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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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My Experience with the Living Flame Program
Rita Sturgeon
Voices of Community

The Living Flame is a special program, with an inspired combination of silence, Centering Prayer, speakers, and personal sharing – all which contributed a major role in my path to transformation in Christ.

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The Living Flame, Contemplative Spirituality
My Experience of the Contemplative Gathering in Snowmass
Rafael Dickson Morales
Voices of Community

Last year, the founders of four contemporary Christian contemplative movements (Fr. Thomas Keating, of Contemplative Outreach; Fr. Laurence Freeman, of the World Community of Christian Meditation; Fr. Richard Rohr, of the Center for Action and Contemplation; and Tilden Edwards, of the Shalem Institute) gathered for a week of dialogue and meditation at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado. As a result of that meeting, they came up with an extraordinary idea.

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My daily practice...
Barbara Sullivan
Voices of Community

Breath for the spirit,
Meditation for the mind,

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Centering Prayer
Musings of a Part-time Centering Pray-er
Robert Currie
Voices of Community

About five years ago, I was searching for a spiritual practice.  One day, a notice appeared in our local paper about an event called “A Taste of Silence.”  The rest, as they say, is history.  The practice of Centering rayer appealed to me immediately. 

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

Q:  I once asked my prayer group if it was permissible to have a melody running through one's head while centering, and their answer was no.

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Centering Prayer
Multimedia in My Head
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  When I tried to be open to God during Centering Prayer, I usually had a concordance of biblical accounts in multimedia or silent video format in my head, or modern life of mine or others. What do you call that, if it is not Centering Prayer or I am not doing it right?

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Centering Prayer
Motivations and Service
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  In the past year I've have fully realized the Martha in me and my false-self motivations that permeated years of ministry.  By God's grace the Illuminative way is proceeding but I am challenged by Pope Francis’ call to move out and serve the marginalized.  ....  How do I discern if authentic or false-self stirrings are at work?

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Contemplative Spirituality
Morning Prayer at South Padre Island
Michele Maxwell
Voices of Community

Breathe in --
the tide rolls out 
to the Mother Sea of Source 
in air-sucking return 
to the oceanic womb of life,
pulling consciousness 
like a uterine contraction
at three centimeters dilation

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Contemplative Spirituality
Monkey Mind on Extended Retreat
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I have been on many extended 8 - 10 retreats. On them I always have trouble going to sleep. The monkey mind is relentless! On my recent 10 day retreat at Snowmass, it got worse as the retreat progressed...

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Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina
Moments
Dian Gillmar
Voices of Community

In this silent moment
see how the palm tree
has shrugged off old bark,
how trim and stately it stands
against an azure sky...

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Contemplative Spirituality
Mercy Will Prevail
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I am a lay contemplative catholic who would greatly appreciate your insight on the following matter. I see a world of one creator who has created both hell and heaven. who is responsible for giving each of us all of our gifts from bliss to the darker sides of our humanity, pride, selfishness, etc.

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Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
Living in a Religious Vacuum
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q ... I have realised that I live in a kind of religious vacuum and I would like to reconnect with "religion" more fully. It feels like my home is in Christianity, however I am still unable to accept Christianity intellectually. ...How to proceed in this situation?

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Life is Liturgy Unceasing
Theresa Clark
Voices of Community

LIFE is Liturgy Unceasing!

LECTIO DIVINA is Life;
Every Word an utterance of the Divine.

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Lectio Divina, Contemplative Spirituality
Let Your True Self Shine
Rich Lewis
Voices of Community

He was transfigured before their eyes.  His face became as dazzling as the sun, his clothes as radiant as light.... I immediately began thinking about my centering prayer practice. Isn't this what really happens each time I sit with God ...

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Lessons
Deb Neal Johnston
Voices of Community

The Real  only comes to some-
to those listening. To those who
can endure the fathomless silence,
starting first in your core, then spreading throughout the room, through
shut windows.

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Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
Lectio Divina and Attuning to the Spirit
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: Recently I attended a poetry gathering … The young man who teaches poetry used Lectio Divina as a method to find interpretation of the poetry and called it that. If he had called it repetition and discernment, perhaps I would not have had difficulty with it. However, he did not use Scripture but secular poetry. I did some research on Lectio Divina and found that it is misused in many contexts and by different faith structures. Would you please comment on the use of Lectio Divina?

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Knowing About God is not Enough
Donald Bredthauer
Voices of Community

When I was ordained in 1965 I had no idea what spiritual formation meant or how to experience God, which is another way of saying I didn’t know how to pray.  Oh, I did pretty well with leading prayers in worship, but that’s different from praying in a personal way . . .

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Just Be in the Silence
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: I've been practicing Centering Prayer for about two years. It has helped me in more ways than I could ever express. My question has to do with what happens in the silence between the moments I use the sacred word. In those moments in between using the word am I simply to seek to be present/attentive to the Presence of God or would this be considered a thought too?

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Centering Prayer
Jesus Christ and the Holy Trinity
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I have just turned 73 and for most of 50 years I have practiced Buddhism – Zen, later Vajrayana, and more recently Theravada (Vipassana meditation), although I was briefly a Catholic from age 14 to early 20s when my family converted.

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
Jacalyn's Psalm
Jacalyn Smith
Voices of Community

You gave me unique awareness
at a very young age
Before I could walk
I knew I was different.
    ~Your Light upon my head

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
It is the Wailing and the Weeping
Bob Hope
Voices of Community

It is the wailing and the weeping
That wakes the will to repent
Infinite happiness is the soul’s birthright
And all unhappiness comes...

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Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
It helps me remember ...
Barbara Kollenkark
Voices of Community

It can be a challenge to remember all those who have asked for our prayers. I wrote this poem 52 years ago while in the 5th grade, but continue to embrace it as I pray for others. It helps me remember . . .

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Centering Prayer
Is a Centering Prayer support group needed?
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I have a long practice of Centering Prayer, having begun sometime in the late 1980s with a group that met weekly for about 12 years when our facilitator, a priest, was transferred to another parish.

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
IONA
Dian Gillmar
Voices of Community

We wear our small marble crosses
to prayer every Thursday.
They were brought from Iona,
a “thin place”, where the spirit...

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Contemplative Spirituality
Introduction to Conscious Work
Alan Krema, a member of Contemplative Outreach of Chicago
Voices of Community

Is prayer a retreat for you into a separate place where you find rest and peace? If so, why do you not find peace, wholeness and harmony in your daily working life? Do you think it is impossible?

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