Author: lfw3

Why should I kick my prayer life into overdrive?

You have a list of to-dos a mile long and putting prayer on it just adds to your stress!  By the end of this small entry, you’ll find out that prayer is your number one fast track to more joy.  Joy definitely is worth hurrying to get more of it into life, right? Find out why slowing down for prayer can hurry the entry of true joy below and share your experiences with prayer leading to joy in the comments.  So does adding a disciplined time for prayer increase stress? Pope Francis set the world straight recently – prayer is not about stress relief! Prayer is about communing with God, who made you and loves you more than any other being in your life.  Love, although it lessens stress, is infinitely more to us than simple stress relief! Here are some suggestions to help you add prayer and increase your joy.  First, set a time and a place you will go to and spend time with God. The place can be as simple as a chair and a table with a Bible right there to read. It does not have to be fancy. It is great if you can have a sacred corner with a crucifix and any other sacred images of Our Mother, Mary, or Saint Michael the Archangel, or any relics of saints you may have and...

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What happens when you listen to the wrong thoughts – and where do they come from anyway?

Interestingly, NOTHING good happens when you listen to bad thoughts!  Not all thoughts are products of your brain? Our Catholic faith, and other Christian traditions help us to discern sources of our thoughts and when they are from the devil to reject them.  How freeing to know you are not a source of bad thoughts! Considering how different these sources are, you would think it would be easy-peasy to differentiate between them! It isn’t!  The whole purpose of a lie is to make an untruth look true.  If some humans are good at them, imagine how good a spirit, namely Satan, is at making a lie sparkle attractively.  When we tell ourselves that since we are firm believers, and love Jesus with our whole heart, soul and mind, we are immune from Satan’s influence, we are less alert to deception. Who knew?   So, if we can’t keep Satan and his forces out just by being close to Jesus, what are we to do?  Reading and re-reading the Meditations in Coloring Meditations for a Full Life will help you know when something is not quite right. The bottom line:  Through prayer, we must keep choosing Jesus in every moment of our lives!   St. Teresa of Avila is a Doctor of the Church and is cited in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Prayer in general goes from paragraphs 2556...

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Who is prayer about?

Prayer is about . . .(what do you think?) Here are some answers: It’s about God because we need to praise Him (He doesn’t need our praise, but we build our attitude of gratitude when we praise Him.)  Oh, wait, who needs to praise him?  WE do!  Okay, about us! It’s about saying we are sorry for the day’s sins (or getting a head start on apologies before we rush into the day and forget God!).  Hmm, that’s still about us!   It’s about interceding for the people around us.  Okay, that might be about others, but it makes you feel good!  Almost holy! It’s about interceding for those in faraway places facing known and unknown problems (like natural disasters, poverty, disease, etc.).  Hmm, same as the one before, it’s about others, but it makes us feel good. It’s about the clergy, that God gives them strength, joy, holiness . . wait, that’s about us, too!  No clergy, no Body of Christ in the Eucharist!   It’s about civil authority, that God helps them to make decisions that are good for all.  Hmmmm.  That’s about US, too. Uh-oh!  Are you feeling like prayer is selfish and unselfish at the same time?   Possibly, the best answer is prayer is about those here on Earth trying to live out our lives in accordance with God’s purpose for us! At the surface,...

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How can I get the best experience from my summer trip?

TRIP.  The word either makes you cringe or celebrate!  Probably celebrate if you are reading this.  So here are some general recommendations for any trip: *Know yourself- meaning be honest with yourself as you answer:   -How much am I willing to spend?   -What are my goals for this trip?       -If I am going with other people, am I in a stage of life with regard to my physical (note at the bottom about walking), mental (here’s a beginning article on Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman:)  and spiritual (see Dynamic Catholic for a great intro and FREE resources about prayer) health where I can be flexible and strong so that I will benefit from this trip regardless of what others may do or say?   -Do the physical requirements of this trip fall within what I can do, and if not, are there alternative ways to travel or a way that meets my needs to do the experience?   -How well do I deal with being out of my regular environment and what is the minimum I need to take with me to survive gracefully? -What is my focus going to be on this trip? (personal growth, relax, prayer growth, cultural enrichment, learning, physical fitness growth) *Find out about the place where you are going. -What kind of weather will it have while you are...

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Am I a prayer warrior? AND the greatest weapon . . .

From my readings of the lives of the saints and from knowing many prayer warriors (and being told I am one!), here are some guides to help you know if YOU are a prayer warrior: Prayer warriors are: **Willing to spend time in prayer on a daily basis – usually prayer warriors already pray morning and evening or are willing to grow into that practice **Willing to seek to understand the deeper meaning of the words of any vocal or mental prayer. (St. Teresa, Way of Perfection, 24) **Willing to suffer for others, or willing to learn about the real role suffering plays in our spiritual growth (see 2 Corinthians 4) **Willing to give the temptations they suffer to Jesus for help in humility – take up cross and follow me (St Teresa, Life, ch. 16 and 17 – keep Devil away by uniting self to cross and not desiring any consolations.) **Willing to use the Rosary as a weapon against the ills of the world, or learn to use it that way on a daily basis. Sources: (among many others) Our Lady at Lourdes (St. Bernadette was praying it when Mary appeared), and at Fatima, where she directly asked that it be prayed – in every appearance!) **Willing to grow into fasting as a form of prayer warfare (Esther 4:16; Mk. 2:20; Mt 6:16-18; Acts 13: 2-3, 14:...

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