Posts

Chapter 11 [final post]

For March 26 NB: This is the last chapter that we shall present. But there follows an Appendix, titled "Florilegium," which is a collection or chain of beautiful, prayerful quotations from saints and spiritual writers. 11. Then We Shall Be Like Him Read the following digest of quotations. Then reflect upon the questions further below. Quotations "He thirsts for us! That is how much He loves us. He loves us in our thirst, and He loves us with an even more intense thirst than ours. Therefore... it is so helpful in prayer just to let Him love us." (286) "The more personal a relationship is, the more interior, the more capable of increasingly deeper love it is." (288) "This side of death, even [a] profoundly gracious relationship is still filled with a painful longing, a longing that is as deep as it is loving. Our likeness to Him is beyond comprehension now, yet that likeness constitutes the deepest heart of ourselves." (291) "God's provide

Chapter 10

 For March 19 10. CHARISMATIC PRAYER Read the following digest of quotations. Then reflect upon the questions further below. Quotations "[In 1 Cor 12] St Paul groups the spiritual gifts into two categories--those which build up the one praying and those which build up the Church. He places a preference on those which build up the Church." (260) "When [through prayer with the spirit ] we enter a long period of prayer and afterwards cannot speak about anything that happened because it was not prayer with the mind , we can feel very silly and unproductive.... In my human poverty, I must learn to accept prayer that seems useless, leaving me with nothing to show for it." (264, 265; italics added) "There have been many analyses and studies of the Catholic charismatic renewal throughout those decades and extensive support from the Holy See, which has acknowledged both the value of the renewal as well as the need for ecclesial supervision and discernment." (266) &

Chapter 9

For March 12 CHAPTER 9. Devotional Prayers Read the following digest of quotations. Then reflect upon the questions further below. Quotations "The repeated invocation of a verse of Scripture.... became a response to the desire to live out the command of St. Paul to pray without ceasing (1 Thess 5:17). Over time, the single verse from Psalm 70 ['God, come to my assistance. Lord, make haste to help me'] was replaced with a variant of the publican's prayer, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!' (Luke 18:13). The name of Jesus was inserted, and several variants emerged, such as "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner..." (232) "Each decision to focus on God by rejecting other thoughts is a concrete act of love for God. Slowly this prayer exercise opens the heart to God's grace and can lead to the experience known as the 'warming of the heart.'" (236) "The approach of the Jesus prayer to ignore extraneous thoughts

Chapter 8

For March 5 CHAPTER 8. Prayer with Word and Sacrament Read the following digest of quotations. Then reflect upon the questions further below. Quotations "... because the liturgy is always efficacious, ex opere operato , the mere presence of the faithful with Jesus exposed in the monstrance has a profound effect on renewing the Church and transforming the world." (211) "Our time in Eucharistic adoration always includes a dimension of longing." (214) "[Guigo the Carthusian] described lectio divina  as a form of prayer that involved four stages: lectio (reading), meditatio (meditation),  oratio (prayer), and contemplatio  (contemplation). The basic movement is to start with Scripture ( lectio ), and it will lead you gradually to rest in a loving union with God ( contemplatio )." (219) "... we want to approach our reading of Scripture in a way that lets God reveal Himself to us on His terms.... We can do this best if we read slowly and savor the words. It

Chapter 7

For February 26 CHAPTER 7. Liturgical Prayer: Mass, Other Sacraments, Liturgy of the Hours Read the following digest of quotations. Then reflect upon the questions further below. Quotations "In the Liturgy, we are lifted up into heaven, we are united with the saints in praise of God, and we share their inheritance already through the virtue of hope." (187) "On the other hand, the liturgy can be disappointingly simple, grounded in the bland experience of our poor, human limitations. We are sleepy, distracted; we misspeak the words or even struggle with the language; we accidentally omit certain parts of embarrassingly repeat others. Sometimes it feels like an entirely ordinary experience with little real impact..." (189) "...we are invited and urged to bring our full humanity into the celebration of the Sacraments. We are invited to stir our minds to recognize, in faith, the heavenly realities present in the Liturgy. We also repeatedly make the choice to be pres

Chapter 6

For February 19 CHAPTER 6. Poverty (155-83) Read the following digest of quotations. Then reflect upon the questions further below. Quotations "Even if we ... let God into some parts of our lives, we may struggle to let Him into the deeper parts. In fact simply finding the deeper parts of our interior lives can be challenging for us. What do the deeper parts look like? How do we find them? How do we bring God into them and bring them into God?" (156) "[We develop something like a] 'default' position.... This default position becomes a refuge in us when we are stunned, hurt, discouraged, disappointed or feel a lack of love or a lack of response. It is a place we fall back into when we do not receive the love we want or when we experience unrequited love." (159) "There is a kind of war that rages within us, a microcosm of the war between heaven and hell spoken of in the Book of Revelation" (165) "In self-justification, we pretend that it's o

Chapter 5

  For February 12 CHAPTER 5. Praying to a Hidden God (125-53) Read the following digest of quotations. Then reflect upon the questions further below. Quotations "Because God is infinite, because He is not locatable to be found or seen in space and time, he can only be seen in the darkness of my senses, both exterior (the five senses) and even interior (the imagination and memory). God is hidden because He is greater than these and cannot be contained, localized, or objectified in a finite way, and He is only available to faith which sees in darkness, sees in secret." (132) "The Eternal Son of God became Incarnate in order to let us see ourselves in Him. The Son is the image of the invisible God, the Father, who sees Himself in the Son (Col 1:15). Out of His bountiful love He created human beings capable of knowing and loving Him. So that we could see Him and see ourselves in Him, He became flesh." (131) "God is hidden [among other things] in order to draw us in