You are here

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

Articles

Titlesort descending Series Preview Category
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.

Read More.
Spiritual Journey
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?

Read More.
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.

Read More.
Centering Prayer, Gift of Life, Father Thomas Keating
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?

Read More.
Centering Prayer, 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.

Read More.
Lectio Divina
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?

Read More.
Contemplative Spirituality
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.

Read More.
Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, Contemplative Spirituality
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.

Read More.
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.

Read More.
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.

Read More.
Centering Prayer
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?

Read More.
Centering Prayer
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.

Read More.
Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
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.

Read More.
Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
The Jesus Prayer and Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Can you tell me similarities or differences between what happens in 'The Jesus Prayer' where the mind moves into the heart leading to the Hesychast experience, and Centering Prayer? ...

Read More.
Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
The Lesson of the Leaves
Sandra McKnight
Voices of Community

Are we not like the leaves?

While living, the leaf is part of the tree

Read More.
Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
The Mind and Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I know that the mind should be quiet, relaxed and empty during centering prayer, but I unsure of what our state of mind should be like. Should the mind be fully aware and deeply attentive, or less so, like that state leading to a twilight sleep?

Read More.
Centering Prayer
The Power of Silent Prayer
Rich Lewis
Voices of Community

"I became aware of how powerful Centering Prayer was because it was a container for my consenting to not only God's presence in my life, but also God's action in my life."
- Carl J. Arico

Silent prayer is a special time. It is our time to sit with God. It is like sitting quietly with a friend. No words need to be said.

Read More.
Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
The Practice of Forgiveness
Fr. Carl J. Arico
David Frenette

Q:  Forgiveness is one of the highest expressions of love and love without forgiveness is no love at all. Jesus' emphasis on the absolute necessity to forgive repeatedly and from the heart is so very clear. But what is not clear is this: whether forgiveness comes unilaterally from the injured party or not. Jesus on the cross asked the Father to forgive those who were killing him and yet the perpetrators certainly did not ask for forgiveness. Were they forgiven?

Read More.
Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
The Purification of the Nights
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I am currently undergoing the dark night of the soul for the 2nd /3rd time. I have read a lot about John of the Cross and other authors. I am wondering who at CO has gone through the experience's. I know Fr Thomas must have had at some stage...

Read More.
Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
The Relevance of a Contemplative Practice Today
Sr. Emmie Vas SSpS
Voices of Community

What is the relevance of a contemplative practice today? What fruits have you noticed in your life and what do you understand by the purification process?

Read More.
Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
The Role of Purgatory
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

I have a question on Purgatory......my hope has always been that to suffer here and experience death is enough ... however our Church teaches differently. I would like to know Fr. Carl's views on this subject.

Read More.
Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
The Rosary and Contemplation
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Is it possible to pray contemplatively while saying the rosary at the same time?

Read More.
Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
The Sacred Word
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: I know my sacred word is not a mantra. It is for me to use to express my intention of attending during my prayer time and I am to return to it when I find myself caught by some distraction.

Read More.
Centering Prayer, Father Thomas Keating
The Sacred Word in Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I have found it difficult to use just one word as I meditate. A simple 3-word phrase - that resonates strongly with me - is most comfortable for me. Is it appropriate to use a phrase and not a single word?

Read More.
Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
The Silent Call
J. Leiba
Voices of Community

Step inside and bolt the door.
The inner room is now secure.
Distractions quelled from busy mind,
The Lord of Hosts is here to dine...

Read More.
Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality

Pages