Despite the fact that your life can be hectic at times, you don’t need to go to a monastery or search for a deserted place in the woods in order to pray. You simply need to make a transition of focus so that you can become more in tune with God’s presence in your activities. St. Ignatius of Loyola taught a form of reflective prayer, also known as meditation, that invites you to use your mind and imagination to engage in prayerful conversation with God and to recognize his presence in your daily life. Reflective prayer involves the following simple steps.
Find a quiet place where you can be alone for 10 or 15 minutes.
Assume a comfortable position and, if you wish, close your eyes or focus on a religious picture or a lighted candle. If you wish, play soft background music to help establish a prayerful mood. Become aware of God's presence and ask the Holy Spirit to guide your prayer.
Take two or three minutes to practice rhythmic breathing.
Counting to three slowly and silently while breathing in and counting slowly to five while breathing out—to help concentration. If you become distracted, return to concentrating on your breathing and let the distractions go by so that you can turn your heart back to God. Likewise, you can choose a special word or phrase, such as Jesus or My Lord and My God, and repeat it when you are distracted to bring your attention back to God's presence.
Select a brief passage from Scripture and prayerfully read it.
If the passage you select is a Gospel story, use your five senses to imagine yourself as a participant in the story (What can you see? What sounds do you hear? What can you feel?). Imagine a setting in which you can talk with Jesus and listen to him speak to you. You can respond to what Jesus is saying or doing in the story, or you can simply talk about something that has happened to you recently or about a forthcoming event in your life.
In addition to using Scripture in your reflection, you can also use writings from or about the saints as well as other inspirational literature or prayer books.
Likewise, you can choose to concentrate on a sacred object such as a crucifix, or reflect on a sacred image, such as an icon of Jesus or a favorite saint. Take this time to talk to God as you would to a friend.
Close with one or two minutes of contemplation, time to rest silently in God’s presence.
As adults, we come to recognize more and more that God speaks to us using the language of silence. Take a few moments at the end of your reflection to enter into a few silent moments with God.
Through reflective prayer you can begin to more readily recognize God’s presence in your daily life.
Books by Joe Paprocki, D.Min.
Vivir los sacramentos
Encontrar a Dios en la intersección de cielo y tierra
Joe Paprocki desmitifica los sacramentos de la Iglesia Católica, presentándolos no como eventos independientes sino como una forma de vida que se ha de experimentar cada día.
The RCIA Kit
Prepare your candidates and equip sponsors and catechists for the journey toward Christian initiation. Kit includes: Living the Sacraments, Practice Makes Catholic, and A Well-Built Faith by Joe Paprocki.
The RCIA Family Kit
Prepare your candidates and their families as you equip sponsors and catechists for the journey toward Christian initiation. Kit includes: Loyola Kids Book of Catholic Signs & Symbols by Amy Welborn, as well as Living the Sacraments, Practice Makes Catholic, and A Well-Built Faith by Joe Paprocki.
Called by Name
Preparing Yourself for the Vocation of Catechetical Leader
This book focuses on what catechetical leaders need to be, as opposed to what they need to know or do, if they are to lead effectively.
Llamados por nuestro nombre
Prepararse para la vocación de líder catequético
El libro Llamados por nuestro nombre se centra en la vocación del líder catequético y en lo que el líder catequético necesita ser, en contraste con lo que este necesita saber o hacer.
A Church on the Move
52 Ways to Get Mission and Mercy in Motion
52 specific, practical, and achievable strategies to help Catholic parishes embody the broad themes of Pope Francis’ papacy—mission, mercy, and evangelization.
Living the Mass
How One Hour a Week Can Change Your Life
In Living the Mass, Joe Paprocki, DMin, and Fr. Dominic Grassi convincingly show how the one hour spent at Mass on Sunday can truly transform the other 167 hours of the week.
Vivir la misa
Cómo una hora a la semana puede cambiar tu vida
Explica detallademente cómo cada parte de la misa se relaciona con la llamada que recibimos en el bautismo, poniendo en estrecha relación la misa dominical y el resto de nuestra semana.
Beyond the Catechist’s Toolbox
Catechesis That Not Only Informs but Also Transforms
Free Leader Guide Available for Download. Joe Paprocki, best-selling author of The Catechist’s Toolbox series, has written the first, step-by-step book that demonstrates how to teach a 75-minute catechetical session with practical techniques that expand upon the textbook to create a more prayerful climate in the classroom.
Más allá de la caja de herramientas del catequista
Catequesis que no solo informa, sino que también transforma
Más allá de la caja de herramientas del catequista le permite a los jóvenes encontrar a Jesús en la oración de manera que puedan convertirse en discípulos de Cristo para toda la vida.
La mochila del catequista
Lo indispensable para el camino espiritual
La mochila del catequist brinda a los catequistas recursos que atienden a la dimensión espiritual de su llamado a compartir la fe católica.
A Well-Built Faith
A Catholic’s Guide to Knowing and Sharing What We Believe
Free Leader Guide Available for Download. In A Well-Built Faith, Joe Paprocki makes it easy for Catholics to feel confident in teaching the Catholic faith. He makes complex teachings of the Catholic faith accessible to average Catholics without compromising Catholic teaching and tradition.
Una fe bien construida
Guia catolica para conocer y compartir lo que creemos
Guía de líder disponible. Una fe bien construida,—desarrollado con enorme creatividad usando metafóricamente el tema de la construcción— facilita enormemente a los católicos el conocimiento de su fe y les da seguridad al momento de compartirla.
Preparing Hearts and Minds
9 Simple Ways for Catechists to Cultivate a Living Faith
Master Catechist Joe Paprocki offers 9 simple and effective way to truly revitalize the way we talk about our faith.