Support for you during Lent – How to Pray

Written by on 17/03/2022

How to Pray

How to Pray will be rebroadcast from 6 March to 11 June 2022, on Sundays at 15:15, Tuesdays at 00:30 and Saturdays at 21:00.

 This little book How to Pray by David Torkington, was published by Our Sunday Visitor. It was written for those who are prepared to restructure their daily lives to make time for the prayer where they can be transformed by the love that only God can give.

David Torkington

David Torkington

How to pray has been created by David Torkington who is also the narrator. The music, Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach), is played by Catholic concert pianist, Vincent Billington. How to Pray was produced and edited by Bobbie Torkington


Episode 1
“Although people go on crying out for solutions, they become angry when they are told that the restoration of society must come from within and not from without.”
Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful
Prayer is the place where we freely choose to receive God’s love despite the unwanted thoughts, fantasies, and daydreams that try to distract us from receiving it. It is by daily trying to raise the mind and heart to God in prayer, by giving our time to be there, and then our energy to keep trying to turn to him, that God gives us the only love that can transform us into the image and likeness of Jesus.

Episode 2
Transforming Love – There is only one way to perfection and that is to pray; if anyone points in another direction then they are deceiving you. Saint Teresa of Avila
The Little Back Room – We should keep for ourselves a little back room, all our own, untouched by others, in which we establish our true freedom and chief place of seclusion and solitude. Montaign
The School of Love – “Repent and be baptized every one of you, for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Saint Peter (Acts 2:38)

Episode 3
Pray, do not babble – When you pray do not babble as pagans do, for they think by using many words they will make themselves heard. Jesus Christ (Matthew 6:7, Jerusalem Bible).
The “Parousia” – The Mass should so form us that the whole of our lives becomes the Mass, the place where we continually offer ourselves
through Christ to the Father. Josef Andreas Jungmann, SJ
A Profession of faith – Professio (Profession) ’Twas much, that man was made like God before, But, that God should be made like man, much more. John Donne

Episode 4
Adoration, Praise, and Thanksgiving – Adoratio (Adoration) When we adore God a hidden highway is opened to the holiness of God. It enables his holiness to descend onto and into us as our homage rises to him. Peter Calvay (Hermit)
Reconciliation – Reconciliatio (Reconciliation) When you come to prayer inspect your heart, so as to send your prayer pure to God, and carefully examine whether there is any obstacle to this. Abbot Macarius the Egyptian
The Morning Offering – Offerta (Offering) Christ does not offer alone, His people are Joined to Him and offer with Him and through Him. Indeed, they are absorbed into Him and form one body with Him by the Holy Spirit who lives in all. Josef Andreas Jungmann, SJ

Episode 5
Mystical Union – Unio (Union) I do not even begin to think of unity when the Trinity bathes me in its splendour. I do not even begin to think of the Trinity when unity grasps me. Saint Gregory of Nazianzus
Interior Stillness – Silentio (Silence) As vocal prayer is interiorized and purified it goes beyond itself into the prayer of silence which characterizes the state of union with God. Père Louis Bouyer
Prayer and Petition – Intercessio (Intercession) Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God. Saint John Damascene

Episode 6
Preparing for Action – Actio (Action) As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me. Jesus Christ (Matthew 25:40)
Perfect Love – You will never love someone unless you know them, but you will never really know them unless you love them. William of St. Thierry
Lectio Divina – To be ignorant of the scriptures is to be ignorant of Christ. Saint Jerome

Episode 7
Prayerful Reading – Lectio (Read) Reading supplies material for the understanding of truth, meditation prepares the material, prayer elevates it, and contemplation rejoices in it. Hugh of St. Victor
Meditation – Meditatio (Reflection) You should show yourself diligent, indeed constant, in the reading of scripture, until continual meditation fills your heart and forms you as it were after its likeness. John Cassian
Heartfelt Prayer – Oratio (Reaction) If the heart does not pray then the tongue labours in vain. Saint Bernadine of Siena

Episode 8
The Beginning of Contemplation – Contemplatio (Contemplation) Contemplate and share the fruits of contemplation with others. Saint Thomas Aquinas
Glorified Love – As the Risen Christ is a true man and the same man that He was, both in body as well as in soul before the Resurrection, so He has still the same human affections now. Thomas Goodwin
Food for Prayer – It is not only the scriptures, but anything inspired by them, that can inspire us with the prayer that leads to contemplative union. Francisco de Osuna

Episode 9
Traditional Devotions – Anything that helps to raise the heart to God is Prayer. Saint Francis de Sales
The Rosary – The Rosary is a school of silent contemplation and has an intimate connection to the Word of God. Benedict XVI
The Sacred Heart – In the New Testament the heart is the source of the divine operations which transform the Christian. John L. McKenzie

Episode 10
An overarching principle – Pray as you can, not as you can’t. Dom John Chapman
The Essence of All Prayer – Prayer is trying to raise our minds and hearts to God. Cardinal Basil Hume
Pray at All Times – We have not been commanded to work, to keep watch and fast constantly, but it has been laid down that we are to pray without ceasing. Evagrius Ponticus

Episode 11
The Prayer Without Ceasing – He “prays without ceasing” who unites prayer to works and good works to prayer. Only in this way can we consider as realizable the principle of praying without ceasing. Origen
True Humility – When you stop falling you are in heaven, but when you stop getting up you are in hell. Peter Calvay (Hermit)
The Impossible Made Possible – With love you may bring your heart to do whatsoever you may please. The hardest things become easy and pleasant, but without love you will find anything not only difficult but also impossible. John of Bonilla

Episode 12
Childlike simplicity – Unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus Christ (Matthew 18:3)
Asceticism for All – First seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well. Jesus Christ (Matthew 6:33)
The Sacrament of the Present Moment – The present moment is always full of infinite treasures. It contains far more than you have the capacity to hold. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Episode 13
From Meditation to Contemplation – He does not know what is the matter,
all at once God has retired to a distance. It is absolutely impossible to move the heart. He remains cold, frozen. Père Gabriel de Ste Marie-Madeleine
The Mystic Way – A naked intention directed to God, and himself alone, is wholly sufficient. The Cloud of Unknowing
The Prayer of the Heart – I called with my whole heart, says the Psalmist, that is, with my body, soul, and spirit. Saint John Climacus

Episode 14
Purifying Love – The Dark Night is an inflow of God into the soul, purging it of its habitual ignorances and imperfections. Saint John of the Cross
Waiting on God – Waiting alone in the semi-darkness for God to do whatever He pleases, sums up what it means to follow Christ. Sister Wendy Beckett
Experiencing being Loved – You can do more in a month with contemplation than in ten years without it. Père Lallement

Episode 15
The Only Way to Perfection – For apart from me you can do nothing. Jesus Christ (John 15:5) – Epilogue

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