“Prayer is the raising of one's mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God.” (CCC, no. 2559)
“The purpose of the Holy Hour is to encourage deep personal encounter with Christ. The holy and glorious God is constantly inviting us to come to Him, to hold converse with Him and to ask such things as we need and to experience what a blessing there is in fellowship with Him. One of the by-products of the Holy Hour is the sensitiveness to the Eucharistic Presence of Our Divine Lord (…) The Holy Hour is not a devotion; it is a sharing in the work of redemption. 'Could you not watch one hour with Me?' Not for an hour of activity did He plead, but for an hour of companionship.”
- Fulton J. Sheen, Treasure in Clay, the Autobiography of Fulton J. Sheen (1982).
Lectio Divina is a spiritual reading of Sacred Scriptures that translates literally to "divine reading." We read Scripture, usually the Gospel, three or more times slowly and intentionally. Lectio Divina includes prayerful reading (lectio), reflective meditation on the passage (meditatio), prayer and personal response (oratio), and contemplation of and resting in the Lord (contemplatio).
This is a popular form of meditation, which has ancient roots. In reading Scripture prayerfully, God can speak to our hearts and minds. Here we are helped in our search to understand who God is and what God wants for us. For more on Lectio Divina, visit USCCB and the Carmelites’ website.
The Daily Examen Prayer is a prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola, and one that St. Ignatius wanted to share with everyone. Through this prayer, we intentionally reflect on our day and discern where God is moving in our lives. There are five parts to this structured prayer that only takes a few minutes to do. For resources on the Examen, visit Ignatian Spirituality.
The Rosary is also a devotion that goes back centuries. When we pray the Rosary, we typically have rosary beads in our hand. Using this tool, we move from bead to bead repeating prayers. While so doing, we engage our mind and meditate on the mysteries of Christ and on God’s love for us, following the example and trusting in the intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary, the first disciple. Visit the USCCB website to find the prayers, mysteries and directions on how to pray the Rosary.
Praying with the
Praying with the saints can help us grow deeper in our own prayer life. As a Church, we celebrate the lives of saints who are models and inspirations for how to live Christ-centered lives. Here are two sources to help you pray with the saints each day: Franciscan Media’s Saint of the Day and Catholic Online’s Saint of the Day
Liturgical & Communal
"In the liturgy, all Christian prayer finds its source and goal" (CCC, no. 1073). Liturgical - Communal Prayer resources are available through the Archdiocese of Atlanta Office for Divine Worship.
"Prayer is both a gift of grace and a determined response on our part. It always presupposes effort” (CCC 2725). “Prayer and Christian life are inseparable” (CCC 2745). To learn more about prayer, see Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 2558ff. For more on the battle of prayer, see CCC, nos. 2725-2745, and this video by Fr. Mike Schmitz.