Thomistic Prayer?


#1

According to the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator, I have an INTJ personality (Introversion, Intuition, Thinking, Judging). I have read about four prayer types: Augustinian (Intuitive-Feeling), Franciscan (Sensing-Perceiving), Ignatian (Sensing-Judging), and Thomistic (Intuitive-Thinking). Accordingly, the Thomistic prayer type corresponds best to my own personality type. Unfortunately, I have been having trouble finding much information about Thomistic prayer besides that which I could find on the Internet, which is mainly redundant.

Can you please recommend any good websites, books, or actual prayers that focus on Thomistic prayer, especially those which have specific examples of prayers and describe the method of prayer in detail?

I have found one Carmelite book online (I have not actually read it or seen it) called Divine Intimacy, which claims to be grounded “on a firm Thomistic basis.” Is this true? If so, can you name any similar prayer books based on Thomistic prayer?

Thanks for yuor help!:slight_smile:


#2

Don’t put your trust into superstitious things, such as online tests or feeling prayers. The Catechism has a whole section dedicated to what the Church prays and you can resd it here: vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM


#3

You pray in whatever way allows you to communicate best with God. I think what they are probably saying is that given your personality type a certain type of prayer is suited toward that personality, but that does not mean it is best for you. Also, I do not think that there is a specific Thomistic or Augustinian type of prayer…I know there is Ignatian. Probably since Thomas was a scholastic perhaps it means more formal organized type of prayer, but if that doesn’t do it for you then pray as you will.


#4

I am an ENTP, and a rather strong one. Because you are an I type you probably exhibit more Sensing behaviour than intuitive. Also your J manner of looking at the world would lend toward Ignatian prayer.

St. Teresa of Avila was an NT type and so I would recommend “The Interior Castle” and her biography. It seems to me that spontaneity and a high degree of mysticism is her prayer type, and it works well for me too.


#5

Thank you! I’ll look into St. Teresa. I’ve read some of St. John of the Cross’ work and liked it so I’ll probably appreciate St. Teresa’s work as well. Also, I’ve tried Ignatian prayer, and although it was interesting, it was not my favorite kind of prayer. :shrug:

P.S. On a side note… I noticed you’re Finnish. AWESOME! :cool: My grandmother was from Jakobstad and also lived in Närpes and Kristinestad, which I think isn’t too far from Pori. I didn’t think there were any Finnish Catholics in Finland (my grandmother was Methodist). I’ve always wondered – are there any Catholic devotions or prayers unique to Finland? (St. Urho doesn’t count since he’s a myth.)


#6

Um… I don’t think we’re quite on the same page. Here are some facts about “Thomistic prayer” (it’s a way of praying based upon the spirituality of St. Thomas Aquinas so that we can get the most out of our prayers).

Thomistic, discursive meditation is best practiced in the context of the four steps/parts of lectio divina (lectio, meditatio, oratio, contemplatio). In this type of prayer, rather than taking a lengthy passage of scripture, such as a parable or a healing miracle, but focuses on a key theological truth in a passage and focusses on the implications in one’s life. Use seven auxilary questions What, Why, Who, Where, When, With what aids? (Warning - do not get so caught up in the questions that you lose your focus on what the text is saying.) – from cpsajoburg.org.za/prayer/pray_thomistic.htm

Unless your discursive reflections during the prayer period result in a change of behaviour, they would not be considered authentic Thomistic Prayer. “Metanoia” or conversion is an essential element of Thomistic Prayer. A logical step from the new insights into truth received during the meditation is to make the necessary changes in one’s life. This would be the practical fruit expected from each exercise of Thomistic Prayer and expressed through one or more resolutions adopted at the conclusion of the discursive meditation. – from msgr.ca/msgr/WEBPrayerHANDBOOK_17_thomistic_prayer.htm


#7

Meditation is essential. That is what the spontaneity is about. It occurs as we read and place ourselves into the world of scripture or other holy writing. The questions of who, what, when where, why and how are important to the Thomistic mind.

Rote prayers and strict discipline prevent the Holy Spirit from speaking to the prayer because we get so wrapped up in the details of what we “ought to do” and forget to listen to God.

It is very much a case of different kinds of spirituality for different personalities but it is one God and it is out of love for us that Christ honours our differences and offers us different kinds of prayer so we can draw closer to Him.


#8

On online tests, I have also been designated as an INTJ, however my prayer style has been “tested” online as Augustinian (naturally). These are labels which are fun and may explain difficulties in your prayer-life if that is true, but if your prayer-life is okay then I wouldn’t worry about it. Whatever works for you to bring you closer to Him is the only important point.:shrug:


#9

Although I appreciate many of your concerns that I should just pray in whatever way works best for me (which I completely agree with, of course), the reason why I’m asking specifically about Thomistic prayer is because I’ve already tried many different kinds of prayer, and they do not work best for me, while as the idea of the Thomistic style of prayer appeals to me. So please just stick to answering my question. Thank you!

Can you please recommend any good websites, books, or actual prayers that focus on Thomistic prayer, especially those which have specific examples of prayers and describe the method of prayer in detail?


#10

On a somewhat different note, I think it’s interesting that three of the four types of prayer are based on specific religious orders: Augustinians, Franciscans, and Jesuits; while the fourth type of prayer does not seem to be based on a specific religious order. Instead Thomistic prayer seems to be based on a mixture of Dominican and Carmelite spiritualities. I wonder what the reason is for that.


#11

Oh, cool. I didn’t know there was a spirituality attached to various Myers-Briggs personality types. What sorts of things does it say about INFPs?


#12

As an NF (Keirsey’s Idealist temperament), you would probably prefer Augustinian spirituality and prayer.

Augustinian Prayer and Spirituality – The NF Temperament
Named in honor of St. Augustine – who developed rules of spirituality for the monks and convents in North Africa. The key word is projection, using creative imagination to transpose scripture to today’s situation. Especially used by NF’s who are usually creative, optimistic, verbal, persuasive, outspoken, writers and speakers; good listeners, counselors, conflict resolvers and peacemakers. Handling negative criticism is difficult for NFs, but they blossom under affirmation. 12% of population. Visionaries. Prayer is a discourse between God and the self. – from www.cpt.org/files/WS%20-%20Prayer%20&%20Temperament.pdf

NF’s are introspective and cooperative, seeking meaning and significance through diplomacy and unifying people. They prefer Augustinian prayer, focusing on a personal relationship with God. The 4 steps of the Lectio divina can help: reading between the lines of scripture to find the deeper meaning; reflecting prayerfully to try to apply it one’s own life; responding to God’s word with personal feelings; and quiet contemplation to be open to new insights. – bendingthetwigs.blogspot.com/2007/05/prayer-and-myers-briggs-personality.html

Augustinian (Calvinian) Spirituality—NF Temperament (10%)

Higher percentage among clergy. Creative, imaginative, verbal.

Needs: To find meaning in everything; uses intuition and feeling to make connection of Bible to present; sees spiritual task as TRANSPOSING ancient words and ideas into the present context today when using lectio (instead of projecting back like SJ); example: When have there been desert experiences in my life? Combine intellectual and affective elements, but may make leaps other types cannot follow.

Helps: In meditative step, ask, What did the text mean then? What does the text mean now? DIALOG inwardly, and using a journal. – oasismin.org/Assets/Prayer%20and%20Personality.html

Augustinian Prayer. The Church Fathers and spiritual masters use the power of God’s word as part of their daily lives, and teach their disciples to use this way of prayer to discern God’s will for them. This method, practiced by the members of the Augustinian communities, encourages members to hear the words of Scripture as if these words were being spoken directly to them. – from The Healing Power of Prayer by Jean Maalouf

There are also several websites and books (certain pages of which are viewable on Amazon.com) with good descriptions of Augustinian spirituality (based on the NF personality type), but they are too long to quote here:

msgr.ca/msgr/WEBPrayerHANDBOOK_9_ignatian_prayer.htm

**Looking at Type and Spirituality (“INFP” - pp 44-45) by Sandra Krebs Hirsh, Jane A. G. Kise
**
Prayer and Temperament: Different Prayer Forms for Different Personality Types
(“How Temperament Has Affected Christian Spirituality: Augustinian Spirituality and Prayer” - pp unknown; “Augustinian Prayer and Spirituality: The NF Temperament” - pp 58-68; “Prayer Suggestions for the Sixteen Individual Types: INFP” - pp 149-151; “Prayer Suggestions for Types with the Same Dominant, Auxiliary, Tertiary, Inferior Functions: INFP and ENFJ” - pp 175-176) by Chester P. Michael, Marie C. Norrisey

Soultypes: Matching Your Personality And Spiritual Path (“Part Three: Thinking and Feeling Spirituality – 10. Introverted Feeling: The Personal Spiritual Path: INFP” - pp 235-240) by Sandra Krebs Hirsh, Jane A. G. Kise

Who We Are Is How We Pray: Matching Personality and Spirituality by Charles Keating

Now I’m also assuming that any information on Augustinian spirituality and prayer should be beneficial to you, so just look up “Augustinian prayer” OR “Augustinian spirituality” on Google, and it should probably provide you with tons of resources. The best Internet resources I could find are:

St. Augustine: His Spiritual Traditionaugnet.org/default.asp?ipageid=282

Reflections on Augustine’s Spiritualitywww41.homepage.villanova.edu/donald.burt/

Augustine Day By Dayartsci.villanova.edu/dsteelman/augustine/
**
Augustinian Spirituality** – angelfire.com/pa5/augustinian/Augustinian_Spirituality.htm

Focus on Augustine: Electronic Texts - In Englishaugustinian.villanova.edu/writings/english.htm

Hope this helps (and doesn’t overwhelm you – sorry, I love research and got carried away)! Best wishes! :slight_smile:


#13

:eek:

Wow, thanks! :smiley:


#14

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

St. Francis of Assisi and St. Vincent de Paul are action oriented/service oriented, so may fit best with the SF temperament.

St. Dominic and St. Thomas Aquinas were theologians, so may fit best with NT temperament where one is interested in understanding/gaining mastery over a large body of knowledge.

I am INFP and I have benefited most from thus far are to Jesus through Mary spiritualities, Carmelite spiritualities, Sacred Heart of Jesus spiritualities, and Divine Mercy spiritualities. I may have an overly high opinion of the INFP, but I find that I am most intrigued by the accounts of people who have (1) extremely deep and supernatural unions with Christ (2) wisdom that intuitively explains deep questions of suffering and Christ that are hard to obtain by logical thought (3) relationship with suffering that is genuine and restorative/salutory (4) PASSION

A premise of St. Louis Mary de Montfort’s To Jesus through Mary is that Mary is the surest, most perfect, swiftest, best way to Jesus. This seems to be true as he has interesting insights in his books and in his life on the nature of Jesus and on suffering that I have never seen anywhere else, but strike me as true. For example, crosses are gifts of heaven, the Cross contains shards of the Tree of Life, and his parallelism between the Garden of Gethsemane and the Garden of Eden. Mary is also an exceptionally fascinating creature.

Second, I notice that some people have exceptionally close relationships with Christ. Some see him as a Lover and Master physically, spiritually, emotionally in addition to intellectually - the more typical relationship. The only three that I have noticed with these attributes are St. Teresa of Avila, St. Faustina, and St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. St. John of the Cross writes about it as well. And these who had the most intimate and passionate relationship with Christ also contributed greatly to the Church’s understanding of Christ. St. Faustina with the Divine Mercy image and Divine Mercy chaplet. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque with the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. St Teresa of Avila by refounding the Carmelite order, from whom all the spirituality that I know of on reading union with Christ comes from: Interior Castle, Dark Night of the Soul, The Way of Perfection, etc. I even suspect that the movie The Dark Knight is loosely inspired by Dark Night of the Soul. Interestingly enough, in all three cases, Mary is still the way to Jesus.

Excerpt from Vie par elle-meme by St. Margaret Mary Aloque, to whom was revealed the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, "The blessed virgin has always taken great care of me. I had recourse to her in all my necessities and she has preserved me from great dangers. I did not dare address myself to her divine son, but only to her and I often presented her with the little crown of the rosary, which I said on my bare knees, or genuflecting and kissing the ground at every Ave Maria. episcopalacademy.org/drum/trea/TREA5-06/Wrighttrea06a.pdf

Or St. Faustina reveals that Jesus told her in Notebook 1, #31, “During this adoration try to unite yourself in prayer with My Mother. Pray with all your heart in union with Mary and try also during this time to make the Way of the Cross.”

So St. Faustina of the Divine Mercy and St. Margaret Mary Alacoque of the Sacred Heart probably did NOT read True Devotion to Mary but followed it anyways, in one case because it came from the mouth of Jesus himself :eek:

St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross have a special Marian connection as a Carmelite, under the protection of Elijah and Mary - Our Lady of Mount Carmel, with no known human founders

In fact, if you look at famous INFPs and you can take this site seriously, you see that Mary, Mother of God, is listed as an INFP, probably because she is quiet yet wise and ponders everything in her heart. theintrovertzcoach.com/famous_infps.html

Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


#15

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