|St. Therese of Lisieux (photo in public domain).|
Catholics divide prayer into 2 broad categories – vocal and mental. Vocal prayer includes prayers written for recitation. Mental prayer is prayer in one’s own words.
St. Teresa of Avila wrote, “Mental prayer, in my view, is nothing but friendly intercourse, and frequent solitary converse, with Him Who we know loves us.” St. Thérèse of Lisieux likewise wrote, “With me prayer is an uplifting of the heart; a glance towards heaven; a cry of gratitude and love, uttered equally in sorrow and in joy.”
Catholics are generally comfortable with vocal prayer, but mental prayer can leave us at a loss. How can you spend 20 minutes or more in prayer without a pre-written text? How can you keep your prayer from becoming mere rambling?
St. Teresa strives to make mental prayer simple and accessible to all. Since each soul is unique, each person’s prayer is unique as well. There is no one-size-fits-all model. The method of mental prayer takes 2nd place to the attitude of the heart. Still, for beginners especially, a general format to follow is helpful.
Continue reading at Contemplative Homeschool for a suggested method of mental prayer.