Today’s Question: What is meditation?

Famous Catholic Mystic, Saint Teresa of Avila

Today’s Question: What is meditation?

Answer: It’s a lot like mental masturbation … but, with God alone,
as the ultimate object of pure love and devotion.

Intimate, personal communion with God
is widely reported to be even better than sex.

A good number of Catholic mystics are known to have perfected their meditation (prayer) techniques to such an extent that they subsequently lost all interest in sex, as well as most other worldly things, with God (eventually) becoming all in all, for them; something that should be worth noting, for a number of very good reasons, during these strange times. 

Three famous Catholic Mystics and their collected works

A reminder from Ann Barnhardt on the dangers of pornography

Asked and answered today on Yahoo! Answers. Edited for clarity and content.

A meditation from the recent conclave on the Smoke of Satan and the Church

“The evil spirit of the world, the ‘mysterium iniquitatis’ (2 Thes 2:7), constantly strives to infiltrate the Church. Moreover, let us not forget the warning of the prophets of ancient Israel not to seek alliances with Babylon or with Egypt, but to follow a pure policy ‘ex fide’ trusting solely in God (cf. Is 30:1; 31:1-3; Hos 12:2) and in his covenant. Courage! Christ relieves our minds when he exclaims: ‘Have trust, I have overcome the world’ (Jn 16:33).”

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5 tips for practical Catholic living

Holy Ghost Fire

Let’s use marriage as an example. With marital love comes certain obligations and responsibilities—some more serious, others maybe not so serious. If we were to compile these individual acts of love into a list, we would end up with a very long list. This list contains obligations that we must follow if we want to preserve our love and want it to grow.

When marital love grows dull, this list seems suffocating.  So, too, in our relationship with Jesus. If our love is allowed to wane, then the Church’s teachings seem too hard. Thus, the problem is not rooted in obeying rules, but in not recognizing that the rules are more than arbitrary. Rather, they are the way to live and grow according to the law of love.

To avoid this apparent restrictive and joyless life for the Catholic, I would like to offer the following points for practical and personal application:

1.) Receive the Eucharist as often as you can. This is the very love of God poured forth into our hearts promised by Jesus. Even more astounding, it is Jesus, body, blood, soul, and Divinity, offered to us mysteriously under the appearance of bread and wine.

2.) Receive Him in a state of grace. That means to practice the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least monthly, or any time we are aware that we have willfully committed a grave sin. After all, one does not give sustenance to a corpse. We must be spiritually able to receive divine sustenance in order to benefit from this grace.

3.) Practice daily mediation. Pick up the Gospels and read a little and then stop when something strikes you. Put the book down, and let that point sink in. When you get overcome with distractions, pick up the Gospels and continue reading until the next thing strikes you. Repeat this process. This approach to prayer was encouraged by St. Theresa of Avila to her community. I have profited much from it myself, so I know that it works.

4.) When you are finished with your 20 minutes or more of spiritual reading,   make a daily resolution. A resolution is a promise we make to God to respond to His grace by seeking to uproot some predominant fault that our spiritual reading has just uncovered. You can keep the same resolution daily, or change it up, depending on how the Holy Spirit moves you.

One note on this: the best way to uproot a fault is to work on the opposite virtue. As we develop the virtue, doing the good becomes easier, more joyful, and we act towards it more promptly. Thus, the life of repressing the evil inclination is replaced by a life of doing the good.

5.) Lastly, examine yourself at the end of the day and see how well you tended to your resolution. Thank the Lord for your days’ blessings, challenges, and benefits. Tell Him that you are sorry for offending Him by not keeping your resolution firmly if that is the case, and promise to put more effort into keeping your resolution tomorrow.

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Why it’s better to pray in the morning

Fr. Conrelius a’ Lapide tells us:

“Learn here from Christ to give the early morning to prayer, and to rise up with the dawn, so as to have leisure for meditation, and to give the first-fruits of the day to God. For the dawn of day is a friend of the Muses, but a greater friend of God and the angels.”

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Holy Week: Holy Saturday

73. On Holy Saturday the Church is, as it were, at the Lord’s tomb, meditating on his passion and death, and on his descent into hell,75 and awaiting his resurrection with prayer and fasting. It is highly recommended that on this day the Office of Readings and Morning Prayer be celebrated with the participation of the people (cf. n. 40).76 Where this cannot be done, there should be some celebration of the Word of God, or some act of devotion suited to the mystery celebrated this day.

74. The image of Christ crucified or lying in the tomb, or the descent into hell, which mystery Holy Saturday recalls, as also an image of the sorrowful Virgin Mary can be placed in the church for the veneration of the faithful.

75. On this day the Church abstains strictly from the celebration of the sacrifice of the Mass.77 Holy Communion may only be given in the form of Viaticum. The celebration of marriages is forbidden, as also the celebration of other sacraments, except those of Penance and the Anointing of the Sick.

76. The faithful are to be instructed on the special character of Holy Saturday.78 Festive customs and traditions associated with this day on account of the former practice of anticipating the celebration of Easter on Holy Saturday should be reserved for Easter night and the day that follows.

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Like Jesus Christ’s 40 days of fasting in the desert … Lent is preparation for our Catholic mission.


Lent, beginning on Ash Wednesday, is a time of personal penance and conversion.

During this 40-day period, Catholics typically fast and abstain from various foods, as well as certain activities, while adopting other traditional practices, with the general intention of:

1) Honoring Jesus Christ’s perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world.

2) Advancing in our own personal struggle against the forces of the world, the flesh, and the devil.

3) Helping to make the world a bit more like Heaven.

Cutting back on television and other forms of popular entertainment, while meditating more frequently on the birth, public life, and Passion of Jesus Christ, we hope to better appreciate all that God does for us, and greatly benefit from the example of the only perfect human ever to walk the earth.

Fasting and abstaining from certain foods, we soon begin to reassert a certain mastery over the desires of our flesh.

Shortly confronted by what should now be an obvious “hole” in our normal, everyday schedule, we prudently “fill” that time with prayer.

Praying … we strive to hear the voice of God.

What is that “voice” telling us?

Listen frequently (and very carefully) over the next 40 days and 40 nights, and then you’ll know.

It doesn’t get much simpler than that!

On-line Resources for Lent

Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary: A World-Wide Prayer Movement … for you.

The Rosary Confraternity is a spiritual association (of the Catholic Church), the members of which strive to pray the entire Rosary during the course of each week. They form a union of countless hundreds of thousands of the faithful throughout the world who, along with their own intentions, include the intentions and needs of all its members, while they in turn pray for them.

Since the Holy Father has recently added the five luminous mysteries, we encourage members of the Confraternity to include that extra weekly Rosary. However, we have as yet received no official statement regarding this matter. Those who recite only the fifteen traditional mysteries will continue to share in the benefits of the Confraternity until some official source declares the contrary.

As Pope Leo XIII said in his encyclical on the Confraternity, “whenever a person fulfills his obligation of reciting the Rosary according to the rule of the Confraternity, he includes in his intentions all its members, and they in turn render him the same service many times over.”

Each member includes deceased fellow members as well; and thus he knows that in turn he will be included in the prayers of hundreds of thousands both now and hereafter. This led the Cure of Ars to say: “If anyone has the happiness of being in the Confraternity of the Rosary, he has in all corners of the world brothers and sisters who pray for him.” The deceased cannot be enrolled in the Confraternity.

Read more … and/or enroll in the Confraternity

Read one of our most popular and inspiring Rosary stories