Prayer and Spirituality
Resources for strengthening your prayer life and deepening your devotion! 

Christian Spirituality
Themes from the Tradition
 Lawrence S. Cunningham
and Keith J. Egan

Paulist Press


 

This text is a clear and effective presentation of Catholic teaching on the spiritual life. It will: 

  • Offer light on the path toward spiritual growth
  • Invite you to follow the steps the saints have taken and to discover how to deepen the quality of your spiritual life
  • Present a concise and accessible thematic overview of the various ways Christians have approached God in prayer and practice
  • Explain that during certain centuries believers have frequently embraced a particular "way" of spirituality which has become a discernible path to the holy
  • Provide an overview of several prayer forms: Lectio Divina (Divine Reading), Meditation, Contemplation, Aceticism, and Mystical Prayer
  • Examine "Solitude in Community" and the role of "Spiritual Friendship"
  • Present the Eucharist as the source and summit of the Christian life

The Better Part
A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer
 Fr. John Bartunek, LC
Circle Press

 

This text is a Christ-centered resource which serves as a daily meditation companion. This text is meant to be a catalyst to personalize your times of prayer and meditation, enabling you to follow the Holy Spirit's lead more readily. This text will:

  • Act as a detailed and practical guide to Christian meditation 
  • Center your daily meditation on a particular Gospel passage
  • Provide a four-part commentary based on four themes -- Christ the Lord, Christ the Teacher, Christ the Friend, and Christ in My life
  • Provide commentary for all for Gospels with a structure that is substantive, meditative, and flexible
  • Correlate each Gospel passage with Catechism references that shed great light on the truth that Scripture is the source and foundation of Catholic doctrine

Prayer Primer
Igniting a Fire Within
Fr. Thomas Dubay, S.M.
Ignatius Press

 

Fr. Thomas Dubay, a renowned teacher and writer on prayer and the spiritual life, presents a simple, profound and practical book on the most important of all human activities, communion with God.

Prayer Primer is written for intelligent adults who want God and a serious prayer life, but it does not presuppose that they need or have a theological background.

“Of the many books written on prayer, Prayer Primer is unique. Father Dubay is a master on this subject. It is a rare gift to have a simple primer written by such a man. It is utterly sound, trustworthy, and practical.”
—Peter Kreeft, Author, Prayer for Beginners

Fire Within
St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and the Gospel -- on Prayer
Fr. Thomas Dubay, S.M .
Ignatius Press

 

This book is the fruit of Fr. Dubay's many years of study and experience in spiritual direction and in it he synthesizes the teachings on prayer of the two great doctors of the Church on prayer -- St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila -- and the teaching of Sacred Scripture.

But the teaching that Fr. Dubay synthesized is not collected from Teresa and John for contemplatives alone. It is meant for every Christian and is based on the Gospel imperative of personal prayer and the call to holiness. All the major elements of these great teachers are ordered, commented on, and put in the context of their scriptural foundations. 

"This book is a gold mine for any Christian intent on making progress in prayer. Any reader who appreciates the relevance of the spiritual in these troubled times will find Fire Within difficult to put down. A work of art by a master of the spiritual life."
-- Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R.

The Art of Praying
The Principles and Methods of Christian Prayer
Fr. Romano Guardini
Sophia Institute Press

 

A book to help you learn to pray as an adult!

This remarkable book offers practical ways that you can improve your prayers today and grow closer to God.

Learn:

  • How to overcome distractions
  • How to pray when your heart is empty
  • How to avoid monotony
  • The best posture for prayer ... and more!
  • How To Find God
    And Discover Yourself
    in the Process
    Dom Hubert Van Zeller
    Sophia Institute Press

     

    These pages give you practical help to look honestly at yourself — and by doing so, to attain the deepest desire of every sincere Christian: union with God Himself.

    No longer will you be diverted from the search for God . . . or live in fear of losing your soul. Rather, with the help of the monk Hubert van Zeller, you’ll learn how to spot — and avoid — dangerous spiritual distractions. You’ll find out how to keep your feet on the path that leads to holy wisdom: true knowledge of yourself . . . and of God.

    How to Find God is a spiritual banquet for every Christian who wants to attain true self-knowledge and to be united with Him who is the fount of all joy.

    Introduction To
    The Devout Life
    St. Francis de Sales
    Ignatius Press

     

    St. Francis de Sales’s Introduction to the Devout Life has remained a uniquely accessible and relevant treasure of devotion for nearly four hundred years. As Bishop of Geneva in the first quarter of the seventeenth century, St. Francis de Sales saw to the spiritual needs of everyone from the poorest peasants to court ladies. The desire to be closer to God that he found in people from all levels of society led him to compile these instructions on how to live in Christ. Francis’s compassionate Introduction leads the reader through practical ways of attaining a devout life without renouncing the world and offers prayers and meditations to strengthen devotion in the face of temptation and hardship.

    The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola
    St. Ignatius of Loyola
    Doubleday 

     

    Written by the founder of the Society of Jesus, the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius is a powerful book. Derived mostly from St. Ignatius' conversion experiences in 1521-3, Spiritual Exercises has provided guidance and encouragement to its readers for several hundred years. The aim of Spiritual Exercises is to assist people in finding God's will for their life, and to give them the motivation and courage to follow that will.

    A key theme throughout the Spiritual Exercises is discernment -- the need to discern between good desires and evil desires in one's life. It is by following the exercises, and by utilizing such discernment, that a person can better realize God's will for his or her own life. Although more profitably worked through with another person or spiritual director, Spiritual Exercises can be extremely beneficial for private personal study.

    St. Teresa of Jesus is the Church's great teacher of prayer, and lectio divina, the ancient Christian approach to praying over the Scriptures, is among the Church's most venerable prayer methods. In this booklet, noted Carmelite retreat director Sam Anthony Morello shows how the tradition of lectio can assist us in following the Teresian way of prayer, and how in turn Teresa's insights and attitudes can enrich our contemporary practice of lectio.

    In clear and practical language, the author explains the fundamental ingredients of Teresian prayer, and relates them to lectio (reading), meditatio (meditation), oratio (prayer), and contemplatio (contemplation), the four traditional elements of lectio divina. A closing series of reflection questions make this an ideal introduction to Teresian prayer for both group discussion and individual study.

    Lectio Divina
    Sam Anthony Morello, OCD
    Institute of Carmelite Studies

     

    The Interior Castle
    St. Teresa of Avila
    Dover Thrift Editions

     

    Deeply spiritual and profoundly human, this 16th-century masterpiece is the work of a revered saint. St. Teresa of Avila visualized the soul as a many-faceted diamond, with the ecstasy of divine communion at its center. Her insights into prayer and meditation as the keys to fulfillment have inspired generations of readers.

    St. Teresa was a reformer of the Carmelite Order and is considered to be, along with Saint John of the Cross, a founder of the Discalced Carmelites. She became the first female to be named a Doctor of the Church, in 1970, and is one of only three females to be awarded that honor.

    The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross
    Juan dela Cruz
    Institute of Carmelite Studies

     

    The fourth centenary of the death of St. John of the Cross inspired this revised edition of the English translation of his writings. The result is an edition that preserves the true meaning of the great mystic's writings, presents them as clearly as possible, and at the same time gives the reader the doctrinal and historical information that will lead to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the teachings of the Mystical Doctor.

    Included in The Collected Works are St. John's poetry, The Ascent of Mount Carmel, The Dark Night, The Spiritual Canticle, and The Living Flame of Love, as well as his letters and other counsels. There is a general introduction for the entire work and brief, enlightening introductions for each specific work, explaining theme and structure. Enhancing these are the new footnotes, glossary of terms, and index.

    The Story of a Soul
    The Autobiogrpahy of St. Therese of Lisieux
    Translated by
    John Clark, OCD
    Institute of Carmelite Studies

     

    Translated from the critical edition by John Clarke, OCD, 3rd ed. (1997). Includes general and biblical index, with 8 pages of photos.

    Two and a half years before her death in 1897 at the age of 24, as Thérèse Martin began writing down her childhood memories at the request of her blood sisters in the Lisieux Carmel, few could have guessed the eventual outcome. Yet this Story of a Soul, first published in 1898 in a highly edited version, quickly became a modern spiritual classic, read by millions and translated into dozens of languages around the world.

    Here, expressed with all of Thérèse's original spontaneity and fervor, we rediscover the great themes of her spirituality: confidence and love, the little way, abandonment to God's merciful love, and her mission in the Church and world today.

    Copyright 2013
    Courage International, Inc.
    All rights reserved.

    The Ways of Mental Prayer
    Rt. Rev. Dom Vitalis Lehodey
    Tan Books and Publishers

    The Ways of Mental Prayer ranks as one of the Church's greatest classics on prayer, and was highly recommended as such by Fr. Garrigou-LaGrange, a great authority on mystical theology.

    Here Dom Lehodey concentrates on the beginning stages of prayer, up through what is called the "prayer of quiet," but he also describes the higher forms of prayer as well, including the very summit, or the "prayer of union."

    In the process, he explains the advantaages, the joys and -- yes -- the trials of mental prayer, plus he gives practical instructions on the methods of practicing this type of prayer.

    The Little Book
    of the Holy Spirit

    Bede Jarrett, O.P.
    Sophia Institute Press

     

    Meet the Holy Spirit — who dwells within you, loving you, sanctifying you, guarding you, and leading you in the ways of prayer and virtue

    In these pages, Fr. Bede Jarrett helps you penetrate the great mystery of God's presence in our hearts. He explains the ineffable dignity that this presence of the Holy Spirit gives you, no matter how lowly your station or how small you may feel.

    He shows you how to listen for the soft voice of the Spirit calling you from within, inviting you to know Him, to love Him, and to cooperate with Him in all things great and small. No longer need you struggle alone. Let Fr. Jarrett show you how to grow close to the Holy Spirit — the Consoler — who Jesus sent to assuage your loneliness and renew your strength and your hope.

    Getting Free
    How to Overcome Persistent
    Personal Problems
    Bert Ghezzi
    Sophia Institute Press

     

    Free yourself from persistent sinful habits — once and for all!

    Simple willpower isn’t enough when you’re struggling against anger, anxiety, addictions, sexual temptations, and other common problems. Bert Ghezzi, author of this engaging and practical guide, insists that the power of the Holy Spirit — and only that power — is strong enough to overcome these deeply rooted and disheartening difficulties. Best of all, he shows how you can tap into the Spirit’s power now.

    Ghezzi, the author of many popular Catholic books (including Voices of the Saints), helps you see exactly what you’re up against in dealing with these problems. He details how you can and must be vigilant against temptations, and points the way for you to experience real freedom from evil influences.

    His advice, which is firmly rooted in the wisdom of the saints, helps you gain the Spirit’s power both in your individual spiritual life and in your relationships. You’ll learn how to trust Jesus more and to control your thoughts — as well as how to let go of grudges and how to place your dealings with others on a firm Christian footing.

    This section provides a variety of resources on prayer: Learning how to pray, how to deepen one's prayer life through meditation and interior communion with God (Prayer of the Heart), and how to recognize the gift of contemplation. In this section you will learn about prayer from the Spiritual Masters: St. Francis de Sales, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Ignatius Loyola, and more. There is something for everyone from beginners to those already advanced in prayer.  Note: Copy and paste the book title and author into your browser for online ordering.

    Navigating the Spiritual Life
    Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God
     Daniel Burke
    with Fr. John Bartunek, LC, STL

    Emmaus Road Publishing

     

    What is spiritual direction and my spiritual direction? What are my “blind spots” and how can I uncover them? What keeps me from all the spiritual riches Christ has for me? How can I better understand where I am in my spiritual progress?

    Navigating the Interior Life will give you the tools you need to understand how and why we grow and die in the spiritual life and what we can do about it.

    Catechism of the Catholic Church

     

    In Navigating the Spiritual Life -- Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God by Daniel Burke with Fr. John Bartunek, LC, STL (scroll down), Part IV of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on Christian Prayer is recommened as an excellent starting place for those beginning the journey toward a deeper prayer life.

    "This section deals with the meaning and importance of prayer in the life of believers.  It concludes with a brief commentary on the seven petitions of the Lord's Prayer, for indeed we find in these the sum of all the good things which we must hope for and which our heavenly Father wants to grant us" (CCC 17).

    Contemplative Provocations
    Brief Concentrated Observations on Aspects of a Life With God
    Fr. Donald Haggerty
    Ignatius Press

     

    A great many religious people undertake, at least for a time, a serious dedication to prayer. They are moved by a longing for a deeper encounter with God, and the possibility of this beckons them as a distant light at night on the sea. Yet far fewer in number become true contemplative souls, for it is difficult to continue the quest for God in the face of many obstacles.

    For those who are spiritually courageous and full of desire for God, this book cannot but provoke them to begin or to persevere in this ultimate adventure in life-the more complete discovery of the living God. Thematically unified by the notion of God's ultimate transcendence to our limited human knowledge, Contemplative Provocations offers a rich profusion of insights on the life of prayer and the pursuit of God.

    Addicts and Codependents are unable to choose real love without being grounded in sound moral values. The founders of AA encouraged the recovering alcoholic to inventory the seven deadly sins, for recovery meant - not simply giving up drinking - but embracing a moral life-style, otherwise one would simply be a "dry drunk."

    As a priest who has worked with the 12-step program for over thirty years, Fr. Emmerich combines traditional Christian spiritual principles with the wisdom of the Steps. An undertanding of the moral virtues and the extremes that set a person up to become an addict or codependent is addressed in this study. For centuries Western culture has provided a moral sense of the deadlness of sin. Today's culture easily throws off the wisdom of the ages thereby has increased vulnerability to addiction and codependence. The seven deadly sins are shown to be desructive of the love of God and the love of neighbor that should guide a Christian's actions.  There is nothing so beautiful and salvific as the revelation of God's love, which alone makes man fully alive. We communicate this love by His grace, which heals the wounds of addiction and sets us free to love. 

    The Freedom to Love
    Recovery and the Seven Deadly Sins
    Fr. Emmerich Vogt
    Milll City Press, Inc.

     

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