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

Q:  I tried Centering Prayer for some time but reached a point where during my prayer time I was constantly assailed by profane words, words I assiduously avoid in my life.

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
Unsure of the Outcomes of Prayer
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I always try contemplative prayer, and it seems to be working. How can one be sure that the outcome (even though negative at times) is working for the right? And what is the possible outcome?
 

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

Q:  I have tried to practice Centering Prayer for a while. I have been wondering if my intent of receiving the inner peace and silence from practicing is a "legitimate" reason, or if I'm looking for personal gains only, and this may not be a good reason to pursue practice? What do you advise anybody interested in Centering Prayer to think or do about motivations and intentions when considering this path of spirituality?

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

Q:  Hi! I'm looking for the opening prayer you use in Contemplative Outreach Ltd. The one I'm used to, but cannot find a reference to anywhere, being so long ago, is: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Creator,Redeemer and Sanctifier, alive at the centre of our being, we wish to consent, in love, to you.

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

Q:  My difficulty with Centering Prayer is distractions of thoughts spilling over and being unable to get to or sustain a deep place in the prayer. I usually sit down to pray and all is well. Then I read a psalm but a feeling or ache in my head starts before I center and linked thoughts just crowd my mind. It is more like a thinking mediation.

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

Q:  Rather than using a sacred word - or as well as using one - recently I have been  listening to my heart beat and find this helpful. Does this seem to you too"concentrative" when my aim is to be receptive?

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Centering Prayer
The Two-Armed Embrace of God
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I daily say the Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  However there are times that I cannot complete these prayers and I wonder [uneasily], is this how God wants me to pray? Or am I intent on ritual versus Presence, a Presence in which I sense I am in union with every moment, in and through all that I see and do not see?

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Contemplative Spirituality
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
An Awakening Mystic
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  My major spiritual awakening happened in August 2012, I've seen many signs and messages from the Holy Spirit. The Spirit moved me to become Catholic that year too and I was confirmed March of 2013. I realize that I am a mystic.

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
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?

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

Q:  Is it a good idea to listen to soft Gregorian Chant while engaged in Centering Prayer?

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

Q:  Hello from Malaysia!  Our group has been practising twenty minutes of Centering Prayer followed by Lectio Divina ( with the 4 movements - Read, Reflect, Response and Rest)  for some time. There is a suggestion from someone that we could start with Lectio Divina...

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Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina
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
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
Regarding Prayers of Petition
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  If I pray to remove sickness or pain, am I refusing God?  If I am to offer up my pain, how can I pray that it go away?

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Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
Centering Prayer and Young Children
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I am based in the U.K. and about to launch Centering Prayer into the local junior school (children aged 4-11). The school head and deputy head are very keen for this to happen and we will be basing what we do with the children on the Journey to the Heart book.

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Centering Prayer
On Use of the Sacred Word
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: I have found that saying my sacred word continuously throughout Centering Prayer works better for me than only when thoughts come in. Is this all right also, or what is the difference?

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Centering Prayer
Crises and the Prayer of Jabez
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: My question is regarding grief. Actually I suppose it is regarding prayer in any form of strain or fear, but grief especially.

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey, Father Thomas Keating
Centering Prayer and Biofeedback
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: What do you think about doing Centering Prayer while wearing a biofeedback device such as an emWave? I have been doing this for about 2 years now and it seems to be bringing about some very profound changes in my life and relationships, and a big shift in my perception of God. But sometimes...

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
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?

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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.

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Centering Prayer, Father Thomas Keating
Intention, Mindfulness, and Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: Our Centering Prayer group got into a discussion about 'mindfulness,' which I understand to have to do with attentive presence, awareness, being in the present, etc. The question arose, "What is the relationship between 'mindfulness' and 'intention,' as we use the latter in our Centering Prayer practice?

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
A Shift in Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I have been doing Centering Prayer for many years.  Have found it useful at 3:00AM when St. Teresa of Avila says Imagination is the fool of the House.  This morning I sat in my chair and started with my sacred word Abba. Immediately I heard...

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
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