What Julian of Norwich can teach us about prayer
After spending 20 years meditating on a number of visions, Julian of Norwich developed a deep understanding of God and produced her famous work, Revelations of Divine Love. Through her words, one can see the fruits of contemplative meditation.
More Catholics share how they pray
Prayer can be mysterious—in particular, other people’s prayer can be mysterious. In our November issue, we went ahead and asked six brave souls to reveal the benefits they reap and the struggles they have when they pray ("Private practices: The real prayer lives of Catholics," pages 12-17).
Here are a few additional Catholics who were willing to give us a glimpse into their day-to-day prayer lives:
Sit down and be quiet: How to practice contemplative meditation
When you try to pray, do you fidget? Do you keep starting a grocery list in your head? Don’t worry. Just give God 20 minutes.
When Father William Meninger left his post in the Diocese of Yakima, Washington in 1963 to join the Trappists at St. Joseph Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts, he told his mother, “That’s it, Mom. I’ll never be outside again.”
Private practices: The real prayer lives of Catholics
Pray tell, when was the last time you actually talked to anyone about your prayer life? Six Catholics open up about how they talk—and listen—to God each day.
Don't look now: How to practice custody of the eyes
Practicing custody of the eyes helps us stay focused on the important stuff.
The first time I heard the phrase “custody of the eyes,” I was not much older than 6 or 7. I was sitting beside my mom during Mass with her arm draped over my shoulder, one hand gripping me tightly. She was practicing that silent Catholic mom death grip—the one that says, “Be quiet and look straight ahead at the altar.” The task of looking directly ahead would have been easier if my dad weren’t fast asleep at the end of the pew.
35 years ago in U.S. Catholic: Bring back the rosary
By Father Daniel Berrigan, S.J.
This article appeared in the October 1978 issue of U.S. Catholic (Vol. 43, No. 10, pages 24-25).
Religious devotions are a little like lost-and-found objects. Something gets lost, at least in the sense of losing sight of it. And then we come on it again, unexpectedly perhaps, lying there at our feet. It had been there all the time. But now it has about it a kind of glow, a patina. It is something like an old coin, the gospel says; we have every right to rejoice in finding it again.
Pope Francis on prayer: Stop and ask for direction
God reveals himself and his will to us in prayer—all we have to do is take the time to sit and listen.
The following essay is an excerpt from the forthcoming book Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Meditations on Christian Discipleship by Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis. If you are interested in purchasing copies of Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Meditations on Christian Discipleship or others from our Pope Francis book collection, click here for more information and our order form.
Embracing Latino popular devotions
Theology professor Roberto Goizueta offers a crash course on the popular traditions of Latino Catholics.
As many American Catholics in parishes with growing Hispanic communities are learning, the church is filled with many different popular traditions and customs that enrich the faith lives of its members. But to those Catholics who may not know the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe or understand why someone would keep an altar in their home, these practices may seem a little unusual.
Can we use real bread at Mass?
A seminary pal of mine once remarked that he had no difficulty believing that Christ is present in holy communion. What he did question was the proposition that it was actually bread being used as a host.
Believe it or not, the hosts we use at Mass qualify as “real bread,” but they aren’t very good bread—at least not in any ordinary, earthly sense of the word. In accordance with one particular tradition of Western Christianity, canon law requires that the bread be unleavened (made without yeast).
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