Articles

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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
Centering Prayer and Speaking in Tongues
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Please help me understand how Centering Prayer and the charismatic or Pentecostal belief in speaking in tongues as a sign on baptism in the Spirit are related?  Can they abide in the same person?

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

Q:  On a recent Contemplative Outreach silent retreat I had my first encounter with the theme of contrition. I felt a little tickled because I knew that I was being much harder on myself than the Lord, who didn't seem as concerned as I.

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
False Self and Personality
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q. What is the relation between the unique personality and the false self?

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Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
A State of Contemplation?
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q. recently the conversation with God seems to have changed. I THINK that He sometimes speaks to me out of my own mouth, but I'm not sure if it's just wishful thinking on my part or not...is what I'm describing even possible? Does God ever work this way, or am I just being naive?

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Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
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
On the Method of Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

I am an Episcopalian practicing Christian meditation, and find myself agonizing about technique, being somewhere between Father Keating and John Main.

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Centering Prayer
Unloading and Evacuation of Emotions
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

There is a female inmate in a weekly Centering Prayer group I facilitate who is afraid of doing Centering Prayer on a daily basis because she believes she would be stuffing all her feelings again. She has been there for almost two years and is present every week! I promised her I would clarify this with you. It will mean so much for her - and for me!

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Centering Prayer, 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.

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
Centering Prayer and Brainwave Entrainment Products
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q. For the past 6 months I have been using a brainwave entrainment product ...  What are your thoughts and cautions about using this technology to deepen and accelerate my meditation practice?

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Centering Prayer
Panentheism
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Is panentheism the theology being taught by contemplative prayer?

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey, Father Thomas Keating
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
There is No Other
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q. ... Many years ago I listened to a tape by Fr. Keating, and in the end of one of the talks, Thomas says something about the journey resulting in "There is no other, because you have become the other.”

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Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey, Father Thomas Keating
Restlessness During Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: I do Centering Prayer two times a day... During my evening prayer I get very restless after about 20 minutes. I usually like to pray for about 35-40 minutes. It gets very hard to sit for the last 10-20 minutes. Should I stop when the restlessness starts or ...

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Centering Prayer
Breath Prayer
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q. Fr. Keating recommending four spiritual exercises; one of them was the development of the breath prayer, which might help us truly be followers of our Lord who prayed constantly. I am unfamiliar with the breath prayer; I would appreciate your describing it.

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Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey, Father Thomas Keating
Finding a Quiet Place
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  My mother is 92, lives with us and has for the last 5 years...  It is so hard to find time to sit in quietness...  I go into my bedroom and shut the door.  And try to shut out the noise.  My question is, can you truly center even if you can't find a quiet place in your home?

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
What is "My Shadow Self"
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q. I am quite new to practicing Centering Prayer and entering into the contemplative life, and I am craving it more and more. I am an avid reader and have been enjoying Father Keating's books and meditations. I come from a non-denominational background, so everything is new to me. Could you please explain what "my shadow self" is? I have heard this term several times. Or is there a different place I could get the information?

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

Q: I was a regular practitioner of Centering Prayer in the 1990's. For the last few years, however, I make time for it in the mornings after reading some scripture, but can't seem to settle down. I cannot seem to empty my thoughts and focus on the sacred word. I get restless to sit for more than 5-10 minutes. Do I need to just grit my teeth and make myself do this?

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Centering Prayer
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
Does God Judge?
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico Read More. Contemplative Spirituality
Is “God is All, in All” a way of saying that God’s immanent?
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: I see the title of the new DVD in your store, “God is All, in All”, and it makes me wonder about the transcendent nature of God. Is God transcendent? Or, is “God is All, in All” a way of saying that God’s immanent?

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Contemplative Spirituality
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
God's Unconditional Love and the Last Judgment
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

I have one "very spiritually perplexing question" that our group is unable to answer... If God loves us unconditionally as Father Keating often makes explicit, then how are we to reconcile this with a "last judgment" that is referred to in the Bible.

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Contemplative Spirituality
Crisis of Faith During Troubles
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

The surgery was a success and I am confident that the outlook for both boys is very good. Nevertheless, this time around I have experienced a crisis of faith.

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Centering Prayer
When you are in pain...
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

When you are in pain, can you still practice the Welcoming Prayer if you take pain pills and/or tranquilizers?

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Welcoming Prayer