures.”

– Francois Fenelon


Leave a comment

Posted by on July 29, 2015 in Words of Wisdom


Tags: , , , ,


With the confidence of the most beloved child

“To pray is to elevate our souls to God and to converse with Him, with profound respect, and with a confidence greater than that with which the most beloved child reposes in his mother; it is to speak to Our Lord and master about everything high and low, divine and human, great and little; it is to open our hearts to Him, pouring them out before Him, keeping back nothing; it is to tell Him our troubles, our sins, our desires, in a word, everything that is in our minds; finally, it is to seek in Him our repose and our consolation, like a friend in his confidant, to whom he trusts all his affairs, good and bad.

Silence and repose in God are great treasures

Silence and repose in God are great treasures. All things speak to God, and are open to His eyes – my heart, my desires, my opinions, my trials, my knowledge, and my strength. And the eyes of my Divine Master are eyes which can remove my defects, inflame my desires, and give me wings to fly, provided that He desires my and His own service more than I desire them myself.”

– V. P. Alvarez


Tags: , , , ,



“I go to Mass often on weekdays and to Confession regularly. In Confession recently a priest suggested that I practise mental prayer or meditation to enrich my spiritual life. I feel that this might be a bit advanced for me.


The expression “mental prayer” and “meditation” can be an obstacle if you are unfamiliar with them. We can speak instead simply of prayer, the raising of the mind and heart to God or, as St Teresa called it, conversation with Christ. Many faithful Catholics try to say some daily prayers and perhaps some prayers before and after Confession and Holy Communion. They will often use prayer books with good prayers composed by the saints or other spiritual writers.

Mental prayer is an addition to these devout practices, in which we speak to God in our own words. A classic way to begin is to read the scriptures prayerfully (perhaps the Gospel of the day) or some devout considerations that someone has written down. From this we try to raise not only our minds to God by our thinking, but also our hearts by the affections that we express, trying to love God. Such prayer can also lead to a resolution to change our lives, even if only in a small way ‘just for today’, for example, by acts of charity to others, or by putting up with some inconvenience at work or at home.

To start with, you might set aside just a quarter of an hour first thing in the morning or at some other convenient time in the day. If you work in town, you might be able to make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament before taking the train home. You will sometimes find that you are hopelessly distracted and the prayer time seems wasted, but fortunately the Lord loves and values our prayer even when it seems poor and weak to us. If you persevere you will soon come to value this time with the Lord very highly. Essentially, what we are doing in this prayer is to accompany Our Lord, like the Apostles, to be enriched and nourished with His grace.”
– This article by Fr Tim Finigan was published in “The Catholic Herald” issue November 29 2013. For subscriptions please visit (external link).


Tags: , , , , ,