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We embrace the process of transformation in Christ, both in ourselves and in others, through the practice of Centering Prayer.

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Our God of Surprises ...
Therese Coen
Voices of Community

Many years ago while taking a morning hike on Mt Tamalpais, north of  San Francisco, I felt the urge to sit down and to silently pray to the  Lord.  I found an outcrop among the bushes and left the trail.  I sat  down and put on my jacket. I settled down and began my Centering  Prayer period. Some time later...

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Out of My Mind, Into My Heart
Todd Friesen
Voices of Community

I began to wonder if they were right after a snowstorm grounded my connecting flight and I found myself on a crowded van climbing over icy mountain passes. It was pitch dark by the time I arrived at St. Benedict’s Monastery and so I just went straight to bed.

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Centering Prayer, Retreats
Panentheism
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Is panentheism the theology being taught by contemplative prayer?

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey, Father Thomas Keating
Perspective
Dian Gillmar
Voices of Community

I sit on my porch,
glimpse through the open door
a painting, “Morning for Writing Letters”

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Placing Your Attention IN
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: I have been doing Centering Prayer for 6+months now, and have hit a bit of a road block. In reading Cynthia Bourgeault's book, The Heart of  Centering Prayer, and after a few days of intense Centering Prayer, I am now unsure about a particular aspect of Centering Prayer...I am having a difficult time in my Centering Prayer practice with this lack of clarity in the focus and aim of the practice.

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Centering Prayer
Posture and Breathing in Relation to Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:   My impression is that some meditation practices have very specific guidance about physical technique such as posture, breathing etc. But Centering Prayer suggests fairly little except to have a comfortable upright posture (or lying down if you have back problems or are ill), the goal being to be relaxed but alert.  What accounts for the difference? I suspect it has something to do with Centering Prayer not being a concentrative or awareness method.

Maybe I'm asking because I'm less aware of mental/emotional thoughts in practice, and more aware of aches and pains. Maybe I'm asking because I can't believe that the method is so simple and that it is okay to trust it. "I should be working harder." I have been practicing Centering Prayer for  six  years or so.

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Centering Prayer
Practicing Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I have just started practicing Centering Prayer. I’m Portuguese, live in Lisbon,  and I’m almost 70!  It looks like Centering Prayer came to me (I didn’t look for it) as an invitation/response of Jesus to become closer to Him, as I so much desire... My question of method is this: When does Lectio Divina comes in? Is it at the same time as Centering Prayer? You do both in the same day?

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Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina
Prayer in Secret
Jacqui Theresa Leiba
Voices of Community

An inner turning
Of the heart and mind;
An unseen embrace
Into Love divine.

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Prayer of Diminishment
Sr. Helen Michael Horne, O.P.
Voices of Community

Each day, Oh Lord,
May I offer
less to You;
Each day to be diminished,

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Centering Prayer
Praying for those in Purgatory
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Given Fr. Keating’s views on Purgatory, that one continues to grow and become enlightened, how does a person with a Centering Prayer practice pray for her loved ones in Purgatory? 

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Praying the Rosary and Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Is there a way to pray the rosary simultaneously with Centering Prayer?

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Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, Contemplative Spirituality
Praying the Scriptures in Solitude
Mike Potter
Voices of Community

Reflections on an Eight-Day Personal Lectio Divina Immersion Retreat

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Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, Contemplative Spirituality
Praying to the Old Man on the Throne?
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Recently, when I concluded my session of Centering Prayer and recited the Lord's Prayer, as is my custom, I was struck by the disparity between the Trinity in Whom and with Whom I had just been abiding, and the "God in heaven" who seemed to resume his cloak of an old white man on a throne far, far away.  Am I taking the opening of the Lord's Prayer too literally? 

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Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina
Presence in the Silence
Niamh Brennan
Voices of Community

I had been working as a hospital chaplain for just a few months, when one morning I visited a patient (let’s call her Joan) who was due to have complicated cardiac surgery later that morning. The moment I entered her private room I realised that she was consumed by anxiety.

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Centering Prayer, Heartfulness, Contemplative Spirituality
Promise
Helene Muller
Voices of Community

I had written my testimony (in the form of a poem) and found it to be an affirmation of what I had written: “We are being stripped of … our ‘outer’ self so that our ‘inner’ self can come to true life.”

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
Proof of God’s Existence? Or the Experience of God’s Presence?
The Rev. Hampton Deck
Voices of Community

When I was a junior in high school I took a class on world literature... One day {a classmate} asked me, “Why are you always bring Jesus and the Bible into our discussions?”  A little stunned, I replied, “Because I’m a Christian. Aren’t you?” “No,” he answered.  “Well what are you then? Jewish, or some other religion?” I asked. “No, my parents never took me to church. I guess I’m an atheist or an agnostic. I never really thought about it,” Chris replied. Then he asked me a question that stopped me cold: “Why do you believe all that crap anyway?”

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Protestant Barriers to Contemplative Prayer
J. David Muyskens
Voices of Community

I am an ordained Protestant minister who has benefited greatly from contemplative prayer.  I speak from experience with a way of being open to contemplative prayer called Centering Prayer. I am well acquainted with some of the resistances Protestants have toward contemplation.

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Centering Prayer
Q&A with Fr. Carl Arico ~ Meditation and Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: One of the new people in our Centering Prayer group asked me what the difference between meditation and Centering Prayer is. …

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Centering Prayer
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico Archive Related to the Spiritual Journey
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I saw a notation by Fr. Keating about Heaven right here on earth.   Does this take away the hope of a better place to go when I die?

A:  Not at all. Heaven is being in the presence of the almighty and loving God for eternity - a living and ongoing presence...

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Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico Archive: Related to Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q. Can you provide a connection for me between Centering Prayer and The Cloud of Unknowing?

A. :  I would recommend you study the pamphlet on Centering Prayer by Fr. Thomas Keating...

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico Archive: Related to Lectio Divina
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q. I have been advised to NOT do Centering Prayer in conjunction with Lectio Divina. Individually and in a group setting I have practiced doing Lectio immediately before Centering Prayer and found that often the CP time was enriched by the preceding Lectio...

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Lectio Divina, Contemplative Spirituality
Que Sera Sera
Ceci LaDuca
Voices of Community

Lyrics from a popular Doris Day song from the 1950’s:

“Que sera sera, whatever will be, will be;
the future’s not ours to see, que sera sera”

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
Receptivity
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I am a commissioned presenter of the Centering Prayer introductory workshop and when I am elaborating on the notion of being receptive I describe the proper disposition as one of passive receptivity.  I'm trying to convey the idea that God is doing what needs to be done and we just trust and let it happen.

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Recognition: “It is the Lord” Jn 21:7
Mary Agnes Rawlings, LCSW
Voices of Community

Thought for today:   I cannot follow what I can not see!

Question for contemplation:  Am I “seeing” my life with eyes formed by the Word or by the World?

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The Practice of Contemplative Living
Reflections on San Antonio Board Meeting
Pat Johnson
Voices of Community

When I lean into the first impressions I had of the meeting with the Board and the Transition Advisory Team in San Antonio this past May 2017, the words that come to me are CLICKING CLOSENESS.  This was my first time at a face-to-face meeting with everyone.  What has been built among the group is total openness, honesty, respect, loads of humor, and a huge amount of love.  It was palpable and contagious.

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality

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