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Saints' Discussion Forums  |  Forums  |  Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion  |  Topic: Mental Prayer 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Brigid
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« on: July 27, 2010, 07:04:59 PM »

I especially counsel you to practice mental prayer, the prayer of the heart, and particularly that which centers on the life and passion of our Lord. By often turning your eyes on him in meditation, your whole soul will be filled with him. You will learn his ways and form your actions after the pattern of his. He is "the light of the world," and therefore it is in him and by him and for him that we must be instructed and enlightened. He is the tree of desire in whose shade we must be refreshed. He is that living "fountain of Jacob" in which we can wash ourselves clean of all our stains. Finally, just as little children learn to speak by listening to their mothers and lisping words with them, so also by keeping close to our Savior in meditation and observing his words, actions, and affections we learn by his grace to speak, act, and will like him.

St. Francis de Sales
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For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also.
Matt. 6:21
martin
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2010, 03:01:20 PM »

These little prayers said mentally during the day even when busy help keep one in the awareness of the presence of God even when preoccupied with other things. That's were the little Jesus prayer really helps if I can get into the habit again.  crucifix
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"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
(Galatians 2:20)
Brigid
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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2010, 03:22:57 PM »

Yes, and to me it is/was a constant reminder of my own weakness and my need to depend on Him (which is good for me! Embarrassed ).
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For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also.
Matt. 6:21
Shin
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2010, 11:03:48 AM »

Quote
the prayer of the heart, and particularly that which centers on the life and passion of our Lord.

What does this particular part mean to folks?
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martin
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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2010, 05:58:31 PM »

Quote
the prayer of the heart, and particularly that which centers on the life and passion of our Lord.

What does this particular part mean to folks?

I used too wonder what praying from the heart meant but I think I understand it a little more now.
It's much harder to pray from the heart when the mind is set on temporal things, for although we use the right words. our heart isn't really in agreement with them.

When we get the mind more focused on eternal goods and especially when we know our desperate need of them, it's much easier to pray for them with our whole heart.
When our hearts are set on the things that really matter for our own salvation and that of others, we have the assurance from the Lord Himself that we will receive them through prayer.

Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you.  For every one that asketh, receiveth: and he that seeketh, findeth: and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.  Or what man is there among you, of whom if his son shall ask bread, will he reach him a stone?  Or if he shall ask him a fish, will he reach him a serpent? 11 If you then being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more will your Father who is in heaven, give good things to them that ask him? Matt 7: 8-11

Very comforting words indeed.

I realise now that it's most important for me to keep myself more focused on heavenly goods than earthly ones.
And as the Lord again says,

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Luke 12: 34
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"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
(Galatians 2:20)
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« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2010, 06:05:54 PM »

Was St. Peter's cry, "Lord, help me!" when he began to sink into the water Jesus was walking on..... a prayer of the heart?   See, in addition to all said here, I think that a prayer of the heart is one expressed without pretense.  And many times, those kinds of prayers occur when one is suffering some physical or emotional trial. 

OK, those are my thoughts..........  shrug
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Brigid
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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2010, 10:32:09 PM »

Was St. Peter's cry, "Lord, help me!" when he began to sink into the water Jesus was walking on..... a prayer of the heart?   See, in addition to all said here, I think that a prayer of the heart is one expressed without pretense.  And many times, those kinds of prayers occur when one is suffering some physical or emotional trial. 

OK, those are my thoughts..........  shrug
tiny angel Yup, that's what I would think. Besides, St. Therese (and other saints) said that prayer is lifting up ones heart to God. I don't think St. Francis de Sales meant - nor did he probably even know about, the Eastern Orthodox practice of the Jesus Prayer, also known as the prayer of the heart.

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For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also.
Matt. 6:21
Shin
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2010, 10:37:52 PM »

Quote
the prayer of the heart, and particularly that which centers on the life and passion of our Lord.

What does this particular part mean to folks?

I used too wonder what praying from the heart meant but I think I understand it a little more now.
It's much harder to pray from the heart when the mind is set on temporal things, for although we use the right words. our heart isn't really in agreement with them.

When we get the mind more focused on eternal goods and especially when we know our desperate need of them, it's much easier to pray for them with our whole heart.
When our hearts are set on the things that really matter for our own salvation and that of others, we have the assurance from the Lord Himself that we will receive them through prayer.

Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you.  For every one that asketh, receiveth: and he that seeketh, findeth: and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.  Or what man is there among you, of whom if his son shall ask bread, will he reach him a stone?  Or if he shall ask him a fish, will he reach him a serpent? 11 If you then being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more will your Father who is in heaven, give good things to them that ask him? Matt 7: 8-11

Very comforting words indeed.

I realise now that it's most important for me to keep myself more focused on heavenly goods than earthly ones.
And as the Lord again says,

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Luke 12: 34

What you said here reminds me of 'blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God'. Smiley
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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
Patricia
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« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2012, 07:26:04 AM »


My little children, your hearts, are small, but prayer stretches them and makes them capable of loving God. Through prayer we receive a foretaste of heaven and something of paradise comes down upon us. Prayer never leaves us without sweetness. It is honey that flows into the souls and makes all things sweet. When we pray properly, sorrows disappear like snow before the sun.

-- Saint John Vianney
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'His mother saith to the servants: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye.'
~~~John 2:5
odhiambo
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« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2013, 02:03:58 PM »

"Prayer is the best weapon we have; it is the key to God's heart.
 You must speak to Jesus not only with your lips, but with your heart.
 In fact on certain occasions you should only speak to Him with your heart."
Padre Pio
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Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
Inspirational Quotes from the saints:
'If men but knew Thee, O my God!'
St. Ignatius of Loyola
“Late have I loved Thee,
 O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
 late have I loved Thee!......”
St. Augustine of Hippo
odhiambo
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« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2013, 02:10:33 PM »

 
"Through the study of books one seeks God; by meditation one finds him"

Padre Pio
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Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
Inspirational Quotes from the saints:
'If men but knew Thee, O my God!'
St. Ignatius of Loyola
“Late have I loved Thee,
 O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
 late have I loved Thee!......”
St. Augustine of Hippo
eschator83
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« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2021, 11:09:12 AM »

This entire website is truly a great gift to us all; many thanks to God our Father, and to Shin.  I came here working to understand Contemplation better, and thinking I might find Brigid's last post (I think 11/13/13- although perhaps she just visited on that day without posting).  She made many wonderful contributions.
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Shin
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« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2021, 05:59:44 AM »

Yes Brigid had many wonderful contributions. Cheesy

You too are contributing here to all the good and holy things, there is much to be thankful for. Cheesy

Thanks be to God for all His gifts.

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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
eschator83
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« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2021, 08:46:15 AM »

I suspect I've previously mentioned in another thread that among the books I brought to camp this year is Mental Prayer: Challenge to the Lay Apostle (1958) compiled by Theologians Sodality Academy, St Mary's College, KS. 
It says on page 11: Don't read this book!  It's not meant to be read!  This book is to help you pray in a special way, to make mental prayer-which is quite a different thing from reading.  If you read this book, you may hurt your prayer.  Don't read it.
Next it proceeds-
First Steps:
Built in Prayer Helps:
Presence of God
A Good Beginning
The book recommends 15 minutes daily, which it recommends to begin Sept 13 (I haven't found a clear explanation but this may reflect the beginning of a retreat).  I've been scanning the web for info on sodality groups, but cannot recall who gave me this book nor when. 
It may be unnecessary to comment that I am still struggling to think through Benedict's concern about reading the Cloud of Unknowing, and wondering if he would feel similarly about this book.  Please pray for me, I am still working daily on the Kersten meditation book I have mentioned elsewhere, even keeping a daily notebook, but it is very difficult for me for a wide range of reasons, and I'm strongly tempted to switch books.  Comment would be much appreciated.
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eschator83
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« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2021, 12:07:27 PM »

On 9/13 I stopped my Kersten meditation (mentioned elsewhere), and began the Sodality book, which is very different.  I find myself reluctant to write notes on meditation, and or mental prayer, even in my journals, probably because my mind is quite far from the cloud of unknowing.  I do have a strong joy from my consistent effort at meditation, even though I switched methods, and I do sometimes feel the wonderful sense of God's Presence and that He is pleased sometimes with my effort.
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