How are you renewing your prayer life during the season of Lent?

During this penitential season, we are called to turn back to Christ in all things. Addressing our current prayer routine is just one way to do this.

Here are a few suggestions for growing closer to Christ through prayer:

Caroline Perkins, ChurchPOP

The graph above lists the following suggestions:

  • Read the daily Mass readings
  • Pray the Rosary or Divine Mercy Chaplet regularly!
  • Meditate on Christ’s Passion with Stations of the Cross
  • Start a novena or Marian consecration
  • Pray for a different intention each day
  • Go to daily Mass or Adoration

It comes as no surprise that the Catechism of the Catholic Church says a lot about prayer!

The following six excerpts can deepen our own understanding of this pillar of Christian life:

Here’s what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says:

1) “Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God.” But when we pray, do we speak from the height of our pride and will, or “out of the depths” of a humble and contrite heart? He who humbles himself will be exalted; humility is the foundation of prayer, Only when we humbly acknowledge that “we do not know how to pray as we ought,” are we ready to receive freely the gift of prayer. “Man is a beggar before God.” (2559)

2) “If you knew the gift of God!” The wonder of prayer is revealed beside the well where we come seeking water: there, Christ comes to meet every human being. It is he who first seeks us and asks us for a drink. Jesus thirsts; his asking arises from the depths of God’s desire for us. Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him. (2560)

3) “You would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” Paradoxically our prayer of petition is a response to the plea of the living God: “They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water!” Prayer is the response of faith to the free promise of salvation and also a response of love to the thirst of the only Son of God. (2561)

4) Where does prayer come from? Whether prayer is expressed in words or gestures, it is the whole man who prays. But in naming the source of prayer, Scripture speaks sometimes of the soul or the spirit, but most often of the heart (more than a thousand times). According to Scripture, it is the heart that prays. If our heart is far from God, the words of prayer are in vain. (2562)

5) Christian prayer is a covenant relationship between God and man in Christ. It is the action of God and of man, springing forth from both the Holy Spirit and ourselves, wholly directed to the Father, in union with the human will of the Son of God made man. (2564)

6) In the New Covenant, prayer is the living relationship of the children of God with their Father who is good beyond measure, with his Son Jesus Christ and with the Holy Spirit. The grace of the Kingdom is “the union of the entire holy and royal Trinity . . . with the whole human spirit.” Thus, the life of prayer is the habit of being in the presence of the thrice-holy God and in communion with him. This communion of life is always possible because, through Baptism, we have already been united with Christ. Prayer is Christian insofar as it is communion with Christ and extends throughout the Church, which is his Body. Its dimensions are those of Christ’s love. (2565)

How are you increasing your prayer life this Lent?

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[See also: The Third Pillar of Lent: How Almsgiving Benefits the Soul, According to the Saints]

[See also: Haven’t Been to Confession in a While? Here’s How to Go in 6 Simple Steps]

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