Many people are veering toward meditative prayer to seek deeper meaning and grow closer to God. Rather than relying on the old tradition of simply reciting prayers, meditating on scripture has become increasingly popular.
Christian meditation is different from the meditation many are familiar with. In Eastern religions, meditation serves to empty the mind of thoughts and worries to allow for the development of a richer spirituality.
Catholics and Christians, however, meditate on a chosen passage of the Bible. They immerse themselves fully in the story and pray for a more in-depth understanding.
Meditative prayer is also a way of setting time aside for God, much like you would for a friend or family member. After all, if we are to follow Christ, if God is our father, we need to spend time in His presence. When we do, we should try to be attentive and listen, rather than continually seek favors.
There are many ways in which we can engage in meditative prayer. Apart from choosing a passage from the Bible or reflecting on the Lectio Divina of the week, we may also use Catholic prayer cards for meditative prayer.
Most prayer cards depict an image of Christ, a Saint or of the Virgin Mary, and each card can serve to inspire a deeper and more meaningful kind of meditative prayer. The special prayer on each of the holy cards can act as a guide or pathway through our meditation.
When using a specific prayer card, you may also ask for the person depicted on the card to help and support you. You will soon experience a joyful sense of support and guidance and come to value the time spent in meditative prayer.
Choosing a Holy Card for Meditative Prayer
Many Catholics purchase prayer cards as a source of comfort and strength. Prayer cards become a part of their daily life. I have several prayer cards in my purse, and at this point, they have dog ears and look well-worn. However, they are very precious to me, and I would hate to lose any one of them.
The selection of prayer cards seems limitless, and most people choose a prayer card with their heart. Perhaps you feel a special connection to Our Lady, or perhaps you prefer choosing a prayer card depicting your favorite saint. Most importantly, choose a prayer card you love, because it will make your meditative prayer more meaningful.
How to Use a Prayer Card for Meditative Prayer
Before you begin, you need to prepare the space. Find a quiet place at home, or maybe even out in nature. If you are planning on meditating with a group, a church or community space may be most suitable. Remove any source of distraction and light some candles. Music and dimmed lighting can also make the space a little more spiritual.
You may also decorate your space with holy statues, flowers or meaningful pictures. Adding personal items can also be an excellent way to make the space special.
Ensure you have a comfortable seat and simply sit down and rest for a little while.
Before you begin, choose the way in which you are going to use your prayer card. You have the following possibilities:
- Recite the entire prayer once and simply reflect on it by imagining yourself in conversation with the person on the card.
- Recite the prayer, line by line, pausing after each line and allowing time for reflection.
- Gaze at the picture and allow it to inspire your meditation.
- Recite the prayer or repeat the words on the card several times, seeking a better understanding each time you utter the words.
Choose whatever approach comes easiest to you. It’s important to make the meditation as simple and enjoyable as possible. Trying out all the different methods will eventually show you which one suits you best.
Simple Steps for Meditative Prayer
Before you begin, place yourself in God’s unending love and ask for guidance. Also, seek support from the person depicted on the prayer card. Rest and reflect for a while and continue by using one of the above methods.
Once you feel fully immersed, simply remain in the space and try to be open to guidance and, most importantly, to God’s love. Breathe slowly, relax your entire body and express gratitude for this special time. If you find yourself getting distracted, read the words on the prayer card or bring your attention back to the image.
Be open and attentive and let God’s love envelop you.
Spending time in meditative prayer can be an enormous source of strength and comfort. All you need to do is give a little of your time and your heart. When you are ready to return to your daily chores, say thanks.