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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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The Difference Between Centering Prayer, Contemplative Prayer, and Meditation
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Please advise on the different between Centering Prayer, contemplative prayer and meditation.

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Centering Prayer
The Difference Between Centering Prayer and Dom John Main's Christian Meditation
Fr. Thomas Keating
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

... In regard to the use of a prayer word or phrase by which one disposes oneself to the grace of contemplation, I note that there is a difference in these approaches as regards the actual handling of the prayer word. On the one hand there is the approach of John Main and Lawrence Freeman, which as I understand it, advocates the attentive repetition of a particular sacred word. ... In contrast to these, the method taught in "Centering Prayer" explicitly indicates that the sacred word is not a "mantra" to be repeated, but rather a symbol of one's intention, (to consent to God's presence and action) to which one returns upon noticing one's mind wandering willy nilly.... I wonder if you might be so kind as to give me your take on this difference.

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The Dark Nights, Who Does It Affect?
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I wonder, can one experience the dark nights, if one is not practicing centering or contemplative prayer, but is just a devoted Christian? I somehow get the impression that the dark nights are necessary consequences of contemplative prayer only.

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Centering Prayer
The Crooked Keel
Paul Wishart
Voices of Community

I loved to go lobster fishing with my uncle. I loved being out on the open water; the fresh sea air, the confident growl of the engine, the lobster boat churning through the waves....

I’ve taken this story along with me for many years since I read it in that group. I’ve shared it in situations where it proved supportive for people dealing with difficult circumstances, such as the loss of a close family member or friend.

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Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, Contemplative Spirituality
The Consequences of “Sin”
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Father Thomas teaches with authority that God has forgiven our sins. But he also sometimes seems to say that we are stuck with "the consequences of our sins."  How does Father Thomas define "the consequences of sin"? ... Perhaps I am asking whether God intervenes, are there miracles that can free us from the "consequences of sin" or is this just my small self trying to control things?

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Contemplative Spirituality
The Classical Monastic Practice of Lectio Divina
Father Thomas Keating
Other

The classical practice of Lectio Divina--the prayerful reading of the Bible, the book Christians believe to be divinely inspired--is being rediscovered and renewed in our time.

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Lectio Divina
The Blessed Sacrament as a Vestibule
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  When I'm sitting in a small chapel doing my Centering and the Blessed Sacrament is exposed directly in front of me, must I close my eyes? Behind the Monstrance is a beautiful crucifix... Am I still Centering with my eyes open in this situation?

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
The Accelerated Course for Those Over 80
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  In the book, The Human Condition, it mentions an accelerated course for people over 80.  I am looking for information on that program.

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Centering Prayer, Gift of Life, Father Thomas Keating
Teaching Centering Prayer in Seminaries
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Father Arico, our Centering Prayer group is reading your book A Taste of Silence. After the introduction where you share your experience of Centering Prayer, our discussion led us to the thought of how amazing it would be if  Centering Prayer could be a part of seminary education. How feasible is this today?

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Taking a Break From Our Personality
Ruby M. Shelton
Voices of Community

Is humility to look down at others, wear not too lavish clothes, not standing up for yourself?  I think that humility is to take a break from our personality and observe a total and complete action of surrender to God.

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Spiritual Journey
Stillness and Centering Prayer
Richard R Hawkins
Voices of Community

The Rock – a living relationship with Christ
Jesus urges his followers to build on rock and not on sand (Mt. 7.24 – 27).   In South Africa we have some unfortunate experiences with Rural Development Project housing...

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
Stay Connected Other

Sign up to receive our free monthly e-bulletin. Filled with teachings, resources, useful links, and retreat notices, the bulletin is one of the ways you can support an intention to live the contemplative life.

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Centering Prayer
Spiritual Direction and the Contemplative Path
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I am new to contemplative prayer.   I have been meditating for 15 years, but have decided to take contemplative prayer as my spiritual path as it suits me better... My question is to do with a spiritual teacher or guide. While a person like this is needed in Eastern spiritual practices, is it also needed in contemplative prayer?

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Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
Spiritual Bushwhack
Celia McBride
Voices of Community Read More. Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
Source and Silence
Peter Traben Haas
Voices of Community

"Morning after morning the Lord opens my ear that I may hear.
- Isaiah 50:4

Resting in the silence of meditative prayer is the royal road to hearing what can't be said.
 

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Sounds and Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Sometimes as I am entering into Centering Prayer and settling into stillness, I hear an external sound--such as the purring of my cat or birdsong through an open window--and it sounds so sweet that I do not want to return to my sacred word.

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
Sometimes I Am Goodness, Truth & Beauty
Deb Neal Johnston
Voices of Community Read More. Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
Snorkeling in God
Mark Lybarger-Monson
Voices of Community

Floating
Breathing, Exploring
Feeling, Observing, Appreciating

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
Silent Visits from God
Karen D'Attilo
Voices of Community

sometimes silence creates loud noises in the heart, and sounds off in the
brain with chaotic patterns making us our own worst enemy...

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Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
silence
verserver
Voices of Community

let us go adore him
let us go implore him
my soul
to make us whole

let us stop
and just drop
all attractions

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
Silence
Earl Lowen
Voices of Community

I spent 19 years as a lay-brother at St. Joseph’s Abbey when Father Thomas was my Abbot.  He was a wonderful man who helped me develop my spiritual life. I am now 75 years old...

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey, Father Thomas Keating
Shutters
Dian Gillmar
Voices of Community

Through the shutters of my soul
sunlight rarely shines.
Her voice demanded obedience,
blocked out the light of childhood.
As I grew older ...

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
Sharing about the Prayer
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I have joined a Centering Prayer group in which the leader asks people to share their prayer experience with the person next to them. This does not seem to fit with Father Keating’s message. What do you think?

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
Set Free from the Pit, by Centering Prayer and the Truth
JB
Voices of Community

I was overwhelmed by constant, intense, thoughts and feelings of fear.  At the time, I believed that if I was just ‘right with God’, or, became a ‘better Christian’, these worrisome and fearful thoughts would certainly disappear.  So, I tried harder.  I purchased more spiritual books, attended more worship services, and prayed more frequently.  I was living a devout/religious life.  But, the fearful/condemning thoughts, along with their corresponding bodily feelings, just further intensified. 

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
Seed of God
Juliana Howard
Voices of Community

The Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways to build up the Body of Christ, using us in spite of ourselves.
 
Beginning in the mid-eighties, after the death of my mother, I was inspired to write children’s songs based on the Bible. For many years, I directed the Crayons, a group of school children who performed and recorded them. The first song given to me was “Seed of God”.

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