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How can I better prepare for prayer and meditation?

February 24, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditation, Mental Prayer, Prayer

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Q: Dear Father John, in the first part of your book, The Better Part, you mention something about preparing for tomorrow’s meditation the night before. I also heard that mentioned by a priest giving us a talk during a retreat. Can you explain this a little bit more? What do you mean, exactly, and is that something just for religious and priests, or should I be doing it too? A: It seems to me that your question is being asked... Read More

St. Teresa, should I strive to quiet my mind during prayer?

January 11, 2014 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Featured, Meditation, Mental Prayer, Prayer, Teresa of Avila

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Q: Dear Saint Teresa, I have read a number of books on prayer that advocate methods of suppressing, shutting down, or eliminating thinking all together during prayer.  In one centering prayer book it said to “let your thoughts go” and that “thoughts are a normal part of prayer.” Even though the book claimed that it was not teaching to eliminate thoughts, in the end, the method taught that we seek a state... Read More

Affective Meditation – Navigating the Interior Life Spiritual Dictionary

December 14, 2013 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Meditation, Navigating, Prayer, Spiritual Dictionary

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AFFECTIVE MEDITATION: Often the result of discursive meditation, affective prayer occurs when the heart and mind are engaged, with and beyond the intellect, with the object of the meditation. 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 About Dan BurkeDan is the founder of Roman Catholic... Read More

Meditation – Navigating the Interior Life Spiritual Dictionary

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MEDITATION: Reflective prayer.  It is that form of mental prayer in which the mind, in God’s presence, thinks about God and divine things.  While the affections may also be active, the stress in meditation is on the role of the intellect.  Hence this is also called discursive mental prayer.  The objects of meditation are mainly three: mysteries of faith; a person’s better knowledge of what God wants him or her to... Read More

What is the “Prayer of Simplicity”? (Part I of III)

November 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Contemplation, Fr. Bartunek, Meditation, Mental Prayer, Prayer

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Q: Dear Father John, I’ve heard that the prayer of simplicity is a kind of a bridge from meditation to contemplation. Can you help me to understand what this experience of prayer might be and how one might know that God is leading them down that path? A: The term “prayer of simplicity” is used differently by different spiritual authors, so there is some danger of confusion in answering this question. I will try to define... Read More

How can I Avoid False Teachings on Prayer? (I of III)

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…A faithful follower of the Lord asks:  Dear Dan, I enjoy reading more modern writers about prayer and the spiritual life but I am always worried about false teachings that could lead me away from the heart of the Church. How can I know when an author is not orthodox or teaches something that could lead me to deception instead of to God? You are wise to be concerned about finding the pure teaching of God on the matter of... Read More

Video – Difference between meditation and contemplation?

October 16, 2012 by  
Filed under Contemplation, Dan Burke, Fr. Bartunek, Meditation, Prayer, Videos

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Father John Bartunek and Dan Burke discuss the difference between meditation and contemplation. About Dan BurkeDan is the founder of Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction and author of the award winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God. Beyond his “contagious” love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for... Read More

Video – The Better Part and The 4 “Cs” of Meditation

September 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Fr. Bartunek, Meditation, Prayer, The Better Part, Videos

Video – The Better Part and The 4 “Cs” of Meditation

In this video, Fr. John helps us understand how to use the “Four Cs” of meditation, Concentrate, Consider, Converse, and Commit. To learn more about this method and to dig deeper in your relationship with Christ through Christian meditation, please consider purchasing Fr. John’s fantastic book, The Better Part – A Christ Centered Resource for Personal Prayer. To learn more about these videos and to participate... Read More

Should I set aside my meditation and vocal prayer to go deeper in my spiritual life? (modified)

Should I set aside my meditation and vocal prayer to go deeper in my spiritual life? (modified)

Q: 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 doing. To me, the... Read More

What is “Lectio Divina” and will it help my prayer life? – A Guide to Lectio Divina

Q: Dear Dan, can you help me understand Lectio Divina and whether or not I should use it to help me improve my prayer life? I am struggling right now and feel like I need a change but I don’t know what will help. A: Any Christian seeking to deepen their relationship with Christ will no doubt be blessed through this time tested monastic prayer method. Many of you who use The Better Part to pray will discover that Lectio Divina... Read More

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