Point and click to pray

By Carol Schuck Scheiber A guide to websites that bring prayer and spiritual development right to your computer.

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LOOKING FOR A PRAYERFUL break during a busy day of work or study? You’re not alone. Websites devoted to online prayer and meditation are becoming increasingly popular and a full-fledged ministry for a number of religious communities. Go ahead and see for yourself. A miniretreat is just a mouse click away. 

www.bustedhalo.com
A lively Catholic spirituality site for young adults, with everything from articles on relationships to listings of youth-oriented parishes. Sponsored by the Paulist religious order, users can click on “faith guides," then “prayer pilot" for short, readable articles on prayer, including hints on understanding prayer, different ways to pray, common questions on prayer, and others. The tone is encouraging, and the emphasis is on starting to pray wherever you already are in your spiritual life.

www.sacredspace.ie
Maintained by the Irish Jesuits, this website is set up so that users read meditations and scripture passages and pray right at their computers. “It might seem strange to pray at your computer . . . . But God is everywhere, all around us, constantly reaching out to us, even in the most unlikely situations," the sponsors write. Users will find a daily prayer session, in six stages, culminating in reflection on a scripture passage.

www.centeringprayer.com
The contemplative prayer style known as centering prayer is explored at many different levels on this website. Users will find articles about centering prayer, an online bookstore with books on the subject, information about conferences and pilgrimages, and opportunities to meet with people in all walks of life who are dedicated to contemplative prayer.

www.awakentoprayer.org/prayer.html
This Catholic prayer resource is one part of an extensive website sponsored by the East Lewis County Catholic Community in western Washington State. Although the graphic presentation is pretty basic, the content is extensive and solid. Many forms of prayer are presented, and numerous classic texts by heavyweights such as Saints John of the Cross and Catherine of Siena are provided.

www.nccbuscc.org/nab/
For those who enjoy prayer and meditation centering on the daily scripture readings, this site is an easy-to-use resource. Provided by the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops, this web page provides a three-month calendar graphic; click on a day, and the day’s readings appear.

www.praythenews.com
A well-designed site maintained by the Carmelites of Indiana, a women’s monastic religious order. It has an appealing look, a wise tone, and substantive content. There are meditations on current news events, “courses" on spiritual topics such as mindfulness, and even the opportunity to light a virtual candle as you submit a prayer request to the sisters.

www.wau.org
A site sponsored by the publishers of The Word Among Us, a Catholic monthly magazine of spiritual reading. The content is updated monthly and keeps pace with the liturgical seasons. Articles include meditations on the daily readings and reflections on both seasonal and timeless themes.

www.virtualrosary.org

Need some help with the prayers and meditations of the rosary? Or are you seeking a network of people devoted to the rosary? These sites will walk you through the prayers and meditations and link you with others who pray the rosary. Both have a computer-based rosary available for free.

www.universalis.com
www.liturgyhours.org
www.prayday.com

The parts of the Liturgy of the Hours are available in different formats on these sites. The Liturgy of the Hours, also known as the Divine Office, is the prayer and scripture-reading regimen adhered to by monks as well as laity, priests, and religious of the Catholic Church. Prayday publishes the Liturgy of the Hours in five languages.

www.therealpresence.org
www.perpetualadoration.org

These sites, maintained by The Real Presence Association and the Apostolate for Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, have extensive information about eucharistic adoration as well as a convenient national directory of churches and chapels that sponsor it.
Carol Schuck ScheiberCarol Schuck Scheiber is content editor of VISION.

2006 © TrueQuest Communications

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