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

Q: In part my question relates to receptivity and trusting the process of Centering Prayer....What if I persist in Centering Prayer but don’t receive any tangible guidance, and have time continue to pass but still feel that I’m unsure of how to change or what to do about these circumstances that have been frustrating me so much?

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

Q:  I am hoping to get some direction for myself and a community I work with.  I have schizo-affective mental illness, ...  Meds never controls that aspect of our lives completely.  We are hoping to find a safe and effective way to embrace silence and solitude for a part of our recovery process.    The challenge for us is that stillness and quiet leads to very disturbing hallucinations that we are all at varying degrees of knowing how to deal with.

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Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina
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
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
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
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico Archive: Related to Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q. Can you provide a connection for me between Centering Prayer and The Cloud of Unknowing?

A. :  I would recommend you study the pamphlet on Centering Prayer by Fr. Thomas Keating...

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Discerning Decisions in Retirement
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico Read More. Contemplative Spirituality, 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
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
Back to Basics
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

I heard at the CO September 2017 conference that Fr. Thomas is emphasizing a return to the basics.  What does this mean in your view?

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Contemplative Spirituality, Father Thomas Keating
Centering Prayer and Grief
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I would like to share with you something I experienced during my sit. I have been practiced Centering Prayer for 15 years, but the last year I have had great difficulty just doing it. I knew something was going to come up...

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Centering Prayer
Having a Vital Relationship with Christ
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I have been practicing Centering Prayer for ten years.  The grace of really knowing that I am loved by God has been given to me.  I am certain that at the moment of my death I will throw myself on God's mercy, and all will be well.  I will be with God for eternity.  However, recently a priest told me that I am guilty of the sin of presumption.  I don't understand...

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
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
Centering Prayer During Times of Unrest
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Extreme injustices and inflicted cruelty are buried in people's lives.  When these experiences arise (often unexpectedly) as a response to the asking participation in one's own spiritual journey, it is advised to slow down the evacuation process.  How does this affect a daily Centering Prayer practice?  We cannot take away another's hurt or suffering.  When one can't even quiet to sit for Centering Prayer during these times of unrest, from the contemplative point of view, what can we suggest? 

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Centering Prayer
Approaching Clergy about Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  What are the best means of getting your local priest involved in Centering Prayer?

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Centering Prayer
Monkey Mind on Extended Retreat
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I have been on many extended 8 - 10 retreats. On them I always have trouble going to sleep. The monkey mind is relentless! On my recent 10 day retreat at Snowmass, it got worse as the retreat progressed...

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Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina
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
Lectio Divina and Attuning to the Spirit
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: Recently I attended a poetry gathering … The young man who teaches poetry used Lectio Divina as a method to find interpretation of the poetry and called it that. If he had called it repetition and discernment, perhaps I would not have had difficulty with it. However, he did not use Scripture but secular poetry. I did some research on Lectio Divina and found that it is misused in many contexts and by different faith structures. Would you please comment on the use of Lectio Divina?

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Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, Contemplative Spirituality
In his book, Open Mind, Open Heart, Fr. Keating says that divine union is not a free ticket to happiness in this life...Can you please explain...
Fr. Carl
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: In his book, Open Mind, Open Heart, Fr. Keating says that divine union is not a free ticket to happiness in this life; that some people are left with mental/emotional/physical issues that they "suffer for some unknown purpose for the good of the whole human family." Can you please explain what this means?

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Contemplative Spirituality
God as Divine Therapist
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: Fr. Keating, in his book Intimacy with God and elsewhere, develops the idea - the image - of God as Divine Therapist. Yet Fr. Keating also argues that we must not have or hold on to an image of God. How can this contradiction be reconciled?

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality, Father Thomas Keating
Motivations and Service
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  In the past year I've have fully realized the Martha in me and my false-self motivations that permeated years of ministry.  By God's grace the Illuminative way is proceeding but I am challenged by Pope Francis’ call to move out and serve the marginalized.  ....  How do I discern if authentic or false-self stirrings are at work?

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Contemplative Spirituality
Guiding New Practitioners
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: While debriefing the 20 minute prayer practice as part of the Centering Prayer Introductory Workshop, two participants shared experiences about which I would like some advice. One mentioned going in his "space" of a blue aura, which he recounted as the place where he infrequently experienced a special nearness of God. As he recounted it, it sounded like he was working hard to get into that space....

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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

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