Meditation is a good part of being Catholic and has been encouraged for not just spiritual strengthening, but mental and physical strengthening as well.

I’m a little lost however, on what to do and how to do it. What is proper and what should be kept away from?

Any suggestions out there? Are there any books or websites or maybe even movies that discuss this matter?

I recently bought a book, Beginning Contemplative Prayer by Kathryn J. Hermes, FSP. I’m a third of the way through the book, and I really like it. She explains about contemplative prayer, has some exercises, and discusses some of the Saints, who had contemplative prayer lives.


There are as many ways to meditate as there are people. :slight_smile:

The only “absolutes” I would offer is to get rid of all outside distractions (turn off the phone, wait until the kids are in bed or tell your family that you need to be left alone for awhile, etc.) and make yourself comfortable. Some people prefer silence, others meditate to music; some do better with guided meditations (a leader, in person or via recording, suggesting what you should picture in your mind), while others are better off alone.

I personally prefer to meditate alone to certain music tracks, but have done group and solitary guided meditations, and group and solitary silent meditations. I’ve enjoyed them all!


Thank you so much for posting this question.
Not only do I have difficulty meditating but I too have difficulty with my prayers. My mind wanders to all my personal problems and I catch myself, begin the prayer again and have to really struggle to clear my mind of the extraneous.
It especially hurts me when my mind wanders when in Eucharistic Adoration.

I hope a lot of you can contribute to this post with advice. I’ll try anything.

I would suggest getting a copy of “Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius”.

I, also, practice quiet during morning prayer and at Adoration. The latter is very rewarding and can help you quiet your “racing” mind.

I know it works for me.

Great post as I had similar questions a few years back and found this forum very helpful. If you’re having doubts about certain types of meditation (ie Eastern “Zen” types) then this link will provide invaluable assistance. From the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, penned by our current Holy Father when he was Prefect:

God Bless.

Here are two different traditional how to meditates guides, and some meditations to read to take you step by step along.

I find I really like to use traditional meditation books, and I think they can be the key for both beginners and those long practiced.

Here’s an example of a meditation:

Meditations for Advent and Easter

The Heart of the Infant Jesus, Our Coming Light

*“Behold, the Lord cometh, and all His saints with Him; and in that day there shall be a great light.” All. Ant. at Lauds.

“And the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day when the Lord shall bind up the wound of His people, and shall heal the stroke of their wound.” (Is. xxx. 26.)*

1st Prelude. - Represent to yourself the Heart of the Infant Jesus in the womb of Mary as a flame of clear and beautiful light coming to enlighten all nations. Represent also to yourself the terrible light of the second coming, which will be open and manifest to all.

2nd Prelude. - Pray that you may be so enlightened by the light of the first coming, that you may not be terrified by the light of the second coming.

1st Point. - Look at the Heart of the Infant Jesus. It lies hidden in the womb of Mary, even as his blessed Humanity will be hidden hereafter in the tabernacle. Oh, what a holy, beautiful, peaceful light is the light of the Infant Heart of Jesus! How it longs to come forth and manifest itself to all, to console, to instruct, to illuminate! Are we, also, longing to receive this light? Are we praying with our whole hearts that it may come to us, and that we may be prepared to receive it? However great our spiritual enlightenment may be, we are still, in some measure, “sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death.” But the light is coming; already we can see the dawn upon the mountain. When Mary was born, the first ray of light tinged the eastern sky; when Jesus was born, the light of this mystic moon was as the light of the true sun, because of her perfect union with Him; and the light of the sun was sevenfold, as the light of seven days. The light was sevenfold; that is, the light was perfect, for it was the light of God.

2nd Point. - Let us beseech the Infant Jesus to enlighten us in that particular way in which we most need light. We are all “born blind” through the sin of our parents; and, unhappily, though we have obtained light in the waters of baptism, we too often, by our own fault, relapse into blindness more or less intense. Sometimes we do not wish to see the sin we should forsake, or the virtue we should practise, because it would cost us something to act upon this light; sometimes we profit so little by the light, that it is withdrawn from us, or it is not imparted in the fullness and brightness with which more faithful souls are favoured. There are souls in whom the light of God shines so brightly, that they cannot commit the shadow of an imperfection without perceiving it immediately; there are souls in whom that light shines so resplendently, that they see even the shadow of an imperfect motive in the best action they perform. Why should we not be thus favoured? It is not because the light is unwilling to come, but because we are unwilling to receive it.

3rd Point. - What shall we do to obtain this great grace? Let us go to Mary. Let us devote our Advent to Mary. Let us consecrate every thought, word, and action to Mary during this holy season; and then, on the blessed Christmas morning, she will herself place her Infant in our arms; nay, rather, she will lay Him down to rest in our hearts; and He is so obedient to His sweet mother, that He will never stir from the heart wherein she places Him, unless she comes to take Him away. Surely we will not oblige her to do so? Advent should be a time of special devotion to Mary. Jesus again lies mystically in her womb. Again she pleads unweariedly for her people, as she pleaded in that blessed Advent when He took flesh of her flesh, and bone of her bone. Oh, let us kneel before her now as we would have knelt before her then, and implore her to intercede for us with Jesus, to obtain for us that He may indeed be our light, and that we may never be of the number of those who prefer darkness. Then, indeed, may we hope that the light of His second coming will be a light of glory to us, and not a light of condemnation.
Aspiration. - Come and enlighten us, O sweet Infant Jesus.

Form your resolution, and place it in the Heart of the Infant Jesus. Examen of Meditation. *

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