Tag Archives: Praying

St. Jude Novena @ PrayMoreNovenas.com

Pray the St. Jude NovenaJoin me and over 5,000 other Catholics in praying the St. Jude Novena beginning on October 19th. Sign up at PrayMoreNovenas.com – St. Jude Novena.

Saint Jude is the patron of Hopeless Causes and Desperate Situations.

“Pray these novena prayers to Saint Jude with confidence. Catholics have relied on his intercession in times of extreme need for centuries.

This Apostle and Martyr has helped countless souls through his epistle in the New Testament and his intercessions on behalf of those who seek his aid in times of trial.

Pray this novena for your intentions asking St. Jude to intercede to God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit on your behalf.”

PrayMoreNovenas.com is worth checking out. I think this is a fantastic way to bring Catholics together in prayer.

St. Jude pray for us!

Why Fathers Need Prayer @ LovingTheChurch.com

Blessed John Paul II with his fatherThis week at LovingTheChurch.com, I discuss why, as a father, I need to pray – Why Fathers Need Prayer.

Christ said “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28). Life comes at me every day, prayer helps me to live life on life’s terms; to live in the present moment; to place my trust in God.

John Thavis, the Rome Bureau Chief for Catholic News Service, once wrote the following about Blessed John Paul II and his father:

“The future Pope would sometimes wake in the middle of the night and find his father praying on his knees. At his death, friends say Karol knelt for twelve hours in prayer at his father’s bedside.”

At the end of the post I include a prayer – A Father’s Prayer for Guidance. It is an excellent prayer and worth passing on to any fathers in your life.

May God bless you and keep you.

Prayer: The Example of My Father @ LovingTheChurch.com

Mom and Dad at St. Peter's BasilicaThis week at LovingTheChurch.com I paid tribute to my dad!

My father and his commitment to prayer has always been a wonderful example for me and my other siblings. You can read the entire article here – Prayer: The Example of My Father.

May God bless and keep you. Have a great weekend everyone!

Spiritual Toolbox: Prayer

Prayer is a Powerful ToolI have tools today. In fact, I have a spiritual toolbox.

As a Catholic, I have been given many wonderful spiritual tools to deal with just about anything life might throw at me.

The whole business of tools can be tricky though. I have discovered that the “world” offers me tools as well.

So for me, how my day goes depends upon what tools I pick up.

It’s something I have to be conscious of every day. What tools do I have to use on a consistent, day-to-day basis? What tools do I need to make use of weekly, monthly, or just in certain situations?

Today, I’m just going to share about one tool, one really important tool.


I’m not going to go into the theology of prayer (CCC 2558-2865). I just want to talk about prayer from a practical perspective.

I have to pray.

In my life, when I’ve abandoned my prayer life I’ve wandered far from God. I get pounded by sin, selfishness, and worldliness. That is a fact.

I’m a stubborn soul. The pain has to get pretty bad. In retrospect, I’m extremely grateful for that. Pain has served a valuable purpose in my life. It got me right where I needed to be…on my knees.

Now I’m no master of prayer, I’m just an average guy trying to do God’s will. That’s my disclaimer. Some of you are certainly more qualified to talk about prayer than me. Yet, as the Psalmist proclaimed, “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will tell of all thy wonderful deeds” (Ps 9:1). So I feel compelled to share how prayer works for me.


My day has to begin with prayer. I have certain prayers I say each morning. I try to combine the basic forms of prayer – Blessing, Petition, Intercession, Thanksgiving, and Praise. I also try to listen. Prayer is a conversation with God.

Then I use a couple tools that combine prayer and spiritual reading. First, I pray the Daily Meditation offered by Regnum Christi. This is by far the best daily meditation on the day’s Gospel reading that I have found. It doesn’t take much time, and it combines thoughts and questions for meditation with specific prayers. I highly recommend it. Another wonderful tool is the Liturgy of the Hours (this link takes you to a great site for becoming familiar with this prayer of the whole People of God).


During the day, I have incorporated the practice of aspirational prayer. Here are a few of my favorites:

The Jesus Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of God,
have mercy on me,
a sinner. Amen.

The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity,
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

The Divine Mercy Prayer, also the prayer John Paul II recommended for times of difficulty
Jesus, I trust in You. Amen.

Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane
Not my will, but Thy Will be done. Amen.

These are just a few I make use of during the day. I also spontaneously pray to God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit individually and as the Most Holy Trinity. I ask Mary and the saints, especially St. Joseph, for their intercession and thank them for watching over our family and for prayers answered.


Before going to bed I do a brief Examination of Conscience, make an Act of Contrition, and say a few prayers of Thanksgiving for the day and all that God has given me.


My wife and I foster an environment of prayer in our home. The kids have morning prayers they say. We also say “grace” before meals, night prayers with the children, and the family rosary.

That’s a day in the prayer life of this average “Catholic” Joe.

When I “plan” my day around prayer, I have a better day. I’m able to understand situations that used to baffle me; I am better able to hold my tongue (not perfectly by any stretch); I tend to be more focused on where I’m heading and not what I want in this world; I try harder to be more like Christ.

Again, I’m still a work in progress. For me, it’s all about progress not perfection. I know that God is not finished with me yet.

I hope that this sharing will encourage each of you to continue in your own daily prayer life.

I’ll close with this reflection from St. Isidore, from his Book of Maxims:

Prayer purifies us, reading instructs us. Both are good when both are possible. Otherwise, prayer is better than reading.

If a man wants to be always in God’s company, he must pray regularly and read regularly. When we pray, we talk to God; when we read, God talks to us.

Next up, I hope to share about spiritual reading.

May God bless you and keep you.

Do I Really Have Time For Prayer?

Do I Really Have Time For Prayer?Life can be quite busy.

As a family, we stay in a constant state of motion – meals, dishes, laundry, work, homeschooling, meetings, cleaning, yard work, bath-time, story-time, bedtime…

Sometimes it seems like we hardly have time to just enjoy life.

Time seems to be a scarce commodity.

So how in the world do I have time for prayer? Is taking time out of my busy day to pray even practical?

I know that seems like a silly question, but I have to think about…how much time do I spend in prayer each day?

Sure there are those “fox-hole” prayers I offer up:

Jesus, please don’t let me get stuck in traffic…God, please get me out of this mess…Jesus, let me get that promotion.

Sure, God hears these prayers, but in truth they are all about me and my will.

The question then becomes – What is prayer?

Prayer is that raising of my heart and mind to God, seeking His Will in all things, desiring to grow closer to Him. It is a “vital and personal relationship with the living and true God” (CCC paragraph 2558).

This is where prayer becomes practical. Allow me to explain.

I married my wife because I fell in love with her. I desired to know her, to be one with her. In order for that love to grow I have to spend time with her, talk to her, ask of her, and share with her. I have to praise her for all the joy and good she brings into my life. The same is even more true of my relationship with God.

I am Catholic because I believe that Jesus Christ is God, sent by God the Father, one with the Holy Spirit. Biblically and historically I know that He founded the Catholic Church. I believe that He made me. If He made me then He must know why I’m here, more importantly, He must love me.

How could I not want to know Him?

So all those things that were true with my wife, must also be true with God. I am so grateful for my life and I want to know why God put me here. I want to do what He wants. In order for that to happen I MUST be in a personal relationship with Him…that is prayer.

I haven’t always cared about that relationship. God hasn’t always been that one Priority above all other priorities in my life. Personal experience has shown me that when I don’t pray I get lost. My life becomes unmanageable.

My motto has become FIRST THINGS FIRST.

I’m only “here” for a little while. If God Is then the most important part of my day will be those times spent in prayer, those times when I’m in communion with God.

With that in mind, the answer to the question Do I really have time for prayer? is simple…

I don’t have time “not” to pray.

In my next post, I’ll share some practical prayer tools that have been extremely useful to this busy, working, kid-raising husband~father.

May God bless you and keep you.