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    "Prayer is the raising of one's mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God" (St. John Damascene, CCC 2559).

    God invites us into a relationship with Him that is both personal and communal. He speaks to us through His Son, Jesus Christ, the Word-made-flesh. Prayer is our response to God who is already speaking or, better yet, revealing Himself to us. Therefore, prayer is not merely an exchange of words, but it engages the whole person in a relationship with God the Father, through the Son, and in the Holy Spirit.

    How do I pray?

    Various forms of prayer are presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 2623-2649). These various forms include prayer of bless or adoration, prayer of petition, prayer of intercession, prayer of thanksgiving, and prayer of praise.

    What is meditation?

    Meditation is a Christian practice of prayer dating back to the early Church. As the Catechism states: "Meditation is above all a quest. The mind seeks to understand the why and how of the Christian life, in order to adhere and respond to what the Lord is asking." By meditating on the Gospels, holy icons, liturgical texts, spiritual writings, or "the great book of creation," we come to make our own that which is God's. "To the extent that we are humble and faithful, we discover in meditation the movements that stir the heart and we are able to discern them. It is a question of acting truthfully in order to come into the light: "Lord, what do you want me to do?" (CCC 2705-2706).

    Meditation is an essential form of Christian prayer, especially for those who are seeking to answer the vocational question, "Lord, what do you want me to do?"

    Meditating on Sacred Scripture

    Spiritual reading of Sacred Scripture, especially the Gospels, is an important form of meditation. This spiritual reading is traditionally called lectio divina or divine reading. Lectio divina is prayer over the Scriptures.

    How do we pray over the Sacred Scriptures?

    The first element of this type of prayer is reading (lectio): you take a short passage from the Bible, preferably a Gospel passage and read it carefully, perhaps three or more times. Let it really soak-in.

    The second element is mediation (meditatio). By using your imagination enter into the Biblical scene in order to "see" the setting, the people, and the unfolding action. It is through this mediation that you encounter the text and discover its meaning for your life.

    The next element is prayer (oratio) or your personal response to the text: asking for graces, offering praise or thanksgiving, seeking healing or forgiveness. In this prayerful engagement with the text, you open yourself up to the possibility of contemplation.

    Contemplation (contemplatio) is a gaze turned toward Christ and the things of God. By God's action of grace, you may be raised above meditation to a state of seeing or experiencing the text as mystery and reality. In contemplation, you come into an experiential contact with the One behind and beyond the text.


The "O Antiphons" of Advent
Thanksgiving Day Prayer
Tantum Ergo
Pro-Life Rosary Prayer Intentions
Pro-Life Prayers
Pro-Life Novenas
Praying Like a Faithful Citizen
Prayers to Care for Creation
Prayers for Vocations
Prayers for the Dead: Prayer for a Bishop
Prayers for the Church and the World
Prayers for Peace
Prayers for Mourners
Prayers for Catholic Living
Prayers at the Death of a Baptized Child
Prayer to St. Juan Diego on his Canonization
Prayer to St. Joseph after the Rosary
Prayer to Saint Juan Diego
Prayer To Know One's Vocation
Prayer to End the Use of the Death Penalty
Prayer to Discern a Vocation
Prayer to Confront Global Poverty
Prayer to Care for Our Common Home
Prayer to Be Disciples and Missionaries
Prayer Service to be Disciples on Mission
Prayer on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Prayer in Defense of Marriage
Prayer From a Canticle by Saint John of the Cross
Prayer for Work
Prayer for Troops
Prayer for the New Year
Prayer for the ad limina visits
Prayer for Protection of Conscience Rights in Health Care
Prayer for Priests
Prayer for Peace in Iraq
Prayer for Migrants and Refugees
Prayer for Memorial Day (Last Monday in May)
Prayer for Justice
Prayer for Healing Victims of Abuse
Prayer for Families
Prayer for Deliverance from Evil
Prayer for Civic Leaders
Prayer for Charity in Truth
prayer for a victim of accident or violence
Prayer During Difficult Economic Times
Prayer Before an Election
Prayer After an Election
Popular Devotional Practices: Basic Questions and Answers
Peticiones Por Las Tropas Que Parten
Oraciones Para las Vocaciones
Oración Por La Paz
Oracion Para Sanar Victimas de Abuso
Oracion para Discernir una Vocacion
Oración para combatir la pobreza mundial
Oración para ciudadanos fieles
Oración de la familia en el Año de la Fe
O Sacrum Convivium
Novena for Faithful Citizenship
New Evangelization Prayer
National Day of Prayer for Peace
Morning Offering
Life Promise Prayer
Intercessions for Life: Children - Born and Unborn
Intercesiones del Rosario pro Vida
How to Plan a Vigil
Family Prayer for the Year of Faith
Days and Seasons
Basic Prayers
Anima Christi
Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love
A Prayer to our Lady of Guadalupe
A Prayer for the People of Syria
A Prayer for Life
A Novena to Three American Saints for Life
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