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Reflective Study Guide Questions
“Our fervent ‘Our Father,’ one fervent ‘Hail Mary’ is far more effective than rushing through a bunch of them.”St. Francis de Sales & St. Theresa
- Vocal prayer expresses our inner feelings and inner life. When was the last time you opened up to the Lord entirely, wholly, truthfully, about how you were feeling? Are there things you are keeping from Him and not sharing with Him?
- Vocal prayer is an essential element of the Christian life. How can you incorporate more vocal prayer into your daily life? Have you thought more about praying aloud with others?
- St. John Chrysostom says that “Whether or not our prayer is heard depends not on the number of words, but on the fervor of our souls.” Reflect on those words and on whether your prayer life has become dry. Are you just repeating the same prayer over and over again? Or are you really able to focus on your discussion with the Lord — on the meaning of those words, on what they mean to you — and in relationship to the Lord?
- Mental prayer is attentive reflection on our Lord that’s aided by spiritual input. It’s an interior prayer and an opportunity for us to allow the Lord to speak to us. Lectio Divina is one of the most popular types of meditative prayer. We encourage you to look more into Lectio Divina this Lent so that you can meditate on Sacred Scripture. Here’s a resource from the USCCB for Lent.
- Meditation isn’t about emptying your mind. It’s about filling your mind up with God. Focusing on the details of Jesus’ life allows us to become more like Him. Take some time this Lent to focus on the time that Jesus spent 40 days in the desert being tempted by satan.
- We’re supposed to live in a spirit of prayer that envelopes all the aspects of our life. If you’re not there yet, that’s okay. How do you begin? Baby steps. Set more time aside to pray. Just start with smaller opportunities of prayer; try to pray at certain times of the day, each day, or while doing certain tasks that you might do every day. Little by little, it will get easier and more natural. So think right now: what are some things you do everyday that you can incorporate prayer into?
- Try incorporating the Jesus Prayer into your prayer life this week: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
About Matthew Leonard
Matthew Leonard is an internationally known speaker, author, podcaster, filmmaker, and Vice President of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology (founded by Dr. Scott Hahn). A convert to Catholicism and former missionary to Latin America, Matthew is a frequent guest on radio and television programs across the country appearing on SiriusXM, EWTN, CBS, and the Magnificat. He hosts a podcast on iTunes titled “The Art of Catholic.” Matthew is the Executive Producer and host of the best-selling Journey Through Scripture video series and is a featured speaker by Lighthouse Catholic Media. He also holds a Masters in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville. In addition to numerous articles, he is the author of two books, Louder Than Words: The Art of Living as a Catholic and Prayer Works! Getting A Grip On Catholic Spirituality. Matthew lives in Ohio with his wife Veronica and their five children.