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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Prayer

As a Catholic child, my Ma and/or the nuns and the lay teachers at my parochial school taught me all the pertinent Catholic prayers: The Our Father, the Hail Mary, Angel of God (prayer to our Guardian Angel), the Glory Be, etc. I learned prayers to say before meals and could recite what was going on in mass along with the most seasoned Catholic...probably still can. All these years later, I realize that, especially early on, I loved these prayers not so much for what they meant. Let's face it, more than half the time I didn't pay any attention to what I was actually saying. I loved the prayers for their "rhythm"...they sounded good to me...and the ritual of saying them was comforting. Even as a kid, I liked the feeling of being part of a greater "whole;" of belonging. In retrospect, the prayers acted more as a mantra for me, as is often used in meditation; they calmed me and put me in a peaceful state. The prayers made me feel secure. To this day I love saying the rosary, no doubt for all the reasons listed above. I can FEEL my own vibrations rise higher as I pray the rosary and say all the prayers so well learned in childhood.

On a similar note, and also dealing with ritual, Catholics do a whole heck of a lot of standing up, kneeling, and sitting down during a mass. Kneeling used to be a challenge to me when I was a squirmy kid (especially trying to keep my butt from touching the pew), but in general, I actually enjoyed all that popping up and down. And I have always LOVED being in a church/temple/holy building (no matter what the denomination, or for that matter, no matter the religion), especially a cathedral, where the energy vibrations are often so pronounced I can feel them throughout my body, with my psychic antennae fully operating, as if in the highest of gears.

What I wasn't taught so much...or at least I can't remember being taught...is the option of simply talking to God/Spirit as prayer. I'm pretty sure someone, at some point, must have mentioned we could talk to God, but formal, established, pre-written, prayer was definitely more encouraged in my upbringing. 'course we're probably all familiar with the occasional, impromptu, prayers of desperation, when one says, "PLEASE GOD, HELP ME RIGHT NOW!!!!!" And no doubt even, "OH MY GOD!" is heard in the spiritual plane by some Spirit or more.

In any case, as a spiritual being in a human body who is learning, growing, and developing both psychically and spiritually, I have to say that one of my greatest joys is simply talking to God, my Guides and Angels, the Archangels, the Saints (Oh how I have always adored the Saints!), and any Ascended Master that I'd like to have a conversation with. I do this whenever and wherever. But I also now find that I particularly love praying after my morning meditation. Such prayers at that time include smatterings of my earlier Catholic-taught prayers (they still give me great comfort) and a combination of chats involving thanks and gratitude, along with pleas of help for whatever is on my mind. What I now know in my heart-of-hearts is that these prayers ARE heard, and responses are either immediate or forthcoming. As a kid, I was trustful that my prayers were heard "to a point," but skepticism crept in around the same time I started noticing cute boys. I'm happy to reclaim my trust that there's a whole host of folks listening to me on the other side and on the spiritual planes. This time there is no "to a point."

We'd love to hear about your thoughts on prayers and your prayerful practices. Your comments are always appreciated. Thank you!

4 comments:

  1. I love this post! And I echo a loud AMEN! The Bible tells us that we are to "pray without ceasing".... so how are we to do that if prayer is not a conversation with our God? What I forget that like any conversation, I need to spend time being quiet though as well, so I do not miss what God is saying to me!

    Thanks!!

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  2. Thank you for commenting, Kat! Glad you like the topic! And I so agree, also "listening" is essential in the prayer equation.

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  3. Jeannine, I also was raised Catholic. My relationship (till about 10 years ago) with God was more based in my head...I had the knowledge taught to me and thought that was what it meant to "believe". Since than I have deepened my relationship with God and I believe with my whole heart. I guess that is how I would explain "faith". I am not big into the prayers we were made to memorize, except maybe a couple,but like you believe in having conversations with God. My most awe inspiring moments are the times that God speaks to me. Like the times when all of a sudden I get an idea how to help someone else or myself, I know it's not my brainy idea but thoughts planted by the Holy Spirit. Those times are most humbling and definitely reinforces my beliefs. I do need to have my conversations more often and listen more carefully. I know my faith needs to grow even stronger but it is so much more rewarding than recitng a prayer that I was made to memorize. I teach catechism and praying in the form of just talking to God is something I try to stress and impress with my kids.

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  4. Hello Mary,
    Thank you so much for commenting. How lucky those catechism students are to have you for their teacher. I wish I had been taught as a child to simply talk to God wherever and whenever.
    Bright Blessings,
    Jenny

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