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Author Topic: Praying with/without words  (Read 2305 times)
Justicia et Pax
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« on: January 24, 2014, 01:58:29 PM »

Hi everyone!

For a few years now, I have found myself unable to use words during silent prayer. At first I assumed this was my depression affecting my prayer life. Then I thought it might just be that I am growing spiritually and moving onto something else.

As of a few weeks ago, I have quite suddenly been able to pray using words again. Nothing major has happened in my spiritual life to prompt this.

I guess I'm just wondering how I should feel? I don't know whether using words again is a step forwards or backwards. Should I be worried? Or should I be praising God for this?

All thoughts welcome.

God bless,

Shan Smiley
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Alan
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piggysiggy
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2014, 06:37:27 PM »

I would call it a step, or a change, but not "forward" or "backward."  In your prayer life, things don't go according to a linear step 1, 2, ... but have flexibility.  Personally I think the Holy Spirit gives us just exactly what we need.

There is no "wrong" prayer method, if it appeals to you at the moment.  And I think "at the moment" is important, because I don't personally like to conform to specific times to pray in a certain way, but there was a time when I found that useful.  Silent prayer is generally thought to be that, just silent, but people get into arguments about exactly how one should or should not go about obtaining that silence, and whatever.  There's powerful stuff there and I've heard a lot about it; maybe I'll write on contemplative prayer.

Meanwhile, if you have access to 9 bucks for Kindle edition, or 12 bucks for paperback, I highly recommend "Armchair Mystic: Easing into Contemplative Prayer" by a Jesuit monk Mark Thibodeaux S.J.  It has imprimatur and all that.  It was supposed to be a required text for Matt's first semester class in Kenrick Seminary, but unfortunately they did other stuff and didn't get to the book.  It gives dozens of ideas on different things you can do and think while prayer in all forms -- vocal and silent and in-between.

I think if you read it, you would see why I say there is no "wrong" way to pray.  Grin

http://www.amazon.com/Armchair-Mystic-Easing-Contemplative-Prayer-ebook/dp/B005GRATEY/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1390606476

Alan
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... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Alan
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2014, 07:06:23 PM »

Oh yeah.  I'm notorious for buying books and not reading them, so I also got the companion "audible" edition, read by the author.  I like it read by the author himself, because it helps me hear what he means when the words match the voice (and heart) of the narrator.   Smiley

Alan
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... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Justicia et Pax
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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2014, 11:01:53 AM »

Thanks for the book recommendation, Alan. Amazon UK was gonna charge me Lord knows how much for delivery, so I bought it off a site recommended by a friend.

I'm pleased to hear you mention your son and that he was meant to read this - a shame they didn't get round to it. How is your boy doing? You must be so proud, Alan  Grin

As for me, I guess I've spent too long reading the "hardcore" stuff about contemplative prayer. Maybe it's time to try something a bit more basic and see if that gives me a better way in.

Thanks for your friendship and for this site, Alan - it's such a Godsend to me, you have no idea. The other day I posted something completely innocent on CAF and then someone asked me what my status means by 'Cafeteria Catholic'  Undecided No peace for the wicked  Wink
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