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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 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 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 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 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 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 Integrity of the Teaching of the Centering Prayer Method
Fr. Thomas Keating
Voices of Community

The integrity of the teaching of the Centering Prayer method is presented in the four guidelines and its conceptual background as described in the Method of Centering Prayer brochure.

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Centering Prayer
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? ...

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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

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Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
The Maturation of the Sacred Word
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

During my Centering Prayer practice, I notice that my sacred word can change, become vague, become softer, a bit different, or more subtle, like there is no word, but only the energy. If I TRY for the word to become CLEAR, then I lose my practice and depth, and the word becomes a mantra -- something for attention, but not intention or surrender. Is that ok?

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Centering Prayer
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
The Original Blessing
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

... When I asked what made them want to be baptized by full immersion, I fully expected them to say “because they love God”; instead the reply was a simple childish “so we don’t have to go to the H—- place." I was shocked and didn’t know how to respond in a simple explanation, without undermining their parent's faith. How can I explain one-ness and original blessing to them?

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
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.

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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?

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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...

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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?

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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.

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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?

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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
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 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...

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
The Song in Our Hearts
Rae England
Voices of Community

In the spring of 2002, we brought a young man from Kosovo to Dallas to be fitted with a prosthetic.  He had been living in England where he was expecting to receive immigrant status when the war broke out in his country.  “I couldn’t stand by and see my family in danger without doing something to help”, he told me and so he returned to Kosovo. 

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The Soul and the True Self
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I am currently wrestling with various concepts and definitions and how they fit together. When it comes to the false self and the true self I find the glossary at the back of the Intimacy with God book helpful. However does the soul equate with the true self or not?

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Contemplative Spirituality, Father Thomas Keating
The Story of My Surrender
Grace Sutherland
Voices of Community

 

In his book, Invitation To Love, Thomas Keating writes:

"On the spiritual Journey there is usually someone in our family, our business or in our community whom we cannot endure, someone who has a genius for bringing out the worst in us. No matter what we do we cannot seem to improve the relationship.

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
The Story of the Cloak: A legend Attributed to St. Bridget, Patroness of Ireland, circa 452 – 525
Fionnuala Quinn, OP
Voices of Community

As the story is told, Brigid went to the King of Leinster to tell him she needed land upon which to build a monastery.

"You do, you do," replied the king. "How much do you need?"

"We need only the land my cloak will cover – no more," she answered.

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality, Father Thomas Keating
The Time of Lent
Kathleen Stevenson
Voices of Community

Lent a time to start over
      a time to take stock
         a time to see the truth
            a time to lay it all down 

Kathleen Stevenson,  Murrells Inlet, SC

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