Prayer is at the heart of the Christian life. Given that we are weak and even sinful human beings, how can it be that God has anything to do with us? What does it mean to have a personal relationship with God? Why is God so silent and hidden? How do we grow in prayer?

Personal Prayer: A Guide for Receiving the Father’s Love brings the depth of human experience together with the Catholic tradition of prayer to present the path to an intimate and vulnerable relationship with God.

Experienced spiritual directors Fr. Thomas Acklin, OSB, and Fr. Boniface Hicks, OSB, explore the many forms of Catholic prayer and demonstrate that vulnerability is essential to growing in relationship with God. Rich with the wisdom of Scripture, Catholic teaching, and the writings of the saints, Personal Prayer is an exhaustive guide for priests, religious, and laity desiring to receive the Father’s love in a profoundly personal way.


Fr. Thomas Acklin, OSB, is a Benedictine monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. He earned an MA in philosophy at Duquesne University as well as an STD in theology and a PhD in religious studies at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, where he specialized in psychology of religion. He is a psychoanalyst as well as a spiritual director. Fr. Acklin has been a professor and spiritual director at Saint Vincent Seminary, where he also served as rector. He is the author of The Passion of the Lamb and The Unchanging Heart of the Priesthood.

 Fr. Boniface Hicks, OSB, is a Benedictine monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. He has provided spiritual direction for many men and women, including married couples, seminarians, consecrated religious and priests, even while completing his Ph.D. in computer science at Penn State University.  He is the programming manager and an on-air contributor for We Are One Body Catholic Radio and has recorded thousands of radio programs on theology and the spiritual life. He has extensive experience as a retreat master for laity, consecrated religious, and priests. He is the Director for Spiritual Formation for Saint Vincent Seminary and Director of the Institute for Ministry Formation and has offered numerous courses on the spiritual life.


Fr. Acklin and Fr. Hicks are the co-authors of the book Spiritual Direction: A Guide for Sharing the Father’s Love.



“In a sense, this is a ‘how to’ book of the best sort: a simple, practical guide for learning how to pray. But it’s also vastly more than that: An eloquent, intimate, and deeply persuasive invitation to seek out a personal relationship with the Father who made us, and to master the art of immersing ourselves in the love of God.”

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia


Personal Prayer is one of the finest contemporary books on prayer. . . . I would highly recommend this book to anyone who hungers for deeper communion with the Blessed Trinity.”

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix


“I have no doubt that no matter who you are, or how much experience you have with prayer, this book will lead you deeper into prayer and into the heart of God.”

Dan Burke, President of the Avila Foundation for Spiritual Formation


“This practical book will serve as a valuable guide for those who wish to grow in their life of prayer toward a deeper union with God. I pray that this book will bring many souls closer to God.”

Sr. Mary Grace, CP, Directress of Formation, Passionist Nuns, Our Lady of Sorrows Monastery, Pittsburgh


“I believe this book will be helpful for all who pray and want to better understand the mystery of our relationship with God in prayer.”

Fr. Thomas Nelson, O. Praem, National Director of the Institute of Religious Life, Canon of St. Michael’s Abbey in Silverado, California

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Personal Prayer: A Guide for Receiving the Father’s Love