Hi! We are Andrew and Cynthia Gniadek, your hosts here at Luminous Tradition.
We want you to experience peace, joy, and hope in the Lord, as well as a transformation of heart from the Lord through prayer. And we are here to encourage you every step of the way.
We invite you to join us.
Our marriage and our lives have been marked by prayer, yet we also experience the struggles that all Christians face in their relationship with God.
We searched for God through education, with Cynthia earning a master's degree in theology and then both of us earning master's degrees in philosophy at Catholic institutions (all before we got married). What we found was that finding God there or anywhere depended on meeting Him in prayer.
Today, when we look around, we see that the world is full of brokenness, pain, fear, anxiety, confusion, and uncertainty. Quite simply, life is empty without God. But when we pray, we find God and all that we need to live in a world torn by sin.
Prayer has always been important to us as a couple. Through our own prayer life and devotions, we have found ourselves consistently drawn to the teachings on prayer found in the Catholic Tradition.
As we explore these teachings and work to conform our lives to them, we share what we learn with you and offer practical advice based on our own experience and that of Scripture, Church documents, and the great saints of Catholic Tradition.
Have you ever wondered about these questions?
Am I praying correctly?
What types of prayer are there?
What should I say when I pray?
What is needed for prayer to be effective?
What does the Bible say about prayer?
Why is prayer important for my life?
How can I find time to pray?
What resources are out there to help me pray better?
If you have, keep reading.
We built this community on the idea that by answering questions such as these, and by living according to the teachings on prayer found in Catholic Tradition, anyone can form a strong personal and loving relationship with God through prayer. This relationship is possible for you regardless of your vocation or state in life.
We want to pave the path for you to find your way to union with God. This union requires persevering in prayer. We are here to help you persevere, to pray more consistently, to overcome distractions and dryness in prayer, and to pray with a heart full of love, trust, and humility.
Why Do We Focus on Prayer?
Because we have seen the glory of God through many answered prayers in our lives, and we have experienced peace and become stronger in our faith because of prayer. In other words: prayer works.
In fact, prayer is what brought us together before we got married.
My mother was talking to a lady at church one day about my difficulty in finding the right woman to marry, and the lady said, "Tell him to go to Lourdes!"
I dismissed this statement since Lourdes is overseas and I had no money to travel at the time. Instead, I decided to take a short pilgrimage to the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, MA, to walk through the Door of Mercy (in the Jubilee Year of Mercy) and to pray to find my future wife.
Minutes before leaving for the shrine, I discovered online that the shrine had a replica of Lourdes, so I visited that replica once I was at the shrine, and I prayed to Our Lady of Lourdes for a wife. I had no idea at the time that my prayers were likely the fulfillment of the instruction my mother received from the lady at church.
Three days after my pilgrimage, I met Cynthia.
As a young adult, I went on a retreat with a religious order to discern a vocation. Shortly after arriving, the Sister who was the vocations director asked me whether I wanted to join a religious order. I replied, "Only if I know God doesn't have someone for me." She instructed me, "You are called to marriage."
Years later, while working at a parish called Our Lady of Lourdes Church, I prayed to St. Joseph to send me a man like himself. I later started a perpetual novena to St. Joseph, even wearing a St. Joseph medal with my intentions engraved on the back. Several months later, I met Andrew.
Three years after we married, I realized that the Sister who foretold my vocation was named Sr. Joseph Andrew.
God Answers Your Prayers Too
We have many stories about prayers that God has answered for us, but it's not just us. God answers prayers for you and for others who pray to Him too.
We want you to see how God works in your life too. Your prayers will be different, and God's answers will be different too, but you can see the amazing things God does in your life when you pray.