Quote for the Day

Stand guard over your spirit, keeping it free of concepts at the time of prayer so that it may remain in its own deep calm. Thus he who has compassion on the ignorant will come to visit even such an insignificant person as yourself. That is when you will receive the most glorious gift of prayer. — Evagrius Ponticus, Chapters on Prayer, 69 … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

As I understand it, the soul whom the Lord has been pleased to lead into this Mansion will do best to act as I have said. Let it try, without forcing itself or causing any turmoil, to put a stop to all discursive reasoning, yet not to suspend the understanding, nor to cease from all thought, though it is well for it to remember that it is in God's presence and Who this God is. If feeling this should lead it into a state of absorption, well and good; but it should not try to understand what this … [Read more...]

Giving Distractions to God

I'm reading a wonderful book by an Anglican deacon named Una Kroll; it's called Vocation to Resistance: Contemplation and Change. It's about how the contemplative life is, in essence, a life of resistance — choosing an alternative to the noisy, acquisitive, competitive, and violent nature of the world we live in. It's a charming and insightful read.I was thinking about quoting Kroll's insightful discussion of distractions during prayer, but to do her justice it would have to be a rather long q … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

What I am and how I am, in temperament and grace, I have received from you, Lord, and it's all you. I offer my self to you, first to praise you and then to help my brothers and sisters and my own self. —Anonymous, The Book of Privy Counsel, Carmen A. Butcher translation … [Read more...]

Is there such a thing as too many books?

I am trying to lose weight. Actually, I'm a good 15-18 pounds lighter than I was in November, when I first resolved to trim up. I'd still like to take another 20 pounds off, so I'm only about halfway to my goal. When people ask me how I've managed to lose the weight I've already taken off, I always shrug and say that I have no particular diet: my basic game plan is "eat less, move more." In other words, I try to be mindful of my portion sizes and I try to keep exercise and physical activity as a … [Read more...]

The meaning and purpose (and types) of prayer

A reader named Steven responded to my Wasting Time with God post by writing, in part: Carl, the terms "prayer," "contemplation," "meditation,"  "non-discursive contemplation," have been used in this conversation. I would very much like to understand how you would distinguish between them. Furthermore, I am trying to come to a deeper appreciation of the meaning and purpose of prayer. Forgive me for not getting too detailed in my response here, for two reasons: 1. it's late, and I want to get to … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

The prophetic voice and the spirit of inner prayer are not two alternative ways of Christian witness: they are inseparable in a healthy Christian life, and history shows that where they are not held together, both decay.— Kenneth Leech, Prayer and Prophecy: The Essential Kenneth Leech … [Read more...]


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