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Reflections: Prayers & Devotions Section

Prayer Scroll

Prayers & Dev. | Home | Daily Digest | Reflections: A-Z | Categorized

Reflections: 

  Prayers & Devotions Section

Wisdom of the Popes, Saints, Theologians, Other...

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Agnus Dei (Sacramental)

Answered Prayers [AP]

Asking Great Things of God

Aspirations

Benefits of Prayer

The Blessed Virgin / Our Prayers

The Brown Scapular

Consecration to Jesus / Mary

Consolation in Prayer

Contemplation / Meditation

Crucifix in the Home [Catholic Life Reflections]

Devotion

Devotion / Blessed Virgin Mary

Efficacy of Prayer

The Eucharist Should Be the Focal Point of All Other Forms of Devotion

Evening Prayer

Exhortations to Prayer

Faith / Prayer

Fleeing From Prayer

Forty Hours Devotion

Frequent Prayer

God Gives in the Measure We Ask

God Listens to Sinners

God Seeks Our Prayers

How to Pray

Jesus / Prayer

The Lord's Prayer (The "Our Father")

Morning Prayers

Necessity of Prayer

No Prayer is Lost

Not Introducing New Forms of Devotion

Obliged Prayer

Perseverance and Prayer

Perseverance in Prayer

Pilgrimages / Saints

Pleasure / Prayer

Popular Devotions

Praise of Prayer

Prayer & Fasting

Prayer & Penance

Prayer & Sin

Prayer & The Blessed Sacrament

Prayer in Our Own Words

Prayer / Peace

Prayers of Some Are Not Heard / Abominable Prayers

Praying for One's Enemies

Praying for Others [PR]

Praying Privately

Problems / Difficulties in Prayer

Public vs. Private Prayer

Righteous Man / Prayer

Rosary

Sacramentals

Sacred Heart of Jesus

Saints / Prayer

Satan / Prayer

Scapular - see "Brown Scapular"

Sign of the Cross

Spiritual Communion

Stations of the Cross

Thanksgiving / Prayer

Time in Prayer is Not Wasted

"Unheard" / "Unanswered" Prayers

What Prayer Is

What We May Pray For

Wordiness in Prayer

Misc.

Also Try...

Category
Quotation

Agnus Dei (Sacramental) 

Also See: Sacramentals (Topic Page)

"The Agnus Dei are made from the Paschal candle of the previous year; of course, a great quantity of other wax is added to it. Formerly, it was the custom to pour in some drops of the holy chrism. In the Middle Ages the wax was prepared and stamped by the subdeacons and acolytes of the Pope's palace; the Cistercian monks of the monastery of St. Bernard, now have that honor... On account of their sublime symbolism, their being blessed by the Sovereign Pontiff, and the solemnity of their rite, the Agnus Dei are considered as one of the most venerated objects of Catholic piety. They are sent from the holy city to every part of the world. The faith of those who respectfully keep them in their houses, or wear them, has frequently been rewarded by miracles. During the pontificate of St. Pius V, the Tiber overflowed its banks, and threatened destruction of several quarters of the city: an Agnus Dei was thrown into the river, and the water immediately receded. This miracle, which was witnessed by several thousands of the inhabitants, was brought forward in the process of the beatification of this great Pontiff." (Gueranger)

"When, in the year 1544, they opened at Rome the tomb of the Empress Mary...who died before the middle of the fifth century, there was found in it an Agnus Dei, resembling those now blessed by the Pope. It is therefore incorrect to state, as some authors have done, that the Agnus Dei originated at the time when the administration of Baptism at Easter fell into disuse, and that they were meant as symbols commemorative of the ancient rite. There is very little doubt that at Rome each neophyte used to receive an Agnus Dei from the pope on Holy Saturday. We may, then, rightly conclude - and the conclusion is confirmed by the fact just mentioned regarding the tomb of the Empress Mary - that the solemn administration of Baptism and the blessing of the Agnus Dei were contemporaneous, at least for a certain period." (Gueranger)

Also See: Sacramentals

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Answered Prayers

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Asking Great Things of God

Also See: God (Topic Page)

"You pay God a compliment by asking great things of Him." (St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church)

"Thou art coming to a King; large petitions with thee bring; for His grace and power are such, none can ever ask too much." (Cardinal Newman)

"I have a Spouse who can do all that is greatest, and who possesses all that is rarest, and am I to expect only little things from him?" (St. Rose of Lima)

Also See: Benefits of Prayer | Faith / Prayer | God Gives in the Measure We Ask

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Aspirations

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"There is no better method of developing a state of continuous moral union with God, than the frequent repetition of these actions of union." (Plus)

"It is an old custom of the saints of God to have some little prayers ready and to be frequently darting them up to heaven during the day, lifting their minds to God out of the mire of this world. He who adopts this plan will obtain great fruits with little pains." (St. Philip Neri) 

"Aspire to God with short but frequent outpourings of the heart; admire His bounty; invoke His aid; cast yourself in spirit at the foot of His cross; adore His goodness; treat with Him of your salvation; give Him your whole soul a thousand times in the day." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: Frequent Prayer | God Gives in the Measure We Ask | God Seeks Our Prayers | Necessity of Prayer | No Prayer is Lost | Perseverance in Prayer | Aspirations of the Saints | Try Here For More Aspirations...

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Benefits of Prayer

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The Blessed Virgin / Our Prayers

Also See: Blessed Virgin Mary (Topic Page)

"When our hands have touched spices, they give fragrance to all they handle. Let us make our prayers pass through the hands of the Blessed Virgin. She will make them fragrant." (St. John Vianney)

"Nor can our prayers fail to ascend to Him as a sweet savor, commended by the prayers of the Virgin." (Pope Leo XIII, "Iucunda Semper Expectatione", 1894) 

Also See: Mary, Our Mother Section

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The Brown Scapular 

Also See: Scapulars (Topic Page)

"In the night between the 15th and 16th of July of the year 1251, the gracious Queen of Carmel confirmed to her sons by a mysterious sign the right of citizenship she had obtained for them in their newly adopted countries; as mistress and mother of the entire religious state she conferred upon them with her queenly hands the scapular hitherto the distinctive garb of the greatest and most ancient religious family of the West. On giving St. Simon Stock this badge, ennobled by contact with her sacred fingers, the Mother of God said to him: 'Whosoever shall die in this habit shall not suffer eternal flames.' But not against hell fire alone was the all-powerful intercession of the Blessed Mother to be felt by those who should wear her scapular. In 1316, when every holy soul was imploring heaven to put a period to that long and disastrous widowhood of the Church which followed on the death of Clement V, the Queen of Saints appeared to James d'Euse, whom the world was soon to hail as John XXII; she foretold to him his approaching elevation to the Sovereign Pontificate, and at the same time recommended him to publish the privilege she had obtained from her Divine Son for her children of Carmel - viz., a speedy deliverance from purgatory. 'I, their Mother will graciously go down to them on the Saturday after their death, and all whom I find in purgatory I will deliver and will bring to the fountain of life eternal.' These are the words of our Lady herself, quoted by John XXII in the Bull which he published for the purpose of making known the privilege, and which was called the Sabbatine Bull on account of the day chosen by the glorious benefactress for the exercise of her mercy. We are aware of the attempts made to nullify the authenticity of these heavenly concessions; but our extremely limited time will not allow us to follow up these worthless struggles in all their endless details. The attack of the chief assailant, the too famous Launoy, was condemned by the Apostolic See; and after, as well as before, these contradictions, the Roman Pontiffs confirmed, as much as need be, by their supreme authority, the substance and even the letter of the precious promises. The reader may find in special works the enumeration of the many indulgences with which the Popes have, time after time, enriched the Carmelite family, as if earth would vie with heaven in favoring it. The munificence of Mary, the pious gratitude of her sons for the hospitality given them by the West, and lastly, the authority of St. Peter's successors, soon made these supernatural riches accessible to all Christians, by the institution of the Confraternity of the holy Scapular, the members whereof participate in the merits and privileges of the whole Carmelite Order. Who shall tell the graces, often miraculous, obtained through this humble garb? Who could count the faithful now enrolled in the holy militia?" (Liturgical Year)

Also See: Sacramentals | The Scapular (Mary, Our Mother Reflections

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Consecration to Jesus / Mary

Also See: Jesus (Topic Page) | Blessed Virgin Mary (Topic Page)

"All our perfection consists in being conformed, united, and consecrated to Jesus Christ; and therefore the most perfect of all devotions is, without any doubt, that which most perfectly conforms, unites, and consecrates us to Jesus Christ. Now, Mary being the most conformed of all creatures to Jesus Christ, it follows that of all devotions, that which most consecrates and conforms the soul to our Lord is devotion to His holy Mother, and that the more a soul is consecrated to Mary, the more it is consecrated to Jesus." (St. Louis de Montfort)

Also See: Mary, Our Mother Section | Try Here For Consecration Prayers...

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Consolation in Prayer

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"There are certain souls who are always looking for consolation in prayer; this is a delusion of the devil, who simply wishes to bring about their destruction." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: Benefits of Prayer | Necessity of Prayer | Perseverance in Prayer | Pleasure / Prayer | Problems / Difficulties in Prayer

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Contemp-

lation / Meditation

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Devotion 

"Hence devotion is apparently nothing else but the will to give oneself readily to things concerning the service of God." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Devotion to God's holy ones, dead or living, does not terminate in them, but passes on to God, in so far as we honor God in His servants." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"The direct and principal effect of devotion is the spiritual joy of the mind, though sorrow is its secondary and indirect effect. For it has been stated that devotion is caused by a twofold consideration: chiefly by the consideration of God's goodness, because this consideration belongs to the term, as it were, of the movement of the will in surrendering itself to God, and the direct result of this consideration is joy, according to Psalm 77:3, 'I remembered God, and was delighted'; but accidentally this consideration causes a certain sorrow in those who do not yet enjoy God fully, according to Psalm 42:2, 'My soul hath thirsted after the strong living God,' and afterwards it is said (Psalm 42:3): 'My tears have been my bread,' etc. Secondarily devotion is caused...by the consideration of one's own failings; for this consideration regards the term from which man withdraws by the movement of his devout will, in that he trusts not in himself, but subjects himself to God. This consideration has an opposite tendency to the first: for it is of a nature to cause sorrow directly (when one thinks over one's own failings), and joy accidentally, namely, through hope of the Divine assistance. It is accordingly evident that the first and direct effect of devotion is joy, while the secondary and accidental effect is that 'sorrow which is according to God' (2 Corinthians 7:10)." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

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Devotion / Blessed Virgin Mary 

Also See: Blessed Virgin Mary (Topic Page)

"Ever hold in great esteem the practices and exercises of the devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin which have been recommended for centuries by the magisterium of the Church. And among them we judge well to recall especially the Marian Rosary and the religious use of the Scapular of Mount Carmel. " (Pope Paul VI)

Also See: Mary, Our Mother Section | The Holy Rosary | Also Try Here for Marian Devotions...

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Efficacy of Prayer 

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 21:22)

"Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mk. 11:24)

"And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Lk. 11:9)

"It is He Himself who authorizes us to ask for whatsoever we please; we cannot ask too much. None of us would have dared to say: 'Whosoever makes a petition to God, will have his petition granted': but now that the Son of God has come from heaven to teach us this astounding truth, we should never tire of repeating it." (Gueranger)

"It is impossible for God not to welcome these demonstrations of goodwill and not to give way and surrender to you. It is true that God's power triumphs over everything, but humble and suffering prayer prevails over God himself. It stops his hand, extinguishes his lighting, disarms him, vanquishes and placates him, and makes him almost a dependent and a friend." [St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio)]

"As to its efficacy in impetrating, prayer derives this from the grace of God to Whom we pray, and Who instigates us to pray. Wherefore [St.] Augustine says (De Verbis Domini, Sermone 105,1): 'He would not urge us to ask, unless He were willing to give'; and ['Chrysostom'] says: 'He never refuses to grant our prayers, since in His loving-kindness He urged us not to faint in praying.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"[T]he efficaciousness of prayer seemed so great to St. John Chrysostom that he thought it might be compared with the power of God; for as God created all things by His word, so man by prayer obtains what he wills. For nothing has so great a power as prayer, because in it there are certain qualities with which it pleases God to be moved. For in prayer we separate ourselves from things of earth, and filled with the thought of God alone, we become aware of our human weakness; for the same reason we rest in the embrace of our Father, we seek a refuge in the power of our Creator. We approach the Author of all good, as though we wish Him to gaze upon our weak souls, our failing strength, our poverty; and, full of hope, we implore His aid and guardianship, Who alone can give help to the weak and consolation to the infirm and miserable. With such a condition of mind, thinking but little of ourselves, as is fitting, God is greatly inclined to mercy, for God resisteth the proud, but to the humble he giveth grace. Let, then, the habit of prayer be sacred to all; let soul and voice join together in prayer, and let our whole daily life agree together, so that, by keeping the laws of God, the course of our days may seem a continual ascent to Him." (Pope Leo XIII, "Exeunte Iam Anno", 1888)

"There is no duty which Christ and His Apostles more emphatically urged by both precept and example than that of prayer and supplication to Almighty God. The Fathers and Doctors in subsequent times have taught that this is a matter of such grave necessity, that if men neglect it they hope in vain for eternal salvation. Every one who prays finds the door open to impetration, both from the very nature of prayer and from the promises of Christ. And we all know that prayer derives its chief efficacy from two principal circumstances: perseverance, and the union of many for one end. The former is signified in those invitations of Christ so full of goodness: ask, seek, knock (Matt. vii., 7), just as a kind father desires to indulge the wishes of his children, but who also requires to be continually asked by them and as it were wearied by their prayers, in order to attach their hearts more closely to himself. The second condition Our Lord has born witness to more than once: If two of you shall consent upon earth concerning anything whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by My Father who is in heaven. For where there are two or three gathered in My name, there am I in the midst of them (Matt. xviii. 19, 20). Hence that pregnant saying of Tertullian: Let us gather into an assembly and congregation that we may, as it were, make up a band and solicit God (Apologet. c. xxxix): such violence is pleasing to God; and the memorable words of Aquinas: It is impossible that the prayers of many should not be heard, if one prayer is made up as it were out of many supplications. (In Evang. Matt. c. xvii)." (Pope Leo XIII, "Fidentem Piumque Animum", 1896)

Also See: Benefits of Prayer | Efficacy of Prayers of the Just | Exhortations to Prayer | God Gives in the Measure We Ask | How to Pray | Necessity of Prayer | No Prayer is Lost | Problems / Difficulties in Prayer | "Unheard" / "Unanswered" Prayers

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The Eucharist Should Be the Focal Point of All Other Forms of Devotion

Also See: The Holy Eucharist (Topic Page)

"We beseech you to foster devotion to the Eucharist, which should be the focal point and goal of all other forms of devotion." (Pope Paul VI, 1965 A.D.)

Also See: Sacraments Section

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Evening Prayer

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"A man without prayer is like a soldier without weapons, and nights not begun with a good evening prayer are often fraught with danger to the soul." (Fr. Groenings) 

"The quiet and solitude of the night make it a favorable time for prayer and most suitable for those who watch. With worldly occupations put aside and the attention undivided, whole man, at night, stands in the divine presence." (St. Niceta of Remesiana, 5th century A.D.)

"The best condition for praying well is habitual recollection. It is not without reason that St. Ignatius recommends the man who wishes to pray well to prepare the subject of his prayer on the preceding evening, so as to occupy the memory. Then he goes to rest with these thoughts in his mind; on waking he will call to mind the subject matter of his meditation prepared the evening before, and think quietly about it while dressing. This is the advice of one who was a master of asceticism and also an expert in psychology." (Plus)

Also See: Morning Prayers | Frequent Prayer | Necessity of Prayer | Also Try Here for Evening Prayers...

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Exhortations to Prayer

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Faith / Prayer

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 21:22)

"Without faith prayer is useless" (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"...when faith fails, prayer dies. In order to pray then, we must have faith, and that our faith fail not, we must pray. Faith pours forth prayer, and the pouring forth of the heart in prayer gives steadfastness to faith." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"The chief requisite...of a good prayer is...a firm and unwavering faith. This the Apostle shows by an antithesis: How shall they call on him whom they have not believed? Believe then, we must, both in order to pray, and that we be not wanting in that faith which renders prayer fruitful. For it is faith that leads to prayer and it is prayer that, by removing all doubts, gives strength and firmness to faith. This is the meaning of the exhortation of St. Ignatius to those who would approach God in prayer: Be not of doubtful mind in prayer; blessed is he who hath not doubted. Wherefore, to obtain from God what we ask, faith and an assured confidence, are of first importance, according to the admonition of St. James: Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

Also See: Asking Great Things of God | Benefits of Prayer | How to Pray | Necessity of Prayer | No Prayer is Lost | Perseverance in Prayer | Problems / Difficulties in Prayer | "Unheard" / "Unanswered" Prayers

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Fleeing From Prayer 

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"He that flees from prayer flees from all that is good." (St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: Benefits of Prayer | Efficacy of Prayer | Exhortations to Prayer | Necessity of Prayer | No Prayer is Lost | Perseverance in Prayer | Praise of Prayer | Problems / Difficulties in Prayer | Time in Prayer is Not Wasted

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Forty Hours Devotion

Also See: Holy Eucharist (Topic Page)

"It was the pious Cardinal Gabriel Paleotti, archbishop of Bologna, who first originated the admirable devotion of the Forty Hours. He was a contemporary of St. Charles Borromeo, and, like him, was eminent for his pastoral zeal. His object in this solemn Exposition of the most blessed Sacrament was to offer the divine Majesty some compensation for the sins of men, and, at the very time when the world was busiest in deserving His anger, to appease it by the sight of His own Son, the Mediator between heaven and earth. St. Charles immediately introduced the devotion into his own diocese and province. This was in the sixteenth century. Later on, that is, in the eighteenth century, Prosper Lambertini was archbishop of Bologna; he zealously continued the pious design of his ancient predecessor Paleotti, by encouraging his flock to devotion towards the blessed Sacrament during the three days of carnival; and when he was made Pope, under the name of Benedict XIV, he granted many Indulgences to all who, during these days, should visit our Lord in this mystery of His love, and should pray for the pardon of sinners. This favor was, at first, restricted the faithful of the Papal States; but in the year 1765 it was extended, by Pope Clement XIII, to the universal Church. Thus, the Forty Hours' Devotion has spread throughout the whole world, and become one of the most solemn expressions of Catholic piety. Let us, then, who have the opportunity, profit by it... Let us, like Abraham, retire from the distracting dangers of the world, and seek the Lord our God. Let us go apart, for at least one short hour, for the dissipation of earthly enjoyments, and, kneeling in the presence of our Jesus, merit the grace to keep our hearts innocent and detached, whilst sharing in those we cannot avoid." (Gueranger)

Also See: Sacraments

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Frequent Prayer

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"Pray without ceasing." (St. Paul, 1 Thes. 5:17)

"It is an old custom of the saints of God to have some little prayers ready and to be frequently darting them up to heaven during the day, lifting their minds to God out of the mire of this world. He who adopts this plan will obtain great fruits with little pains." (St. Philip Neri) 

"We should have frequent recourse to prayer, and persevere a long time in it. God wishes to be solicited. He is not weary of hearing us. The treasure of His graces is infinite. We can do nothing more pleasing to Him than to beg incessantly that He bestow them upon us." (St. Jean Baptiste de la Salle)

"Let us accustom ourselves to offer our troubles and difficulties frequently to God, and remind ourselves that we accept them out of love for him, sacrificing our own wishes to be of service in some way to his divine Majesty, by aiding those for whom he accepted death that they might live." (St. Ignatius of Loyola)

"One may pray continually, either through having a continual desire...or through praying at certain fixed times, though interruptedly; or by reason of the effect, whether in the person who prays - because he remains more devout even after praying, or in some other person - as when by his kindness a man incites another to pray for him, even after he himself has ceased praying." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: Aspirations | Benefits of Prayer | Exhortations to Prayer | God Gives in the Measure We Ask | How to Pray | Necessity of Prayer | No Prayer is Lost | Perseverance in Prayer | Problems / Difficulties in Prayer | Time in Prayer is Not Wasted

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God Gives in the Measure We Ask

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"We can never have too much hope in God. He gives in the measure we ask." (St. Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: Asking Great Things of God | Benefits of Prayer | Necessity of Prayer | No Prayer is Lost | Perseverance in Prayer | Problems / Difficulties in Prayer | "Unheard" / "Unanswered" Prayers

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God Listens to Sinners

Also See: God (Topic Page)

"For God does listen to sinners too. If God did not listen to sinners, it would have been all in vain for the publican to cast down his eyes to the ground and strike his breast saying, 'Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner.' And that confession merited justification" (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, circa 417 A.D.)

Also See: Exhortations to Prayer | God Seeks Our Prayers | How to Pray | Necessity of Prayer | No Prayer is Lost

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God Seeks Our Prayers

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How to Pray

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Jesus / Prayer

Also See: Jesus (Topic Page)

"What our Lord commanded in word, He confirms by His example. For He who bid us watch and pray before the coming of the Judge, and the uncertain end of each of us, as the time of His Passion drew near, is Himself instant in teaching, watching, and prayer." (St. Bede the Venerable, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: Jesus in Prayer

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The Lord's Prayer (The "Our Father")

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Morning Prayers

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"We must take great care never to do anything before having said our morning prayers... The Devil once declared that if he could have the first moment of the day, he was sure of all the rest." (St. John Vianney)

"Never forget that it is at the beginning of each day that God has the necessary grace for the day ready for us. He knows exactly what opportunities we shall have to sin...and will give us everything we need if we ask him then. That is why the Devil does all he can to prevent us from saying our morning prayers or to make us say them badly." (St. John Vianney)

"Above all else, I strongly advise you to be very faithful to your obligations as a Christian. That is where you will find strength and light in all your troubles and difficulties. I know that soldiers have a lot to endure, and to endure in silence. If upon rising they would only take the trouble to say to our Lord every morning this tiny phrase: 'My God, I desire to do and to endure everything today for love of Thee,' what glory they would heap up for eternity! Why, a soldier who did that and was as loyal as possible to his Christian duties would earn as much reward as any cloistered monk!" (St. Bernadette)

Also See: Evening Prayer | Frequent Prayer | Necessity of Prayer | Also Try Here for Morning Prayers...

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Necessity of Prayer

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No Prayer is Lost

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"No prayer is ever lost." (St. John Vianney)

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Not Introducing New Forms of Devotion 

"Let us recall, as well, the decree about 'not introducing new forms of worship and devotion.' We commend the exact observance of this decree to your vigilance." (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947)

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Obliged Prayer

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"If you pray when you are obliged or because you are obliged, you will never succeed in prayer, nor will you ever love it, nor ever take pleasure in intimate converse with God." (St. Claude de la Colombiere)

Also See: Benefits of Prayer | Exhortations to Prayer | How to Pray | Necessity of Prayer | Praise of Prayer | Problems / Difficulties in Prayer | Time in Prayer is Not Wasted | "Unheard" / "Unanswered" Prayers

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Perseverance and Prayer

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"The very gift of perseverance 'can be won by humble petition.'" (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Salutem", 1930)

"The greatest help to perseverance in the spiritual life is the habit of prayer, especially under the direction of our confessor." (St. Philip Neri)

Also See: Benefits of Prayer | God Gives in the Measure We Ask | Necessity of Prayer | No Prayer is Lost | Perseverance in Prayer

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Perseverance in Prayer

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer." (St. Paul, Rom. 12:12)

"Persevere in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving" (St. Paul, Col. 4:2)

"Never omit your times of prayer." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Only he will receive, will find, and will enter who perseveres in asking, seeking and knocking." (St. Louis de Montfort)

"God cannot resist persevering prayer" (Gueranger)

"He who gives up regularity in prayer has lost a principal means of reminding himself that spiritual life is obedience to a Lawgiver, not a mere feeling or taste." (Cardinal Newman)

"All the damned are in hell because they have stopped praying!... They would not be there had they not stopped praying." (St. Alphonsus, Doctor of the Church)

"To be diligent in prayer was the lesson taught by our Lord in the parable of the widow and the judge" (Greek Expositor, as quoted by St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church)

"For if you persevere in asking, without doubt you will receive what you ask for." (St. Bede the Venerable, Doctor of the Church) 

"Never give up prayer, and should you find dryness and difficulty, persevere in it for this very reason. God often desires to see what love your soul has, and love is not tried by ease and satisfaction." (St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church) 

"These words of the Lord show us how great is the power of perseverance and persistence in prayer: 'It is necessary to pray always without ceasing'. In that constancy and perseverance, let us wait for the majesty of God if there is a delay: it will appear and will not deceive us because it comes gradually." (Pope Clement XIII, "A Quo Die", 1758 A.D.)

"Another necessary condition of prayer is constancy. The great efficacy of perseverance, the Son of God exemplifies by the conduct of the judge, who, while he feared not God, no regarded man, yet, overcome by the persistence and importunity of the widow, yielded to her entreaties. In our prayers to God we should, therefore, be persevering. We must not imitate the example of those who become tired of praying, if, after having prayed once or twice, they succeed not in obtaining the object of their prayers. We should never be weary of the duty of prayer, as we are taught by the authority of Christ the Lord and of the Apostle. And should the will at any time fail us, we should beg of God by prayer the strength to persevere." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"Now by asking, He means prayer, but by seeking, zeal and anxiety, as He adds, Seek (cf. Lk. 11:9), and you shall find. For those things which are sought require great care. And this is particularly the case with God. For there are many things which block up our senses. As then we search for lost gold, so let us anxiously seek after God. He shows also, that though He does not forthwith open the gates, we must yet wait. Hence he adds, Knock, and it shall be opened to you; for if you continue seeking, you shall surely receive. For this reason, and as the door shut makes you knock, therefore he did not at once consent that you might entreat." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"Every one who prays finds the door open to impetration, both from the very nature of prayer and from the promises of Christ. And we all know that prayer derives its chief efficacy from two principal circumstances: perseverance, and the union of many for one end. The former is signified in those invitations of Christ so full of goodness: ask, seek, knock (Matt. vii., 7), just as a kind father desires to indulge the wishes of his children, but who also requires to be continually asked by them and as it were wearied by their prayers, in order to attach their hearts more closely to himself. The second condition Our Lord has born witness to more than once: If two of you shall consent upon earth concerning anything whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by My Father who is in heaven. For where there are two or three gathered in My name, there am I in the midst of them (Matt. xviii. 19, 20)." (Pope Leo XIII, "Fidentem Piumque Animum", 1896 A.D.)

Also See: Benefits of Prayer | Exhortations to Prayer | Frequent Prayer | God Gives in the Measure We Ask | How to Pray | Necessity of Prayer | No Prayer is Lost | Perseverance and Prayer | Praise of Prayer | Problems / Difficulties in Prayer | Time in Prayer is Not Wasted | "Unheard" / "Unanswered" Prayers

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Pilgrimages / Saints

Also See: Saints (Topic Page)

"It is not only from the narrow province of Judea, but from the coasts of the entire world, that multitudes now flock to hear the saints in the silent eloquence of their tombs, and to experience the virtue that goes out from them." (Liturgical Year)

Also See: Saints

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Pleasure / Prayer 

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"Not only pleasure will withdraw men from prayer, but also affliction sometimes; but there is this difference: affliction will sometimes exhort a short prayer from the wickedest man alive, but pleasure stifles it altogether." (St. Thomas More)

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Popular Devotions

"Popular devotions of the Christian people, provided they conform to the laws and norms of the Church, are to be highly recommended, especially where they are ordered by the Apostolic See. Devotions proper to individual churches also have a special dignity if they are undertaken by order of the bishops according to customs or books lawfully approved. But such devotions should be so drawn up that they harmonize with the liturgical seasons, accord with the sacred liturgy, are in some way derived from it, and lead the people to it, since in fact the liturgy by its very nature is far superior to any of them." (Second Vatican Council)

Also See: Consecration to Jesus / Mary | Devotion / Blessed Virgin Mary | The Eucharist Should Be the Focal Point of All Other Forms of Devotion | Stations of the Cross | Not Introducing New Forms of Devotion | Rosary | Sacramentals | Sacred Heart of Jesus | Also Try Here For Popular Devotions...

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Praise of Prayer

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"Prayer is the noblest and most exalted action of which man is capable through the grace of God." (Archbishop Ullathorne)

"Prayer is man's richest boon. It is his light, his nourishment, and his very life, for it brings him into communication with God, who is light, nourishment, and life." (Dom Gueranger)

"Reflect what great happiness is bestowed upon you, what glory is given to you, namely, to converse in your prayers with God, to join in colloquy with Christ, and to beg for what you wish or desire." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"Many good deeds are commended in Holy Scripture, such as to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and many others. However speaking of prayers the Lord says: 'For the Father seeks such to adore Him.' Good deeds adorn the soul, but prayer is something very great." (Br. Giles)

Also See: Benefits of Prayer | Exhortations to Prayer | How to Pray | Necessity of Prayer | No Prayer is Lost | Perseverance in Prayer | Problems / Difficulties in Prayer | What Prayer Is

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Prayer & Fasting

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page) | Fasting (Topic Page)

"For he who fasts, is light and active, and prays wakefully, and quenches his evil lusts, makes God propitious, and humbles his proud stomach. And he who prays with his fasting, has two wings, lighter than the winds themselves. For he is not heavy and wandering in his prayers, (as is the case with many,) but his zeal is as the warmth of fire, and his constancy as the firmness of the earth. Such an one is most able to contend with demons, for there is nothing more powerful than a man who prays properly." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"You prayed, you wept, you sighed; but did you fast also?" (St. John Vianney)

Also See: Prayer & Penance | How to Pray | Fasting (Catholic Life Reflections)

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Prayer & Penance

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page) | Penance / Confession (Topic Page)

"Prayer and penance: these two alone fix man in his right position before God." (Liturgical Year)

"But to prayer we must also join penance, the spirit of penance, and the practice of Christian penance. Thus Our divine Master teaches us, whose first preaching was precisely penance: 'Jesus began to preach and to say, Do penance' (Matth. iv. 17). The same is the teaching of all Christian tradition, of the whole history of the Church. In the great calamities, in the great tribulations of Christianity, when the need of God's help was most pressing, the faithful either spontaneously, or more often following the lead and exhortations of their holy Pastors, have always taken in hand the two most mighty weapons of spiritual life: prayer and penance." (Pope Pius XI, "Caritate Christi Compulsi", 1932)

"When Our Lord, coming down from the splendors of Thabor, had healed the boy tormented by the devil, whom the disciples had not been able to cure, to their humble question: 'Why could not we cast him out?' He made reply in the memorable words: 'This kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting' (Matt. xvii. 18, 20). It appears to Us, Venerable Brethren, that these divine words find a peculiar application in the evils of our times, which can be averted only by means of prayer and penance." (Pope Pius XI, "Caritate Christi Compulsi", 1932 A.D.)

Also See: Prayer & Fasting | Prayer & Sin | How to Pray | Sacraments Section

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Prayer & Sin

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page) | Sin (Topic Page)

"He who does not give up prayer cannot possibly continue to offend God habitually. Either he will give up prayer or he will stop sinning." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"Where prayer is poured fourth, sins are covered." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

Also See: Catholic Basics Section | Sacraments Section

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Prayer & The Blessed Sacrament

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page) | Holy Eucharist (Topic Page)

"I often think that when we come to adore our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, we should obtain everything we want, if we would ask for it with a very lively faith and a very pure heart." (St. John Vianney)

Also See: Sacraments Section

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Prayer in Our Own Words

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"Remember that God prefers the poverty of our hearts to the most sublime thoughts borrowed from others." (St. Peter Julian Eymard)

"The child who wants to speak to his mother does not first hasten to the library to look for a guide to conversation or a collection of polite speeches. No, he has his own little phrases, his smiles and caresses, and the mother is far more pleased with these pratlings than she would have been with the fine but unreal expressions in the printed book." (Plus)

Also See: What Prayer Is | How to Pray

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Prayer / Peace

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"And it is prayer precisely, that, according to the Apostle, will bring the gift of peace; prayer that is addressed to the Heavenly Father who is the Father of all men; prayer that is the common expression of family feelings, of that great family which extends beyond the boundaries of any country and continent. Men who in every nation pray to the same God for peace on earth will not kindle flames of discord among the peoples; men who turn in prayer to the divine Majesty will not set up in their own country a craving for domination; nor foster that inordinate love of country which of its own nation makes its own god; men who look to the 'God of peace and of love' (II Cor. xiii. 11), who turn to Him through the mediation of Christ, who is 'our peace' (Eph. ii. 14), will never rest until finally that peace which the world cannot give comes down from the Giver of every good gift on 'men of good will' (Luc. ii. 14)." (Pope Pius XI, "Caritate Christi Compulsi", 1932)

Also See: Benefits of Prayer

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Prayers of Some Are Not Heard / Abominable Prayers

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"There are some unhappy persons who love the chains with which the devil keeps them bound like slaves. The prayers of such are never heard by God, because they are rash, presumptuous, and abominable." (St. Alphonsus)

"When one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination." (Prov. 28:9)

"If a man again touches a corpse after he has bathed, what did he gain by the purification? So with a man who fasts for his sins, but then goes and commits them again: Who will hear his prayer, and what has he gained by his mortification?" (Sirach 34:25-6)

Also See: How to Pray | God Listens to Sinners

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Praying for One's Enemies

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 5:43-48)

"But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Lk. 6:27-28)

"[W]e are bound to pray for our enemies in the same manner as we are bound to love them. " (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: Praying for Others

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Praying for Others

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Praying Privately

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 6:5-6)

"'Verily I say to you, they have received their reward' (Mt. 6:5), for every man where he sows, there he reaps, therefore they who pray because of men, not because of God, receive praise of men, not of God." (Psuedo Chrys, as quoted by St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church)

"Prayer is as it were a spiritual tribute which the soul offers of its own bowels. Wherefore the more glorious it is, the more watchfully ought we to guard that it is not made vile by being done to be seen of men." (Psuedo Chrys, as quoted by St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church)

"We may also understand by the door of the chamber (Mt. 6:6), the mouth of the body; so that we should not pray to God with loudness of tone, but with silent heart, for three reasons. First, because God is not to be gained by vehement crying, but by a right conscience, seeing He is a hearer of the heart; secondly, because none but myself and God should be privy to your secret prayers; thirdly, because if you pray aloud, you hinder any other from praying near you." (Pseudo Chrys, as quoted by St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church) 

Also See: Contemplation / Meditation | Prayer in Our Own Words | Public vs. Private Prayer | How to Pray | Jesus in Prayer

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Problems / Difficulties in Prayer

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Public vs. Private Prayer

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"Prayer is twofold, common and individual. Common prayer is that which is offered to God by the ministers of the Church representing the body of the faithful... individual prayer is that which is offered by any single person, whether he pray for himself or for others" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"There are others who deny any impetratory power to our prayers, or who endeavor to insinuate into men's minds the idea that prayers offered to God in private should be considered of little worth, whereas public prayers which are made in the name of the Church are those which really matter, since they proceed from the Mystical Body of Christ. This opinion is false; for the divine Redeemer is most closely united not only with His Church, which is His beloved Spouse, but also with each and every one of the faithful, and He ardently desires to speak with them heart to heart, especially after Holy Communion. It is true that public prayer, inasmuch as it is offered by Mother Church, excels any other kind of prayer by reason of her dignity as Spouse of Christ; but no prayer, even the most private, is lacking in dignity or power, and all prayer is of the greatest help to the Mystical Body in which, through the Communion of Saints, no good can be done, no virtue practiced by individual members, which does not redound also to the salvation of all. Neither is a man forbidden to ask for himself particular favors even for this life merely because he is a member of this Body, provided he is always resigned to the divine will; for the members retain their own personality and remain subject to their own individual needs. Moreover, how highly all should esteem mental prayer is proved not only by ecclesiastical documents, but also by the custom and practice of the saints." (Pope Pius XII, "Mystici Corporis Christi", 1943)

Also See: Praying Privately | Prayer in Our Own Words | Contemplation / Meditation | Necessity of Prayer | How to Pray

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Righteous Man / Prayer

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful." (St. James, Jms. 5:16)

"Finally, all of you, be of one mind, sympathetic, loving toward one another, compassionate, humble. Do not return evil for evil, or insult for insult; but, on the contrary, a blessing, because to this you were called, that you might inherit a blessing. For: 'Whoever would love life and see good days must keep the tongue from evil and the lips from speaking deceit, must turn from evil and do good, seek peace and follow after it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears turned to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against evildoers." (St. Peter, 1 Pt. 3:8-12)

"...all things which the righteous man does and says towards God, are to be counted as praying." (St. Bede the Venerable, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: Efficacy of Prayers of the Just [AP] | Praying for Others | Exhortations to Prayer | God Listens to Sinners | Necessity of Prayer | No Prayer is Lost | Perseverance in Prayer | Problems / Difficulties in Prayer

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Rosary

Also See: Holy Rosary (Topic Page)

"Now, to appease the might of an outraged God and to bring that health of soul so needed by those who are sorely afflicted, there is nothing better than devout and persevering prayer, provided it be joined with a love for and practice of Christian life. And both of these, the spirit of prayer and the practice of Christian life, are best attained through the devotion of the Rosary of Mary." (Pope Leo XIII, "Magnae Dei Matris", 1892)

Also See: The Rosary (Mary, Our Mother Section) | The Holy Rosary | Mary, Our Mother Section 

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Sacramentals

Also See: Sacramentals (Topic Page)

"Can. 1166 Sacramentals are sacred signs which in a sense imitate the sacraments. They signify certain effects, especially spiritual ones, and they achieve these effects through the intercession of the Church." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1167 §1 Only the Apostolic See can establish new sacramentals, or authentically interpret, suppress or change existing ones." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1167 §2 The rites and the formulae approved by ecclesiastical authority are to be accurately observed when celebrating or administering sacramentals." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1168 The minister of the sacramentals is a cleric who has the requisite power. In accordance with the liturgical books and subject to the judgement of the local Ordinary, certain sacramentals can also be administered by lay people who possess the appropriate qualities." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Holy Mother Church has, moreover, instituted sacramentals. These are sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the Church's intercession. By them men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy." (Second Vatican Council)

"These objects are surely effective if they are used with faith and not with superstition, like amulets. The prayer that is used to bless the sacred images upholds two concepts: to imitate the virtue of the saint on the effigy and to obtain his protection. Then, if someone believes he can expose himself to dangers such as a satanic cult and be protected by wearing a sacred image around his neck, he would be grossly mistaken. Holy images should encourage us to live a coherent Christian life." (Gabriele Amorth, Chief Exorcist of Rome)

"Can. 1144 Sacramentals are things or actions that the Church, in a certain imitation of the Sacraments, is wont to use to obtain, by her imprecation, effects that are primarily spiritual." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1145 Only the Apostolic See can constitute new Sacramentals or authentically interpret those already received, as well as abolish or change them." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1146 The legitimate minister of Sacramentals is a cleric to whom the required power has been given by the competent ecclesiastical authority and [provided the cleric] is not prohibited from exercising it." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1148 § 1 In performing or administering Sacramentals, the rites approved by the Church are to be accurately observed. § 2 Consecrations and blessings, whether constitutive or invocative, are invalid if the prescribed formulas of the Church are not followed." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

Also See: Rosary | The Brown Scapular | Agnus Dei (Sacramental)Sign of the Cross | Use of Holy Water Remits Venial Sins (Church Talk Reflections) | Sacramentals (Topical Scripture) | Also Try Here For Sacramentals...

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Sacred Heart of Jesus

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Saints / Prayer

Also See: Saints (Topic Page) | Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"Although the greater saints are more acceptable to God than the lesser, it is sometimes profitable to pray to the lesser; and this for five reasons. First, because sometimes one has greater devotion for a lesser saint than for a greater, and the effect of prayer depends very much on one's devotion. Secondly, in order to avoid tediousness, for continual attention to one thing makes a person weary; whereas by praying to different saints, the fervor of our devotion is aroused anew as it were. Thirdly, because it is granted to some saints to exercise their patronage in certain special cases, for instance to Saint Anthony against the fire of hell. Fourthly, that due honor be given by us to all. Fifthly, because the prayers of several sometimes obtain that which would not have been obtained by the prayers of one." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: Efficacy of Prayers of the Just | Prayers of the Saints | Saints Section

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Satan / Prayer

Also See: Satan / Evil (Topic Page) | Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"One of the first things the devil always does is to make people stop praying."

"Satan seeks to disarm you before every temptation. He does this by taking away from you the only instrument that enables you to defeat him: prayer. In prayer, you obtain from God the light of discernment to discover Stan's snares and the strength to oppose his allurements. He will be untiring in his attempt to rob you of your daily moments for prayer, making excuses that there are other more urgent things to do. He will seek to render your prayers insignificant or inconclusive. Once there is no more room for daily prayer, God inevitably disappears from your life. Other things have taken His place, and Satan is in a position to seduce you at his pleasure." (Fr. Fanzaga)

"To my mind there is no labor so great as praying to God: for when a man wishes to pray to his God, the hostile demons make haste to interrupt his prayer, knowing that their sole hindrance is in this, a prayer poured out to God. With any other labor that a man takes in the life of religion, however instant and close he keeps to it, he hath some rest: but prayer hath the travail of a mighty conflict to one's last breath." (St. Agatho)

Also See: Problems / Difficulties in Prayer

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Sign of the Cross

"The sign of the cross is the most terrible weapon against the Devil. Thus the Church wishes not only that we should have it continually in front of our minds to recall to us just what our souls are worth and what they cost Jesus Christ, but also that we should make it at every juncture ourselves: when we go to bed, when we awaken during the night, when we get up, when we begin any action, and above all, when we are tempted." (St. John Vianney)

Also See: Catholic Basics Section

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Spiritual Communion

"When we cannot come to church, let us turn towards the Tabernacle and make a spiritual Communion. A wall cannot separate us from God." (St. John Vianney)

Also See: Try Here For Spiritual Communion Prayers...

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Stations of the Cross

Also See: Stations of the Cross (Topic Page)

"The object of the Stations is to help the faithful to make in spirit, as it were, a pilgrimage to the chief scenes of Christ's sufferings and death, and this has become one of the most popular of Catholic devotions... In conclusion it may be safely asserted that there is no devotion more richly endowed with indulgences than the Way of the Cross, and none which enables us more literally to obey Christ's injunction to take up our cross and follow Him." (The Catholic Encyclopedia)

Also See: Way of the Cross (Devotion)

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Thanksgiving / Prayer

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"We should not accept in silence the benefactions of God, but return thanks for them." (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"There is little enough of prayer; but there is still less of thanksgiving. For every million of Paters and Aves (Our Fathers and Hail Marys) which rise up from the earth to avert evils or to ask graces, how many follow after in thanksgiving for the evils averted or the graces given?" (Muller)

"We must take to heart, brothers, from what stuff we were created, who we were and what kind of creatures we were when we entered the world, as if from a tomb and from utter darkness. Having prepared for us bountifully before we were born, He who fashioned us and created us brought us into His world. Since, then, we owe all this to Him, we ought to give Him thanks for everything." (Pope St. Clement I)

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Time in Prayer is Not Wasted

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"At this point we cannot refrain from referring with sorrow to those who, carried away by pernicious novelties, dare to maintain a contrary opinion, and to hold that time devoted to meditation and prayer is wasted. What calamitous blindness! Would that such people would take thought seriously with themselves and realize whither this neglect and contempt of prayer leads. From it have sprung pride and stubbornness; and these have produced those bitter fruits which in our paternal love we hesitate to mention and most earnestly desire to remove completely. May God answer this our prayer: may he look down with kindness on those who have strayed, and pour forth on them the 'spirit of grace and of prayer' in such abundance that they may repent of their error and, of their own will and to the joy of all, return to the path which they wrongly abandoned, and henceforth follow it with greater care. God himself be witness, as he was to the Apostle, of how we long for them all with the love of Jesus Christ." (Pope St. Pius X, "Haerent Animo", 1908 A.D.)

Also See: Benefits of Prayer | God Listens to Sinners | God Seeks Our Prayers | Necessity of Prayer | No Prayer is Lost | Perseverance in Prayer | Praise of Prayer | Problems / Difficulties in Prayer | "Unheard" / "Unanswered" Prayers

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"Unheard" / "Unanswered" Prayers

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"He who faithfully prays to God for the necessaries of this life is both mercifully heard, and mercifully not heard. For the physician knows better than the sick man what is good for the disease." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"Sometimes, indeed, it happens that what we ask of God we do not obtain. But it is then especially that God looks to our welfare, either because He bestows on us other gifts of higher value and in greater abundance, or because what we ask, far from being necessary or useful, would prove superfluous and injurious. God, says St. Augustine, denies some things in His mercy, which He grants in His wrath. Sometimes, also, such is the remissness and negligence with which we pray, that we ourselves do not attend to what we say. Since prayer is an elevation of the soul to God, if, while we pray, the mind, instead of being fixed upon God, is distracted, and the tongue slurs over the words at random, without attention, without devotion, with what propriety can we give to such empty sounds as the name of Christian prayer? We should not, therefore, be at all surprised, if God does not comply with our requests; either because of or negligence and indifference with almost show that we do not really desire what we ask, or because we ask those things, which, if granted, would be prejudicial to our interests." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

Also See: No Prayer is Lost | Perseverance in Prayer | Faith / Prayer | Time in Prayer is Not Wasted | Necessity of Prayer | How to Pray | Problems / Difficulties in Prayer | "Unanswered Prayers" [OFL]

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What Prayer Is

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"[P]rayer is the raising up of the mind to God." (St. John Damascene, Doctor of the Church)

"Prayer is conversation with God." (St. Clement of Alexandria, 2nd century A.D.)

"Prayer is nothing else than speaking to God" (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

"[Prayer is] your private audience with God" 

"Prayer means a launching out of the heart towards God; it means lifting up one's eyes, quite simply, to heaven, a cry of grateful love, from the crest of joy or the trough of despair; it's a vast, supernatural force that opens out my heart and binds me close to Jesus." (St. Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: Benefits of Prayer | Exhortations to Prayer | How to Pray | Necessity of Prayer | Perseverance in Prayer | Praise of Prayer | Problems / Difficulties in Prayer | What We May Pray For

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What We May Pray For

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"It is lawful to pray for what it is lawful to desire." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"It is a matter of precept not only that we should ask for what we desire, but also that we should desire aright." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Is it not a mocking petition to ask of God what we know is not given by Him, but is in the power of man himself to attain?" (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"When in our prayers we ask for things concerning our salvation, we conform our will to God's, of Whom it is written (1 Timothy 2:4) that 'He will have all men to be saved.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"From the very fact that we ask for temporal things not as the principal object of our petition, but as subordinate to something else, we ask God for them in the sense that they may be granted to us in so far as they are expedient for salvation." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Not all solicitude about temporal things is forbidden, but that which is superfluous and inordinate" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"We should seek temporal things not in the first but in the second place. Hence [St.] Augustine says (De Sermone Domini in Monte ii,16): 'When He says that this' (i.e. the kingdom of God) 'is to be sought first, He implies that the other' (i.e. temporal goods) 'is to be sought afterwards, not in time but in importance, this as being our good, the other as our need.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"[I]t is not unbecoming for anyone to desire enough for a livelihood, and no more; for this sufficiency is desired, not for its own sake, but for the welfare of the body, or that we should desire to be clothed in a way befitting one's station, so as not to be out of keeping with those among whom we have to live. Accordingly we ought to pray that we may keep these things if we have them, and if we have them not, that we may gain possession of them." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: Asking Great Things of God | Benefits of Prayer | Exhortations to Prayer | God Gives in the Measure We Ask | How to Pray | Necessity of Prayer | Praying for Others 

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Wordiness in Prayer

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 6:7-8)

"To pray well we need not speak much." (St. John Vianney)

"We must know that God regards our purity of heart and tears of compunction, not our many words." (St. Benedict of Nursia)

"When we pray, the voice of the heart must be heard more than the proceedings from the mouth." (St. Bonaventure, Doctor of the Church)

"Whether or not our prayer is heard depends not on the number of words, but on the fervor of our souls." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"Nor should be we imagine, as some do, that prolonged prayer is the same thing as 'much-speaking'; many words are one thing; long-continued feelings of devotion quite another." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, 5th century A.D.)

"God looks neither at long nor beautiful prayers, but at those that come from the heart." (St. John Vianney)

"For we use many words then when we have to instruct one who is in ignorance, what need of them to Him who is Creator of all things; Your Heavenly Father knows what you have need of before you ask Him." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"As the hypocrites use to set themselves so as to be seen in their prayers, whose reward is to be acceptable to men, so the Ethnici (that is, the Gentiles) use to think that they shall be heard for their much speaking; therefore He adds, 'When you pray, do not use many words'." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"What He condemns is many words in prayer that come of want of faith; as the Gentiles do." (Early Gloss)

"If we wish to refer a petition to men of high station, we do not presume to do without humility and respect; how much more ought we to supplicate the Lord God of all things with humility and pure devotion. And let us be sure that we shall not be heard for our much speaking, but for purity of heart and tears of compunction." (St. Benedict, 6th century A.D.)

"Hereby, He dissuades from empty speaking in prayer, as, for example, when we ask of God things improper, as dominions, fame, overcoming of our enemies, or abundance of wealth. He commands then that our prayers should not be long - long, that is, not in time, but in multitude of words. For it is right that those who ask should persevere in their asking - being instant in prayer, as the Apostle instructs - but does not thereby enjoin us to compose a prayer of ten thousand verses, and speak it all; which He secretly hints at, when He says,' Do not use many words'." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"Yet to continue long in prayer is not, as some think, what is here meant, by using many words (cf. Mt. 6:7). For much speaking is one thing, and an enduring fervency another. For of the Lord Himself it is written, that He continued a whole night in prayer, and prayed at great length, setting an example to us. The brethren in Egypt are said to use frequent prayers, but those very short, and as it were hasty ejaculations, lest that fervency of spirit, which is most necessary for us in prayer, should by longer continuance be violently broken off. Herein themselves sufficiently show, that this fervency of spirit, as it is not to be forced if it cannot last, so if it has lasted is not to be violently broken off. Let prayer then be without much speaking, but not without much entreaty, if this fervent spirit can be supported; for much speaking in prayer is to use in a necessary matter more words than necessary. But to entreat much, is to importune with enduring warmth of heart Him to whom our entreaty is made; for often is this business effected more by groans than words, by weeping more than speech." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: How to Pray | Prayer in Our Own Words | Praying Privately | Problems / Difficulties in Prayer

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