Religion, Prayer, and Worship

"Merit consists in the virtue of love alone, flavored with the light of true discretion without which the soul is worth nothing."--St. Catherine of Siena
What is prayer?
Necessity or prayer; reliance on God
Mental prayer and meditation
Spiritual reading
Vocal prayer

For God and by God –

Our first responsibility is to our own souls. The two hours should take care of that. That time should be set aside first. It is food our own souls . Also, you will pass your defects on to others; you cannot help others without it. All must have a “job” from God besides their own sustenance, that is, barring some unusual situation. If you take on a family, then you have a family. If not, you must take on something else – old maids and bachelors. But, set aside enough time for your own soul, the a lot the rest to some work of God. That then, becomes duty. If that duty takes over part of your two hours, then so be it, but make sure you are being honest with yourself and not slacking.

'In order to succeed in prayer, it should be done when we first awaken, when our whole being is calm and recollected. We need to make our meditation before anything else.' - St. Peter Julian Eymard

'Every morning prepare your soul for a tranquil day.' -St. Francis de Sales

'Your most important business is the care of your soul. This is why, before leaving your room in the morning, you should spend at least a quarter of an hour in meditating on the life, the Passion, and the death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.' St. Paul of the Cross

He who does not make mental prayer does not even know his defects, and therefore, as St. Bernard says, he does not abhor them. He does not even know the dangers to which his eternal salvation is exposed, and, therefore, he does not even think of avoiding them. But he who applies himself to meditation instantly sees his faults, and the dangers of perdition, and, seeing them, he will reflect on the remedies for them. - St. Alphonsus

Many say the Rosary, the Office of the Blessed Virgin, and perform other works of devotion; but they still continue in sin. But it is impossible for him who perseveres in mental prayer to continue in sin: he will either give up meditation or renounce sin. A great servant of God used to say that mental prayer and sin cannot exist together. And this we see by experience: they who make mental prayer rarely incur the enmity of Good; and should they ever have the misfortune of falling into sin, by persevering in mental prayer they see their misery and return to God. Let a soul, says St. Teresa, be ever so negligent, if it persevere in meditation, the Lord will bring it back to the haven of salvation. - St. Alphonsus

THE ROSARY is made up of two things: mental prayer and vocal prayer. In the Holy Rosary mental prayer is none other than meditation of the chief mysteries of the life, death and glory of Jesus Christ and if His Blessed Mother. Vocal prayer consists in saying fifteen decades of the Hail Mary, each decade headed by an Our Father, while at the same time meditation on and contemplating the fifteen principal virtues which Jesus and Mary practised in the fifteen mysteries of the Holy Rosary.
In the first five decades we must honor the the five Joyous Mysteries and meditate on them; in the second five decades the Sorrowful Mysteries and in the third group of five, the Glorious Mysteries. So the Rosary is a blessed blending of mental and vocal prayer by which we honor and learn to imitate the mysteries and the virtues of the life, death, passion and glory of Jesus and Mary. -St. Louis de Montfort
After recommending pauses in the prayers, St. Louis de Montfort says: At first, you may find it difficult to make these pauses because of your bad habit of saying prayers in a hurry; but a decade that you say recollectedIy in this way will be worth more than thousands of Rosaries said all in a rush—without any pauses or reflection.

Much more is accomplished by a single word of the Pater Noster said, now and then, from the heart, than by the whole prayer repeated many times in haste and without attention.----St. Teresa

'"My soul is always in my hand, yet do I not forget Thy Law," David says. Examine yourself often, at least night and morning, as to whether your soul is "in your hand;" or whether it has been wrested thence by any passionate or anxious emotion. See whether your soul is fully under control, or whether it has not in anywise escaped from beneath your hand, to plunge into some unruly love, hate, envy, lust, fear, vexation or joy. And if it has so strayed, before all else seek it out, and quietly bring it back to the Presence of God, once more placing all your hopes and affections under the direction of His Holy Will. Just as one who fears to lose some precious possession holds it tight in his hand, so, like King David, we ought to be able to say, "My soul is always in my hand, and therefore I have not forgotten Thy Law."'
St. Francis de Sales

Devotions. Superstitions and false devotions
Seeking familiar conversations with others and avoiding them are two extremes equally blameworthy in devout people living in the world, whom we are now discussing. To shun all conversations savors of disdain, and contempt of our neighbor; and to be addicted to them is a mark of sloth and idleness. We must love our neighbor as ourselves, and to prove that we love him we must not fly his company; and to testify that we love ourselves we must remain with ourselves when we are alone by ourselves. "Think first of thyself," says St. Bernard, "and then of others." If, then, nothing obliges you to go abroad into company, or to receive company at home, remain with yourself, and entertain yourself with your own heart; but if company visits you, or any just cause invites you into company, go in God's name, Philothea, and see your neighbor with a benevolent heart and a good intention.

We live in a perfectly selfish society.

Does your employment produce something good and useful for your neighbor? Is it actually harmful to them?

What is adequate prayer?