Catholic Candle note: The article below was written by a man who has always been Traditional Catholic and who has been continually fighting liberalism since before Vatican II.
Jesus said to them: “Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come to Me; for the kingdom of heaven is for such.” (St. Matthew, Ch. 10)
Prayer is a conversation with our heavenly Father or with those in heaven. What I speak of here is what some call mental prayer. I suggest you practice it as an intimate, spiritual, childlike conversation with your Heavenly father. His reply is based on your knowledge of the Faith and your confidence in His mercy and benevolence.
With this prayer, you will begin to understand much better the need for the crosses He sends for your salvation. After a while, you will thank Him for them. You will also begin to realize that you really do not deserve the blessings you have received, and which, in the past, you foolishly felt were due you. You will develop a strong desire to live with your Heavenly Father and better understand why the martyrs had little fear of death or suffering.
A further benefit of intimate, childlike prayer is that your mind will not wander as it does so often when you’re repeating written prayers, where your attention is less needed and easily distracted.
I always start my conversation with God by reciting the Lord’s Prayer slowly in order to focus my mind and prepare for the coming “conversation”. It also acts like a figurative knocking on His door, with a latch on the inside that only He can open. I end the “conversation” with the slow reciting of the Glory Be.
In the conversation much detail is not needed, for the Father knows all. But He does like to hear you freely express yourself with requests, adoration, and gratitude.
A long conversation is not always necessary, but if they frequently occur, your love for the Father will increase (as a child’s does for his earthly father), and He will surely join in. Be sure to ask for much grace. Humbly say to Our Lord: “There is need for Thy grace, and a great grace in order to overcome a nature prone to evil from youth.” (Quoted from The Imitation of Christ, Book 3, Chapter 55.)
Don’t forget that this type of prayer is best when you are humble and contrite. Converse as with your best friend or earthly father, with great love and respect.
He wants you to tell Him what’s on your mind.
I wish I could play a musical instrument and had a good voice. I would compose a religious song and play it for Him. What joy and love I could demonstrate. I’m unable to do that. Maybe a poem. There is another way to show my love for Him: by going out of my way to give good example whenever possible, no matter how difficult.
What to talk about? Simple. What do you talk about with your earthly father? Perhaps projects, successes, failures, hopes, needs, plans, etc.
How important is this type of prayer for me? It’s like spiritual oxygen, i.e., what we need for our spiritual life.
Most who experience fatigue in prayer do so because their minds wander, and they lose sight of the importance and purpose for praying. And fear it is not doing much good. So, with childlike prayer which increases your love and devotion to the Heavenly Father, it will also improve your devotion with your written prayers. childlike prayer is also helpful when talking to your favorite saint. Or praying to Catholic giants from the past, who fought for the Faith and combatted heresy.
Regular and scheduled written prayer is essential, e.g., Mother of Perpetual Help devotions, Mass prayers, etc. But this childlike prayer (discussed above) is also important and should be practiced at every opportunity in the same way you don’t pass up a chance to visit with a close friend or your earthly father.
How happy you will be to express your love and devotion. You just feel joyful, and sin is the farthest thing from your mind.