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

Wisdom on Mental Prayer – 30 Days with Teresa of Avila – Day 8

Wisdom on Mental Prayer
30 Days with Teresa of Avila – Reflections on Day 8

“Do not tire your brain by trying to work it during meditation.” – St. Teresa of Avila. Dan and Melissa look at progressive development in prayer and the spiritual life as they reflect on letters from St. Teresa in the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila and her wisdom on mental prayer.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • How do the spiritual Doctors of the Church describe the stages of prayer?30DaysWithTeresaOfAvila
  • What is mental prayer?
  • Different types of meditative prayer.
  • St. Teresa advises on transitioning from meditation to contemplation.
  • How to deal with aridity.
  • Is “centering prayer” beneficial?
  • Some recommendations if you get “stuck” in prayer.
  • St. Teresa's Four Waters.


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!

  • Patricia

    Let it rain!

  • Patricia

    Sorry about your “rain situation” !

    “My comment was referring to the stages of prayer called the “Four Waters” by St. Teresa of Avila in reference to the Divine Intimacy Radio Program of today’s post. 🙂

    She explains the stages prayer by comparing them to four ways of watering a garden.

    The first method is by drawing water from a well by means of a bucket attached to a rope. This is like vocal prayer and discursive meditation.

    The second method of watering a garden is by using a waterwheel to with dippers attached. As the wheel turns, the water flows into a trough that brings the water to the garden. This kind of prayer is a recollecting of the faculties within the soul, is beginning to move closer the God, and brings enjoyment and delight”

    The third type of watering a garden is by irrigation because there is running stream. No human effort is needed now!. Prayer at this stage is considered mystical because all the faculties are centered on God.

    The fourth method for watering a garden is by means of falling rain. This stage of prayer is a called the prayer of union and is totally mystical and infused by God. It can not attained by human effort.

    This is what I was referring to in my comment!

  • Pingback: | Catholic Spiritual Direction | Secrets from a Master of Successful Meditation Catholic Spiritual Direction()

  • Pingback: Secrets from a Master of Successful Meditation – Day 8, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila()

  • fredy

    thank you god.

Skip to toolbar