Bl. Humbert on Prayer

Blessed Humbert of Romans is a lesser-known medieval Dominican priest who wrote on prayer, St. Augustine, and solidified the Dominican Liturgical Rite. We discuss in this week’s episode what he says on prayer.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for the show transcript

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About the Topic:

Bl. Humbert of Romans in his book De Oratione discusses the importance of location, community, and different aspects of prayer.

On the holiness that must be found in prayer:

1. Intention of the mind 

2. Frequency of assiduity 

3. Holy purity 

“Know, then, that in order to have holiness in prayer, one must take heed that the praying tongue be not infected by sin.”

The Theological and Cardinal virtues associated with Prayer:

Faith: so that our requests may be made in faith

Hope: so that the one praying does not doubt

Charity: Moves on etc holy desires, which our Lord will grant more willingly

Prudence: so that not harmful things be sought, but helpful ones

Justice: Giving God what He is due. Our love and admiration

Fortitude: Which is part of courage, in order that one may persevere in knocking.

Abstinence: which is a part of temperance. For this is a characteristic of holy men, that they join fasting to their prayers.

On being thankful when a prayer is answered.

3 evils result from ingratitude

1. The first is being deprived of the good that one has received. Chrysostom, “thanksgiving is a kind of tax which our Lord levies upon whatever goods He bestows; and so, just as one who does not pay his property tax may be legally deprived of the property on which it was due, so is it with the ungrateful man and the good things he has received.

2. The second evil resulting from ingratitude is that it hinders future benefits. For it is neither usual nor reasonable that a man who is ungrateful for what he has already received should be granted other things.

3. The third evil is punishment, even in this life. For our Lord is not content only to take away from the ungrateful what He had given them, and to bestow nothing else, but sometimes He also adds some temporal penalty.

3 good things result from thanksgiving

1. Preservation of those goods which have already been received

2. The multiplication of good things

3. That one obtains greater things in the next life.

3 things that particularly hinder prayer from having its effect:

1. The first is the awareness of some serious sin

2. The second is unmercifulness

3. The third thing is cruelty toward another


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About the author, Adam

Adam is the Vice President St. Michael Catholic Radio in Tulsa and the co-host of The Catholic Man Show.

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