What, then, is prayer?

December 12, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI delivered this address on Saturday evening (November 26, 2011) in Benin when he visited St. Rita’s Parish, and spoke to the children there. He has captured not only the essence of prayer “a cray of love directed to God” but also the many fruits of prayer. 

“What, then, is prayer? It is a cry of love directed to God our Father, with the will to

imitate Jesus our brother.
Jesus often went off by himself to pray. Like Jesus, I too can find a calm place to pray where I can quietly stand before a Cross or a holy picture in order to speak to Jesus and to listen to him.

I can also use the Gospels. That way, I keep within my heart a passage which has touched me and which will guide me throughout the day.
To stay with Jesus like this for a little while lets him fill me with his love, light and

This love, which I receive in prayer, calls me in turn to give it to my parents, to my
friends, to everyone with whom I live, even with those who do not like me, and those

whom I do not appreciate enough.”

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

You May Also Like…


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *