Today’s reflection is the third in a series by Fr. Michael Schleupner. Let’s take a few moments to learn about his thoughts on prayer and then you can practice these methods after.
Spirituality – Part 3
Last week I reflected on faith as the first core element of spirituality. Today my attention turns to prayer as the next core element.
Fundamentally, prayer is our consciously or intentionally being with God. Some kind of personal prayer needs to be part of spirituality. And notice that I am speaking of personal prayer. This is in addition to Mass and other sacramental or communal prayer experiences.
There are three basic types of personal prayer.
First, there is Verbal Prayer – prayers like the Liturgy of the Hours, the rosary, Stations of the Cross, the Lord’s Prayer, and books of contemporary prayers. These are pre-set prayers, prayers composed by another that we now pray.
Second, there is Meditative Prayer. This is our conversation with God. Here we make time for God to speak to us, especially in a passage of the gospel. We reflect on this, and then we speak to God about it and how it relates to our life.
Finally, there is Contemplative Prayer. Here our prayer is mostly silence – just being quiet and alone with God. It’s almost like just showing up and letting God do the rest.
As I said, some kind of personal prayer is a core part of spirituality. Probably all of us already have some form of Verbal Prayer in our lives. And so, I recommend that we consciously make space for some Meditative and some Contemplative Prayer.
Meditative Prayer, especially when it includes the gospel, keeps our faith – the first ingredient for spirituality – it keeps our faith alive and growing.
And Contemplative Prayer – if just a few minutes of silence at some point in the day – it assures that we have an inner life.
Gracious God, help us to remember: our hearts are restless until they rest in you! Amen!
~ Father Michael Schleupner
See Fr. Michael’s previous posts about spirituality from the last two weeks and for the next three weeks for more on this topic of Spirituality.
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