Sign Up for our Free Daily Email Updates / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Catechism – Vocal Prayer – 2702

January 26, 2012 by  
Filed under Catechism, Dan Burke, Prayer, Vocal

Vocal Prayer

Duerer-PrayerVocal Prayer:

The need to involve the senses in interior prayer corresponds to a requirement of our human nature. We are body and spirit, and we experience the need to translate our feelings externally. We must pray with our whole being to give all power possible to our supplication.


Vocal Prayer in the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Vocal Prayer in the Catechism of the Catholic Church

This excerpt from the Catechism of the Catholic Church is from Paragraph 2702.


“A catechism should faithfully and systematically present the teaching of Sacred Scripture, the living Tradition of the Church and the authentic Magisterium, as well as the spiritual heritage of the Fathers and the Church's saints, to allow for a better knowledge of the Christian mystery and for enlivening the faith of the People of God. It should take into account the doctrinal statements which down the centuries the Holy Spirit has intimated to his Church. It should also help illumine with the light of faith the new situations and problems which had not yet emerged in the past.”  (Apostolic Constitution Fidei Depositum on the Publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church Prepared following the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, 11 October 1992)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, Divine Intimacy Radio and Divine Intimacy Radio - Resources Edition, Into the Deep Parish Programs, the Apostoli Viae (Apostles of the Way) Community, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep, Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux, and his newest book The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

please consider supporting our mission with a donation!

  • Through Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God for ever and ever. AMEN

  • Germinasekito

    True! It is right we have to translate our feelings externally in prayer. Sometimes it helps us activate our faith,to put on work the Holy Spirit. Like in Matthew 17-verse18, I feel that Jesus commanded the demon to move out the boy loudly, touching on him chasing the the demon away with an action,”Go out of the boy”.

    In another way Matthew 15:25-28,the woman showed feelings by falling at the feet of Jesus. So Jesus answered her, you are a woman of great faith!
    To you all the Catholic Spiritual Direction, I convey my heartfelt thank for this noble work. It is really great work. May God bless you. Germina

    • Thank you for participating Girmina – blessings to you!

  • Cynthia

    I’m experiencing a season of aridity in prayer right now. I don’t have the usual feelings that normally accompany my prayers. My spiritual director says that God is helping me to detach from any attachment to feelings or consolations during this time. It is very difficult and not at all pleasant, but I’m believing that this is what God has for me during this “dark night”.

    • Iowafarmwife

      Keeping you in prayer during this time.

      • Cynthia

        Thank you so much. I feel a deep emptiness and a terrible loneliness…feeling God’s presence with many consolations has been the norm in my life for the past 5 years, with only an occasional short dry period. This aridity has gone on for a month now. But I know that I know that God is in my soul, as is His joy and peace and love. I trust that He is giving me the grace to go through this dry time for His purposes and to continue to reach out to those he puts in my life with His joy, peace and love.  But it is so difficult and I appreciate so much the prayer support! …to God be the glory in heaven and on earth.

        • Patburton

          Dear Cynthia, this is a difficult time for you but remember God loves you very much and sometimes this dryness in prayer is His way of drawing you closer to Him, when you come through this difficult time you will look back and see that this is truly so.  The desire to pray even though we find it hard is also prayer God looks into the heart and knows your desire and He will surely honor that, so dont give up and know that God loves you and is drawing you to himself in a special way and for a special purpose.

        • jack g.

          Look up posts about consolation and desolation on this website Cynthia, the comments will be helpful for you. When we experience this dry period try to remember the  period with consolations and if you need to, yearn for it with all your heart. When I really miss it, I tell that to our Daddy in heaven, He will console you, sincerity and gratefulness are the key together with humility, with love of Jesus, jack g.

        • Cynthia, I remember my SD telling me that sometimes God allows us not to feel His presence in our hearts and souls so that He can perfect us in our Spirituality….and when He has done that, the consolations which you have had for 5 years will be back.  But we need to accept that we are united with the God of Consolations NOT the Consolations of God. Soon, Cynthia, the sun will shine again in your heart and you will feel the presence of God within you again. Be blessed

    • jack g.

      That happens to me to and yes, it feels bad sometimes, but if I do accept it and realize it is for my own good, it passes away and consolations come back, sooner or later. When that happens I just pray with the Liturgy of the Hours, like and try to concentrate on God more then on my own feelings. Singing psalms or just improvising and singing to praise God is such a way to express my heart, also.

  • judeen

    we are mind body and soul and we need to pray with all your strenght… I have said rosary.. loud.. stronge with all my strenght in church… yes it must be annoying.. but by the 3 mystry. I can hardly talk.. my soul takes over.. and it feels like I am praying in heaven . my soul takes over. . scriptures in old testement talks about prophets praying with their palms turned upward to God.. to catch blessings of heaven in their hands… if one holds hands with others that beleive strongly.. one can feel the electrcity go around the circle. – the Holy Spirit.. God works through our bodys… blessings come down upon our heads and down our spine… or in our hands -follow our veins to our hearts. estacy is felt by the body…

  • Lljl92

    I like to sing the paryers sometimes. My soul just says’Sing” I do as I am told. Your servant is listening.

    • I love singing prayers too. There is something about music that stirs the soul than mere words. Sometimes when alone, I even dance. But afraid that though I like singing, singing doesn’t like me. :))

      • Becky Ward

        Dancing is a form of prayer, absolutely!! We just need to be careful of when/where we are….as you say, normally when we are alone!!

        And the scriptures say, “Make a joyful noise…” it doesn’t say we have to be on key or have the perfect words…..God sees the heart…..and He must be pleased…..aren’t we, with all our faults happy when we see children singing and dancing….so too does God enjoy our spontaneous offerings of love.

      • judeen

        this is the Holy Spirit with in you praying… I was so happy when I learned this… to reconize God was speaking to me.. also remember what the song was , later it might fit really nice with what happens during the day..

        • Funny you should mention that! That’s happened often enough. 😀 Actually just last Friday, after meeting with my Spiritual Director, I found myself singing the Mass song “One thing I ask to dwell in the house of the Lord all my days” only to find out today that the Psalm 27 she assigned me for today was the Psalm that song came from!
          I was also thrilled when Inrealized that it was God speaking to me. And still am when “coincidences” like this happen!

  • Charles


    The best expierence I had while praying,was  when on one ocassion,I smelled the most sweet flower aroma, and in the same instant,without feeling myself to cry, tears poured down without control,and I couldn’t stop.Afterwords incense aroma followed.The incense aroma I kept smelling it for a few days. Now occasionally, I am only experiencing tears. I did experience as well aridity,and an unplesant feelings few days ago,but right now I am normal. I never discussed it with a spiritual director,and I don’t know whether I did right or not. I will never quit praying no matter what,it is in me and part of my life.

    • jack g.

      Hi Charles, that brings my experiences to mind, too. When at the beginning of my conversion tears flowed a lot and long, nowadays it happens everyday almost but just for a short time. I believe it due to grace of tears given when in prayer mode to help us cleanse, sincerely repent, thank and adore God’s gifts especially a gift of faith and prayer itself. Right after I experience in most cases and probably dependent on my disposition, a feeling of peace that I couldn’t myself produce. It is like a sweet state of calmness knowing that God is present. Sometimes all kinds of emotions are attached to it, depending on the state of my emotions at that time, and sometimes the only emotion is God given peace in His presence. One occasion I would try to guess the source of grace and sometimes I can distinguish if it is Our Lady or Jesus, or God the Father. And God sometimes allows me to know that, but it really comes from God, His presence and my total giving of myself in my frailness and nothingness in which I get to understand that we are so precious to our Daddy in heaven. See whenever there is something disturbing in prayer, I just ask God for protection and help, but also try not to panic knowing that without His knowledge nothing happens, so I just trust and ignore all distractions when I can and come back to God’s presence. Distractions and temptations are always bugging us and only grace infused prayer can ignore them. That happens on occasion and then really Holy Spirit takes over most of the senses physical and emotional. To summarize we are emotional and were made by God so our emotions are good and a source of great expression of what we feel, use it to our advantage and use it to praise God and talk to Him emotionally when possible, nothing wrong with that. Do you imagine your own child being emotional and loving you or showing affection, would you like to suppress that? Well imagine our Father in heaven, He most definitely wouldn’t want to suppress our feelings towards Him, would He? With the love of Jesus, jack g.

      • judeen

        i have cryed many times in mass and when praying.. I was told I was healing inside.. maybe the past.. but also . I see this in people who suffer for others.. they take on the tears for others to melt enough to heal…

    • judeen

      i have expereinced this too… also smoke… it will even come up my breathing machine… at night… the wonders of God !!!

    • Rowenalitorja

      I experienced the flower fragrance twice during the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and when I went to Alabama we had a healing service with Father Miguel, when the Monstrance was brouht to my face my heart moved. What a treasure feelings. The Lord give us grace to share not to keep. The Lord is so good all the time.   

  • Confused

    Am I missing something? On my web browser the quotation ends with the word supplication…and there’s no closing quotation mark. I think I must be missing most of this post…?

    • Dear Friend, no you are not missing anything. The format is just a style in the site that is automatic. It is just a brief quote from the Catechism. Blessings

  • Rowenalitorja

    My experience with vocal prayer is taking the prayer from my lips to reach God, leading into contemplation, community prayer is a vocal prayer too like Liturgy of the Hour.

  • judeen

    there is like 40 of us. who do retreats.. and when mass is , the walls vibrate.. with prayer( some are not even catholic.) yet I have been in a church were there was a thousand and did not sound as strong.. and the electricity of the Holy Spirit fills the church when we pray…. now thats mass! when everyone truely prays from their heart -what a difference

  • $21584337

    I read aloud, pray aloud, pray the Liturgy aloud..
    Lectio or mental prayer is different but all Prayer using publication or books i feel should be heard by GOD,from the Heart so he can hear it!

  • Berber

    I’m in my forties, have been a life long Catholic, but must not have been getting it for most of my life. About a year and a half ago I had an experience that hurt me greatly. I was very upset and then became aware of God comforting me. Until that and subsequent experiences I had never even heard of consollations in prayer. I do not have a spiritual director, and really nobody to talk to about what has been going on with me spiritually.
    Initially I spoke with my pastor, mostly during confession because I guess I was looking for reassurance that I wasn’t losing my mind. I can’t say that I ever got that reassurance. Anyway I think I was having mystical types of experiences but don’t know for sure. It was like I felt God touching me and I could only respond by falling deeply in love with Him. That was then, but now I feel dead inside. In confession a couple of weeks ago I was trying to get some sort of direction because i fear i am getting lost. All my priest said was “there is grace in the struggle.” I think I am incapable of doing anything on my own and that the love I felt and now the absence of it are all God’s doing. I just feel so empty. What should I do?

    • Dear Friend: No worries. You will find a good bit of help here both through the answers and the community. I will leave you to connect with Becky and Jo and others and you will find some insight. In general, it is clear that God is at work in you. Now what? Have you ever read the book “Prayer Primer” by Father Thomas Dubay? If not, I would recommend that as a first step to getting your arms around this new adventure if front of you. Be not afraid – He is with you.

    • Becky Ward

      Dear Berber,

      Your journey sounds much like my own. Like Dan says, “No worries.”….and like Jesus tells us, “Do not be afraid.”

      Pray for a spiritual director, and trust that God will not let you become lost………your priest is right (Although it probably doesn’t bring you much comfort right now), there IS grace in the struggle……God teaches us through everything, and the darkness is our opportunity to show Him that it’s HIM we love, Not the good feelings He gives us. Don’t give up!!

      You are not losing your mind…….it’s a healthy, and normal sign that you are concerned though.

      I’m praying for you!

      • Berber

        Thanks Becky, Rowenalitorja and Dan for the encouraging words and prayers. I will look up that book by Fr. Dubay. I had stumbled upon another of his books online when I had first started “feeling” things and was trying to “diagnose” what was happening to me. A month and a half ago I “self-diagnosed” dryness… but that was then… now I feel more like the rug has been pulled out from under me. I’m working on trusting God through this. 

    • Rowenalitorja

      God is love. He will never be far from you. The Lord look at you with compassion and He wll console you, do not be sad, our Lord work in very mysterious ways. Through faithful perseverance and dedications to Jesus Christ is our way of life. To remain faithful to God, who is faithful to us. Even the Saints felt the dryness too, never give up in praying. The communication from God penetrate the soul, move the will to love. From the book of  St. John of the Cross, the soul inspite of everything must keep faithful.  

    • Rowenalitorja

      God is love. He will never be far from you. The Lord look at you with compassion and He wll console you, do not be sad, our Lord work in very mysterious ways. Through faithful perseverance and dedications to Jesus Christ is our way of life. To remain faithful to God, who is faithful to us. Even the Saints felt the dryness too, never give up in praying. The communication from God penetrate the soul, move the will to love. From the book of  St. John of the Cross, the soul inspite of everything must keep faithful.  

  • Gogoprince

    i need my catholic comunity today pls do something for me i need your help i need help of my lord jesus haleluiya

    • Rowenalitorja

      Call the members of your community tell them that you need their spiritual support by praying together to our Lord.

    • Becky Ward

      I am praying for you.

  • This is what Saint Faustina – Christ’s Secretary and Eucharistic Apostle of His Divine Mercy – teaches us about the importance of Prayer : “Whatever state a soul may be, it ought to pray. A soul which is pure and beautiful must pray, or else it will lose its beauty;  a soul which is striving after this purity must pray, or else it will never attain it;  a soul which is newly converted must pray, or else it will fall again;  a sinful soul, plunged in sins, must pray so that it might rise again.  There is no soul which is not bound to pray, for every single Grace comes to the soul through prayer”. (Divine Mercy in my Soul – Diary No.146).  Again, Saint Faustina tells us:  “Jesus gave me to understand how a soul should be faithful to prayer despite torments, dryness and temptations;  because oftentimes the realization of God’s great plans depends mainly on such prayer.  If we do not persevere in such prayer, we frustrate what the Lord wanted to do through us or within us”. (Diary No.872). So, Cynthia, be assured God is working wonders for you. Continue to pray unceasingly confident that you are growing Spiritually in exactly the way God wants you to.  Be blessed

  • Cheryl

    Dear Dan,
    Can you explain what is meant by the “Gift of Tears”?
    I read that several of our beloved saints had the gift of tears; such as Padre Pio and St Peter. I also heard the gift of tears is a gift of the Holy Spirit but separate from the seven gifts.. I have not yet experienced a dry spell, however I, like several who have commented here, as a new re-convert exploring my faith, find myself constantly/daily moved to flowing tears. It happens simply when reciting prayers or the rosary or a chaplet in private, attending Mass especially at Holy Communion and when alone at Eucharistic Adoration. Sometimes the mere thought of something spiritually stirring such as a quick burst of gratitude, thanksgiving, praise, or remorse. even when driving (or reading a spiritual book) will cause tears to flow..I know it feels good to cry and it is cleansing for the soul but could this be the real same gift of the Holy Spirit similar to what the great saints experienced? I have never cried to this extent or frequency since ‘coming home’.
    My SD has not given me any affirmation whether this is on the same par as the true Gift of Tears.

    Blessings for all you do, Dan.

Skip to toolbar