Mental prayer is a form of prayer recommended in the Catholic Church whereby one loves God through dialogue, meditating on God's words, and contemplation of Christ's face. It is distinguished from vocal prayers which use set prayers, although mental prayer can proceed by using vocal prayers in order to improve dialogue with God. And no prayer is purely vocal, as it has traditionally been defined: "Prayer is the raising of one's mind and heart to God."

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  • Mental prayer is a form of prayer recommended in the Catholic Church whereby one loves God through dialogue, meditating on God's words, and contemplation of Christ's face. It is distinguished from vocal prayers which use set prayers, although mental prayer can proceed by using vocal prayers in order to improve dialogue with God. And no prayer is purely vocal, as it has traditionally been defined: "Prayer is the raising of one's mind and heart to God." One of the foremost writers on mental prayer, Teresa of Avila, stated: "Contemplative prayer [oración mental] is nothing else than a close sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us." Here the emphasis is on love rather than on thought. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, meditation and contemplation which take place in mental prayer are "major expressions of the life of prayer" in the Christian tradition. The practice of mental prayer is necessary for reaching the goal of Christian perfection, said Mother Teresa. "Holiness is impossible without it." Ignatius of Loyola, the Church's patron of retreats, popularized meditation and contemplation through his thirty-day retreat or Spiritual Exercises, which he customarily administered to laypersons. (en)
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  • Mental prayer is a form of prayer recommended in the Catholic Church whereby one loves God through dialogue, meditating on God's words, and contemplation of Christ's face. It is distinguished from vocal prayers which use set prayers, although mental prayer can proceed by using vocal prayers in order to improve dialogue with God. And no prayer is purely vocal, as it has traditionally been defined: "Prayer is the raising of one's mind and heart to God." (en)
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  • Mental prayer (en)
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