contemplation

Mindfulness: Developing Spiritual Awareness Through Meditation and Prayer – Spiritual Article

 It’s not always easy to sit down and meditate, but practice makes perfect! If you’ve ever thought you couldn’t do silent or meditative prayer, this video is for you. In it, I go over some simple methods to warm up to silent prayer exercises that build on mindfulness. Mindfulness, explained simply, is about focusing our awareness on the present. Often, it’s confused with an idea that claims that we ought to find peace by completely clearing our minds —…

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Praying the Ignatian Examen: Video Guided Prayer Exercise – Spiritual Article

Cultivating a relationship with God can be hard in the midst of our busy lives, and that’s why Ignatius of Loyola came up with the Examen in the 16th Century. His monks tired of all the different prayers they had to do every day, so the brilliant Ignatius came up with one prayer they could practice just three times a day. The Examen is a contemplative prayer with a somewhat scientific approach: it’s a practice repeated at least once daily…

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5 Ways the Coronavirus Can Help Us Spiritually Develop – Spiritual Article

The world is in a panic about the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to this still-emerging global outbreak, schools and universities have either shut down or have been forced to shift to remote classes, government buildings have been shuttered, restaurants and bars have been closed indefinitely and many billions of people have been forced to self-quarantine amid an increasingly chaotic environment that has some questioning if we are witnessing the wide-scale collapse of our social orders.There is no doubt that the…

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Prayer Walk: An Excerpt From ’50 Ways To Pray’ – Spiritual Article

The Prayer Walk is a physical prayer. If you’re new to physical, body-oriented prayers, an introduction is in order. Our perception of the world and our bodies change with each other, even if we don’t know it. Our bodies react to stressful situations by increasing heart rate and breath, and sweating, even though we’re not doing any physical activity. We tend to unconsciously stand taller with better posture when we’re feeling confident, maybe in new clothes or after nailing a…

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The Star Wars Prayer: An Excerpt From ’50 Ways To Pray’ – Spiritual Article

We live in a media-saturated culture. Each day thousands of promotional messages clamor for our attention. Television has become our national storyteller, with the TV screen becoming a focal point in most of our family rooms. But we can find prayer in our media culture — even “Star Wars.” What has prayer got to do with our media culture? Everything. Even if you were to “kill your television” and attempt to ban all brand-name advertising from entering your home, your…

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Contemplation Exercise: Here I Am Prayer – Spiritual Article

Contemplation is the stillness we need to be aware of God’s presence. Jesuit theologian Walter Burghart calls it “the long, loving look at the Real.” It is long because our relationship with God (like our relationships with people) takes time. We must devote ample time to this Person we love. It is loving because we need to shed our judgments and fears and open ourselves to love just as we are. It is a look because we must face it.…

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Prayer of the Heart: An Excerpt From ’50 Ways To Pray’ – Spiritual Article

Let’s sit down and listen to our heart. Western culture tends to reward quick-thinking, fast, type-A people — but the constant distractions in our environment can make it hard to hear that one small voice we associate with God. Hearing that voice requires setting aside some time to focus, which helps us build our relationship with the Spirit, quiet our minds, shed our judgments and fears, and open ourselves to love just the way we are. We are constantly being…

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Remembrance Prayer: A Prayer Exercise from ’50 Ways To Pray’ – Spiritual Article

In this remembrance prayer, we look at the crucial choices we’ve made in the past and reflect on them to gain some perspective. It helps us see how our story fits into the bigger picture, where we’ve seen God in our lives, and how perhaps God is communicating with us to show us our purpose. Further, this exercise helps us determine the steps and choices we need to take to move toward that purpose. Paying attention to a memory can…

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Sitting with a Choice: Discernment Through Ignatian Examen – Spiritual Article

Here’s a simple spiritual practice you can do when sitting with a choice you need to make. It’s based on the ancient practice of the Ignatian Examen, a prayer where you take a reflective look at where you are most spiritually energized and where you are least energized (and that’s just one way to do it — there are hundreds of variations, but this one is helpful for discernment). Crafting the Question Let’s say you are trying to decide whether…

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15 Life-Changing Lessons to Learn from St. Clare of Assisi — Purpose Fairy – Self Improvement Article

St. Claire Basilica, Assisi, ItalyClare of Assisi, the daughter of a count, was only 18 years old when she decided to give up a life of riches and luxury to embrace a life of piety and poverty. Touched deeply by the sweet love Francis of Assisi held in his heart for God, she sought him in secret to teach her how to live “after the manner of the holy Gospel” as well.  And he did. Following his advice, Clare left her…

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Reflection Prayer: The Traditional Ignatian Examen – Spiritual Article

One prayer exercise to get in touch with our inner senses is called The Examen. The motto in Ignatian spirituality is to “find God in all things.” We do that by examining our life. As our lives unfold with each choice, our reactions to unexpected challenges, and our search for stability in the midst of change, we get glimpses of God’s loving guidance, companionship, and support. It’s as if Jesus says, “We have eyes to see.” We develop these special…

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