The Ascending Way of Prayer, Part I

The Ascending Way of Prayer, Part I


Years ago I was involved in a Protestant apologetics online forum. Unlike many online forums, this one included many very bright and respectful people who expertly debated theology without rancor. Just about every viewpoint was represented: Calvinist, evangelical, liberal, conservative, even Mormon and Unitarian. I, however, was the only Catholic participant. One of the great things about being a participant was that I really had to know how to defend my faith, for making any theological statement – whether about justification or the Real Presence or morality or anything else – would result in challenges from every direction.

However, one day the topic of prayer came up. A Protestant who was friendly to Catholics noted that Catholicism really has the deepest and richest tradition of prayer, hands down. He lamented that much of Protestantism had abandoned this tradition. What surprised me was the reaction he got from the other forum participants: complete agreement. Although they couldn’t agree on the basics of Christianity, and never considered Catholicism a truly legitimate option, they all readily agreed that Catholicism has developed the best “school of prayer” available.

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