This is the unpublished, hidden chapter in my book, Lionheart Catholic, with the twenty-first ingredient in the secret recipe of the saints.
“Hearken to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old.”
-- Proverbs 23:22
One of my greatest joys in being Catholic is receiving Jesus in the Holy Eucharist at Mass.
But when I first became Catholic from Protestantism, I found the Mass somewhat of a letdown.
Part of that was because most of the Protestant pastors I had heard were very gifted in public speaking. Their words moved me and convinced me of whatever they were teaching.
Granted, much of what they said I now know was in error, but nonetheless they had a very good delivery and really packaged up the entire Sunday service in a way that was enjoyable, almost entertaining.
As a Catholic, I came to appreciate that the Sunday liturgy was not intended to be entertainment, and even...
“The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You
are a priest forever after the order of Melchiz′edek.’”
I was a new Catholic and very happy. I was single, had recently
graduated college, and had started my first job in my new
Shortly after becoming Catholic, I encountered St. Francis
of Assisi. Even as an atheist, I had heard of St. Francis, but now,
as a Catholic, I began to learn more deeply about how he actually
lived his life.
I learned that he practiced extreme poverty and made vows
of chastity and obedience. At the time, I could not imagine a
more radical way of following Jesus than these.
What if God was calling me to such a radical way of life as
well, to religious life or to the priesthood?
I wanted to follow wherever God led me, but I was still not
completely healed of all my anxieties. Being a priest meant you
had to be in the spotlight, with all eyes on you, and I wondered
whether I could ever do that.
I also had a fear...
My friend was starting to have panic attacks due to worrying about the pandemic crisis.
She had been watching a steady stream of news, and one report after another painted a terribly bleak picture.
It didn't help things that food was getting harder and harder to find in the grocery stores, and going to the grocery store induced even more anxiety in her, since she was afraid she and her young children would get sick.
Her husband, meanwhile, was facing the prospect of losing his job, and while they had saved a little bit of money, it would not be enough to pay the bills for more than a month.
He was worried about going into even more debt, and eventually bankruptcy.
These concerns are not only understandable, but also quite valid.
While there are good practices at a natural level that can help with such anxieties, like not watching the news in a non-stop loop, the fact is that these concerns are realistic and natural practices are not...
Catholic Mental Prayer, also called Catholic meditation, is a form of silent prayer that is the next level advanced from vocal prayer.
It is not Eastern Mysticism or any such thing. It is instead a lifting of the heart and mind to God.
All the saints practiced it. St. Alphonsus Liguori said: "every saint became a saint through Mental Prayer."
Do your Mental Prayer in a completely quiet room or church to block out distractions. Your mind may jump around everywhere to worries, tasks you need to do, or fears, but you simply train it back to your topic of meditation.
Here is how you do Mental Prayer: