Cool Tools for Catholics

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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Prayer-Style Checklist

Do you get restless or distracted when you pray? Perhaps your form of prayer does not match your preferred "mode" of giving and receiving information. Try the following: choose all of the following communication modes that work for you:

___ A. Auditory (You are alert when listening to lectures, speakers, homilies)
___ B. Auditory [Music] (You are alert when listening to music, CDs, choirs)
___ C. Reading (You are alert when reading books, magazines, the Bible)
___ D. Reading [Aloud] (You are alert when reading books and articles aloud)
___ E. Visual (You are alert when looking at paintings, sculptures, photos)
___ F. Audio/Visual (You are alert when watching TV, movies, and plays)
___ G. Writing (You are alert when typing, journalling, drawing)
___ H. Speaking (You are alert when speaking your thoughts aloud)
___ I. Moving [Postures] (You are alert when prostrating yourself, kneeling, standing with arms raised)
___ J. Moving [Walking] (You are alert when pacing the room, going for a walk)

Knowing your preferred modes of giving/receiving information can give you ideas for ways to pray that work for you:

A. Listen to Scripture/homilies through online video or audiobooks. Or listen in silence for God's still, small voice.
B. Put on some Gregorian chant, sacred polyphony, or other sacred music in the background.
C. Read Scripture, or the writings of the Saints, or the Catechism.
D. Same as C, but reading aloud.
E. Pray before a home altar with a crucifix and candles. Place before you some holy cards, or images of sacred paintings, or statues of biblical figures.
F. Watch a few minutes from a movie like The Nativity Story or a documentary like Catholicism, to put you into a prayerful mood.
G. Pull out your journal and write (or type) your prayers. Or if you like to draw, draw.
H. Speak to God aloud. Recite a traditional prayer, or make up your own. Speak to Him as to a friend, or as to a king.
I. Kneel, or stand, or check out St. Dominic's 9 prayer postures.
J. Go for a prayerful walk. Or pace around the room, praying aloud or reading a few lines from Scripture and pondering them.

Hopefully that gives you some interesting new ideas that will help you to remain alert during your prayer time.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Where to find the daily Collect online

The Collect, or Opening Prayer, is a theologically packed prayer that happens at the beginning of daily Mass and at the end of Morning Prayer. But where to find this beautiful prayer online? There is really only one place I know of that provides it consistently, and that is the Liturgical Year page at Catholic Culture.

Today's Collect is:

O God, who gave the Martyr Saint Thomas Becket the courage to give up his life for the sake of justice, grant, through his intercession, that, renouncing our life for the sake of Christ in this world, we may find it in heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Monte Carlo prayer-request management system

Do you have too many prayer requests? Is your prayer list getting unmanageable? Are you overwhelmed by the number of prayer requests you need to keep track of?

Here is a simple way to manage your prayer requests. Simply write down each prayer request on a separate index card. Then shuffle the index cards. Then just pray the top 3 or 4 cards in the deck.

It doesn't matter if you have 20 requests or 200 - you just need to do 3 or 4 at a time. And because you are only praying a few, you can really concentrate on them and give them your all, striving to move God's heart.

You can also do this electronically with a flash card app that does shuffling, such as Flashcardlet:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Some suggestions for spiritual reading

Wondering what are the best books for spiritual reading? Check out the short list at the bottom of this page for the FSSP seminary. Stuff like Introduction to the Devout Life, Imitation of Christ, etc.

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