MENTAL PRAYER As One Works?!


#1

I have a physical disability which leaves me Unable to sit or stand too long at any one time. So, I have learned to Pray at all times during the day. Recollection of God is constant as a result of years of this type of effort and much solitude. I am retired and home a lot.
Now that I am an OCDS Novice, one half hour of Mental Prayer is part of our Rule.

Here is my Question: I read the Scriptures while sitting. Then I have to stand. So then while standing and doing my dishes or whatever, I am pondering the Scriptures that I have just read. And, I keep pondering them over the course of hours.

Does that mean I have been engaged in Mental Prayer all those Hours???


#2

Mental prayer is simply interior conversation with God. We “invite” Him to participate in all our thoughts and actions by turning the monologue in our mind (talking to ourselves) into a dialogue with Him. Mental prayer is something that can be done in all times and circumstances. So to answer your question, yes it does sound as if you’re already engaged in on-going mental prayer.

Since I see you are new to Carmel I highly recommend “The Practice of the Presence of God” by Brother Lawrence, a Carmelite lay brother. He describes all this so wonderfully and one of the key points he makes is that he saw no difference between the “formal” time required for mental prayer with what he did at all other times of the day.

Think of mental prayer as an “interior, loving conversation between friends” . . . prayer of the heart in a manner of speaking. As such it should rise beyond the simple recitation of vocal prayer. These prayers, while good in their own right, should lead us to mental prayer once our hearts are so moved.

Sometimes our mental prayer may be spontaneous conversation . . . and other times it might simply be a brief, repeated aspiration such as “Thy will be done.” And, as one is drawn toward interior recollection, it even becomes wordless . . . a simple glance toward Him or “interior smile” in the words of Brother Lawrence.

Hope this helps,
Dave. :slight_smile:


#3

Maybe it is in this category of prayer…I know many of the orders practice this form of prayer. I just got this from a website but google it en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lectio_Divina But I don’t know the difference if there is any between mental prayer & contemplation.


#4

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