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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 Good News of Accompaniment
Chandra Hanson
Voices of Community

... An encounter with Divine Love captivates.  It changes us.  Sue’s “yes” brought something to life in me and in the group; it called me on and encouraged me to stretch in new ways, giving me new eyes with which to see the Spirit’s movement among us.   It prompted conversations in the circle about the miraculous paradox of God’s transcendence and immanence; more than many in the “free world,” those who are incarcerated often both better understand the Reality that transcends time and space and better appreciate the gift of in-the-flesh visitors whose simple presence communicates God’s love and care.  There is a reason God took on flesh.  I am humbled and filled with gratitude every time I travel to join the inmates for our circle, knowing that simply by showing up I participate in God’s ongoing Incarnation. ... 

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The Format of a Centering Prayer Support Group
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I attended a Centering Prayer group at my parish for about a month.  I stopped going because, after the final oral prayer and reading, the leader's wife asked for feedback in our lives during the recent week.  ....  I don't mind the feedback, but there are several venues in our parish for addressing problems in our lives, not during or after Centering Prayer.

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
The Dying Process
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Our Centering Prayer group has been watching the Gift of Life DVD and benefiting by it. We are hearing about persons who spend considerable time in the dying process. Can Contemplative Outreach say anything about those who die suddenly or in a short period of time.

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

Q:  How is Centering Prayer distinct from Quietism which was declared a heresy in the 18th Century?

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Centering Prayer
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
Table Discussion, Overall Summary from the Contemplative Outreach Conference in Denver, September 21-24, 2017
John Kelsey
Voices of Community

The following is an edited collection of comments generated during several hours of small group discussions at the Contemplative Outreach Conference in Denver September 21-24, 2017. 

Comments were gathered from 15 posters prepared during the course of the conference.  These are the prayerful thoughts and hopes of our contemplative community. 

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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
Simple Sharing; Huge Impact
Martha Johnston, co-coordinator of Contemplative Outreach of Maryland and Washington (COMW)
Voices of Community

“How should we use our money?"  The team realized that we had been maintaining a healthy bank balance, and we wanted to do more than just tithe to Contemplative Outreach Ltd.  We wanted to focus the money on specific projects.

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Centering Prayer
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

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