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JesuiticalFebruary 05, 2021
A young woman prays during a pilgrimage. (CNS photo/Lisa Johnston, St. Louis Review) 

Whether you are an agnostic seeker who’s curious about the whole “prayer” thing or a seasoned Catholic looking to deepen your relationship with God, James Martin, S.J., has a book for you—and everyone else. In his new book, Learning to Pray: A Guide for Everyone, Father Martin not only answers the question “Why pray?” and introduces readers to different types of prayer; he tackles what he considers “one of the most confusing parts about the spiritual life”: What happens when you pray? That is, what are you supposed to hear or feel when you close your eyes?

We talk to Father Martin about the most common barriers to prayer, how you can tell what’s coming from God in prayer and whether we’re thinking about “consolations and desolations” in the right way. Plus, we bring him the questions you, dear listeners, posted to the Jesuitical Facebook group.

Whether you are an agnostic seeker who’s curious about the whole “prayer” thing or a seasoned Catholic looking to deepen your relationship with God, James Martin, S.J., has a book for you—and everyone else.

In Signs of the Times, we’ve got two stories from Pope Francis. First, in a meeting with Italian catechists, the pope made clear that the Second Vatican Council is part of church teaching, saying, “If you do not follow the council or you interpret it in your own way, as you wish, you are not with the church.” Over 50 years after Vatican II, why is its legacy still up for debate? Next, Pope Francis has declared the fourth Sunday of July (the feasts of Sts. Joachim and Anne) the World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly. We discuss what the coronavirus pandemic has revealed about the treatment of the elderly in our society—and what lessons the pope wants us to take forward.

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As always, thanks for listening. You can support the media ministry of America and unlock unlimited access to all our articles with a digital subscription for less than $1 per week. Subscribe here. And to get all that plus bonus content from Jesuitical, become a member of our Patreon community.

Links from the show

Pope Francis: Vatican II must be taught as part of church teaching, or ‘you are not with the church’
Pope Francis establishes World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly
God’s voice or mine? 7 tips on what to listen to in prayer
Learning to Pray: A Guide for Everyone, by James Martin, S.J.

What’s on tap?

Sweatpants Sazerac (from The New Yorker’s “Seasonal Cocktails for Your Seasonal Depression”)

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