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Showing posts from September 16, 2011

A New Good Way to Pray

For many of us, the start of a new program and school year feels like more of a “New Year” than January 1.

For many of us, back-to-school time is also back-to-routine time, back-to-church time, back-to-exercise time.

For anyone who is open to a fresh approach to prayer, I have a gift for you today. Here is a way of praying offered by Dennis Hamm, S.J.* that I find very useful, and powerful.

Hamm’s five-step prayer, which takes only about 15 to 20 minutes a day, is a version of the “Daily Examen” which St. Ignatius of Loyola wrote in the 1550s.

Here are the five steps, and below that, a few more words about why I like, and recommend you try, this way of praying.

1. Pray for light. Recall you are in the presence of God. This is a time to be still in the presence of God; you are not daydreaming, or merely reminiscing, but looking for how the Spirit of God is leading you. Pray for illumination, for a graced understanding. “Lord, help me understand this blooming, buzzing confusion.”

2…