July 18, 2021 – Pastor’s Keyboard

Spend at least 10 minutes a day in mental prayer…

A lot of good Catholics pray the Rosary daily, some go to daily Mass, but very few spend time in mental prayer.  It is vitally important to learn to spend some time every day in mental prayer.  Today’s Gospel Jesus tells us: “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while…”

What is mental prayer?

Teresa of Avila describes mental prayer as follows:

Mental prayer is nothing else but being on terms of friendship with God, frequently conversing in secret with Him.

Mother Teresa once said:

In vocal prayer we speak to God; in mental prayer he speaks to us. It is then that God pours Himself into us.

It is how we get to know Jesus in an intimate way and become friends with Him…

How do we do it?

  1. Settle down in a quiet place.

Jesus says to the Apostles in today’s Gospel:

“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” 

A key to good prayer is a suitable place for prayer…

St. Francis de Sales says: “If you can perform it in church, so much better…because he goes on to say you could not easily insure uninterrupted hour at home…”

If you can’t sit in a church find a spot at home that is quiet.

2. Set a time….

There is an expression, “A WHAT WITH A WHEN is A NEVER!” St. Francis de Sales says: “if you can, let it (prayer) early in the morning…”

The reason he says so is because “your mind is less cumbered and more vigorous after the night’s rest…”

This is very much what our Lord Jesus, our savior did when he was walking on the earth…

It says in the Gospel of Mark 1:35:

“Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed…”

Whether it is in the morning or evening, there has to be specific time to pray.  I tend to pray early in the morning because there are no distractions. 

3. SEEK Christ in the Scriptures…

The catechism of the Catholic Church states:

“We are usually helped by books, and Christians do not want for them: the Sacred Scriptures, particularly the Gospels…”

4. Solicit advice by asking questions…

It says in the Gospel: “…he began to teach them many things.”

After prayerfully reading the Gospel of the day, solicit advice from Jesus with the following questions:

  1. What… does this Gospel say?
  2. So, What…? What does this word say to me?
  3. Now what? What needs to change in me because of this word…?

Do this ten minutes a day and you will begin to know and love Jesus more and more.

Fr. Jaques Phillipe in his book “A Time for God” says;

“Time spent faithfully every day in mental prayer that is poor, arid distracted and relatively short is worth more, and will be infinitely more fruitful for our progress, than long ardent spells of mental prayer from time to time, when circumstances make it easy…”

Peace!
Fr. Larry

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