Episode 7: Mental prayer is a question of heart. An interview with Father Jacques Philippe

Hosted by
Melissa Rihl

G.K. Chesterton once said that “Anything that is worth doing, is worth doing badly.” For many people, there is a need for perfection and immediate success. We cannot see God, and do not always hear a response in prayer; He is not sitting right next to us as if we were at a coffee shop. How does someone know if they are “successful with prayer?” and building a relationship with God?

Mental prayer is often thought of as something for only really “holy people,” and something difficult to achieve. However, it is available to each person, and not meant to be a cause of discouragement. Questions often arise such as, “What is mental prayer? Is it normal to have easy and difficult times with prayer? How does one cancel out the noise of the world to even make time for undistracted mental prayer or silence?”

Enter Father Jacques Philippe.

Fr. Jacques Philippe is a member of the Community of the Beatitudes, founded in France in 1983. After studying in Nazareth, Jerusalem, and Rome, he was ordained a priest in 1985. He primarily devotes himself to spiritual direction and preaching retreats internationally. His published books on spirituality are the consolidated result of such work. He is the author of Fire & Light, Interior Freedom, Time for God, and The Eight Doors of the Kingdom, among others. Over a million copies have been sold in 24 languages.

In this interview, Melissa Rihl speaks with Father Jacques Philippe about the many difficulties of mental prayer. With references from his work, Time for God, and the wisdom of Carmelite Saints, Father Jacques offers wisdom and guidance of how to pray, how to achieve mental prayer without being discouraged, and to advance in a friendship with God. Whether you have never tried to pray or have been praying for a long time, there is something of reflection for everyone.  “Mental Prayer is a question of heart!”


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Episode 7