Contemplation and the Daily Office

A reader writes: I am a deep devotee of praying the Daily Office through morning and night. How do you think praying the set Divine Office affects more Contemplative prayer, and vice versa? Wonderful question. I believe that, from an orthodox Christian perspective, the Daily Office (Liturgy of the Hours) has a relationship to silent prayer similar to how a setting relates to a jewel. A talented jeweler, by properly setting a diamond, will only enhance the beauty and brilliance of the … [Read more...]

Memorizing the Office (or, at least, parts of it)

I recently listened to a recording I have of the Anglican theologian Kenneth Leech, when he spoke at an Episcopal Church here in Stone Mountain back in the mid-1990s. Leech is a true treasure, and I'm excited to note that a new anthology of his writings have been published: Prayer and Prophecy, the Essential Kenneth Leech (after I get my hands on a copy, I'll write a review of it). Anyway, when he spoke here in 1995, he made a comment that, listening to the recording now, I find inspiring, in … [Read more...]


I'm currently reading three books on prayer:Prayer: Conversing with God by Rosalind Rinker. A classic evangelical book from the 1950s about developing greater intimacy and faith in God through unscripted, conversational prayer. Praying Our Experiences by Joseph F. Schmidt. A guide to discerning the prayerful quality of all of life's journey, including our feelings and our struggle to know and discern truth. Prayerfulness by Robert J. Wicks. Prayer is not just something we do, it is an … [Read more...]

My Daily Horarium

A reader of this blog has asked me to comment on my own daily practice, especially in regard to these concerns:Word prayer (litanies and sorts) Rosary prayer Jesus prayer/prayer of the heart Psalm prayer Christian meditation/Centering prayer Daily Office Lectio Divina Participation in the sacramental life of the Church Bible reading Personal study Creative exercises (writing, painting, dancing...) Retreats and quiet days Fasting Waking & vigilance Works of mercy … [Read more...]

In Constant Prayer

In Constant Prayer (The Ancient Practices Series) By Robert Benson Foreword by Phyllis Tickle Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008 Review by Carl McColmanThomas Nelson's "Ancient Practices Series" brings together some of the most vibrant and interesting of contemporary Christian authors (like Brian McLaren and Scot McKnight) to explore some of the venerable ways in which early Christians expressed their faith — not as some sort of museum piece, but to commend these ancient practices to the lovers of … [Read more...]