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Importance of Saints, Teaching Children to Pray, Examining Spontaneous Prayer

The Importance of Saints, Teaching Children to Pray, and Examining Spontaneous Prayer

DivineIntimacyRadioWithDan&MelissaDan and Melissa answer questions on the importance of saints in prayer life, teaching children to pray, and spontaneous prayer. They also discuss some important aspects of meditation as they reflect on the book Finding God Through Meditation by St Peter of Alcántara.



Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Are the saints important in prayer life? Why?spontaneous prayer
  • Should a lay person focus on one saint per year as some religious do?
  • What is the best way to help children develop a regular, personal prayer life?
  • Some tips for extemporaneous or spontaneous prayer.
  • What is the difference between discursive and affective meditation?
  • An example of discursive meditation becoming affective meditation.


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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, and Divine Intimacy Radio, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, and his newest books Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep and Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux. 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.

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  • terryhjones

    More saints material

  • Jeanette

    A great resource is ‘Divine Intimacy’ by Fr. Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalen. It gives me much to ponder and pray about extemporarily. The Holy Spirit uses this book on meditations on the interior life to touch my heart, at this time in my spiritual life.

    A way to teach children to pray in the Catholic schools here in Ontario, Canada, is through The Rosary Apostolate. The Spiritual Director is a Passionist nun by the name of Sr. Marilina Cinelli and it has been endorsed by our Archbishop. We have the privilege of teaching grades JK/SK to Grade 8 about Mother Mary, the Saints, the Mysteries of the Rosary and much more as well as how to pray the rosary. There is much more we teach them about our Catholic faith as well. If their parents aren’t teaching them how to pray at home, at least they are exposed to the Rosary Apostolate who are modeling prayer in the schools. It is so rewarding to teach a child how to pray and to be able to pray with them and for them. Do you have something like this in the US? If not, it would be a great apostolate to start-up.

    Thank you Dan & Melissa for your guidance from your considerable wisdom and experience. God bless!

  • Connie Rossini

    As you know, Dan, teaching children to pray is one of the focuses of my apostolate and my life, as a homeschool mother of four boys, trying to lead them towards holiness. I have numerous posts on this subject, but perhaps the best one is this, a template I made to helps kids in middle school or older begin to meditate on Sacred Scripture. My boys started using this at ages 13 and 11, and now practice mental prayer a few times a week. Thanks for promoting this important work!

  • Pingback: | Catholic Spiritual Direction | Transitioning from Meditation to Contemplation / Catholic Spiritual Direction()

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