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Reflections on Finding God through Meditation – What is Prayer?

WHAT IS PRAYER? How does one get started in mental prayer? What are the imporatant elements to having a good prayer life? Dan and Melissa take on complexities of answering the question “What is prayer?” as they discuss the book Finding God Through Meditation by St Peter of Alcántara.   Topics/Questions covered in the show: Answers to the question “What is prayer?” How does Jesus’ humanity help... Read More

Vocal Prayer – Navigating the Interior Life Spiritual Dictionary

Vocal Prayer Navigating the Interior Life Spiritual Dictionary     Vocal Prayer – Any form of prayer expressed audibly using pre-written formulas (e.g. the Rosary, the Liturgy of the Hours, etc.).   This Spiritual Dictionary Term is an excerpt from the Glossary of Dan’s book Navigating the Interior Life – Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God. To learn more, click here  + Art: Cover of “Navigating... Read More

Set aside meditation & vocal prayer for deeper spiritual life?

Deeper Spiritual Life? Dear Dan, I have a rule of life (firm spiritual commitments) and as part of that rule I have been meditating (Ignatian) and praying the rosary and the Liturgy of the Hours daily for years now. My struggle is that I have heard that if I sense the Lord’s presence (which does happen), that I should set these prayers aside and focus on the Lord. I am confused, I thought that focusing on God is what I am already... Read More

Catechism – Vocal Prayer – 2704

August 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Catechism, Dan Burke, Prayer, Prayer, Vocal

Catechism of the Catholic Church on Vocal Prayer Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraph 2704 Because it is external and so thoroughly human, vocal prayer is the form of prayer most readily accessible to groups. Even interior prayer, however, cannot neglect vocal prayer. Prayer is internalized to the extent that we become aware of him “to whom we speak;”4 Thus vocal prayer becomes an initial form of contemplative... Read More

Saying your prayers versus praying your prayers

August 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Difficulties, Mental Prayer, Prayer, Vocal


In the spiritual life, the language we use intimately reflects our hearts. As an example, let’s look at prayer. Do we “say our prayers?” Or do we pray in an intimate relationship with God? The former is like saying, “I said words to my wife.” The latter is closer to saying, “My wife and I had a wonderful dinner together.” Prayer, when spoken of in impersonal terms, can depict and encourage impersonal aspirations,... Read More

I am too tired to focus in prayer, what can I do?

May 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Difficulties, Prayer, Vocal

Dear Dan, I have a question regarding the rosary that I’m hoping you can help me with. I love to pray the rosary and typically I’m able to meditate on the mysteries. Sometimes, I find myself not being able to sleep, but tired enough that I’m not able to effectively focus on the mysteries. In that situation, like last night, I focused my mind on each word, it was almost like praying against a white background,... Read More

What is a novena?

April 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Novenas, Prayer, Prayers, Vocal

Dear Father John, I have a question for your blog! I think I don’t really know what is a novena? How did it appear in the church and why? I know “neuvaine” means 9, but why 9 days before the feast/saint you are praying? Why would I pray a novena…? This question is right on time! One of the Church’s most popular novenas is the Novena to the Divine Mercy, which starts on Good Friday. Maybe a few thoughts... Read More

Catechism – Vocal Prayer – 2703

February 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Catechism, Dan Burke, Prayer, Prayer, Vocal

Vocal Prayer (Catechism paragraph 2703)   …God seeks worshippers in Spirit and in Truth, and consequently living prayer that rises from the depths of the soul. He also wants the external expression that associates the body with interior prayer, for it renders him that perfect homage which is his due.   + “A catechism should faithfully and systematically present the teaching of Sacred Scripture, the living... Read More

Catechism – Vocal Prayer – 2702

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

Vocal Prayer Vocal 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 This excerpt from the Catechism of the Catholic Church is from Paragraph 2702. + “A... Read More

When is prayer not prayer at all?

January 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Difficulties, Prayer, Teresa of Avila, Vocal

Dear Dan, I read your post about praying at the speed of light. I agree, however, one of the commentators seems to be attempting to dull the point that we must be attentive when we pray for it to be real prayer? They said that it is only our intent that matters. If our intent is all that matters, then what if we regularly intend to pray and be attentive to God but never or rarely are, in fact, attentive to God. Is this really prayer?... Read More

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