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Difficulties in Mental Prayer

Author(s): Eugene Boylan

ISBN13: 9780870612541

ISBN10: 0870612549

Publisher: Ave Maria Press; Reissue edition (1 Feb. 2011)

Extent: 162 pages

Binding: Paperback

Size: 14 x 0.9 x 21.6 cm

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  • This new edition of a timeless masterpiece on mental prayer features a foreword by leading Trappist spiritual writer Michael Casey, O.C.S.O., and an extended biography of Eugene Boylan, a promising young scientist whose spiritual descendants include fellow Trappist Thomas Merton.


    This clear and cogent approach to prayer remains as fresh today as it was almost seventy years ago at its original publication. Dom M. Eugene Boylan, who worked on the splitting of the atom in Vienna, left a promising scientific career to become a Trappist monk. Published in 1943, Difficulties in Mental Prayer soon became an international bestseller with editions published in many European languages and even in Chinese.


    Drawing on personal experience and from the teaching of the mystics, Boylan systematically considers the difficulties that arise at each level of prayer and offers practical advice for overcoming them. Boylan does not present a scientific classification of the types and methods of prayer, but rather a guidebook to enable anyone to navigate the personal challenges that come with a pursuit of growth in prayer.


    Boylan’s approach is unique because he always has in mind those readers who either find it difficult to meditate or seem to have lost the capacity to do so. According to the journal Catholic World, Boylan’s masterwork “will simplify a subject often unnecessarily complicated.”

  • Eugene Boylan

    Dom Eugene Boylan, O.C.S.O., was an Irish-born Trappist monk and writer who was born in 1904 and died in 1964. Ordained a priest in 1937, he began writing on spiritual topics, and in the 1940s he published two books, This Tremendous Lover and Difficulties in Mental Prayer, which became international bestsellers and were translated into many languages. In the late 1950s he undertook an extensive lecture tour of the United States ("This is the best retreat we ever had at Gethsemani," commented Thomas Merton after Boylan's visit there), and in 1962 he was elected the fourth abbot of Mount St. Joseph Abbey in Roscrea, Ireland. Two years later he died in an automobile accident.

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    The outstanding content of this book is so theologically solid and practically helpful that contemporary readers will find much in it to help them to discover for themselves creative solutions to their own particular difficulties in mental prayer, and much more besides!

    - Michael Casey, O.C.S.O., Author of Toward God: The Ancient Wisdom of Western Prayer

  • Foreword by Michael Casey, O.C.S.O., Author of Toward God: The Ancient Wisdom of Western Prayer

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Difficulties in Mental Prayer

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