Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer

  • Faith And Beliefs—The Prayer Of Faith by Brother David Steindl-Rast
    From: Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer The faith of the heart, our primordial faith, is something we have all experienced in our peak moments of aliveness.  How did we experience it?  As simple trust, as confidence: trust in life; confidence that we won’t be let down.  At those moments, when we live from our heart, we are in touch with the heart of things.  Spontaneously we realize: “There is faithfulness at the heart of all things,” as Oscar Cullmann put it so well.  Spoken or [...]
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POETRY: For M. On A Cold Grey Morning by Thomas Merton

A grey good morning and rain And melting snow Far from any help Or love, I am warmer At least wanting you. Sorry in the grey Weather without lights Far from any other center I nurse one inner lamp Our common need Which is our common presence It burns alone And still In the wet dark and for us, [...]

Music

  • Music and the Landscape of the Soul Two
    From: Music As Prayer During this time of economic distress I find myself reading the business section of the newspaper with a degree of interest I have never before taken in such matters.  Being a rank amateur when it comes to economics and often puzzled by the technical terms, I plow through [...]

Angels

  • Divine Reminders by Martin Shannon
    From: All God’s Angels We were being pounded by the storm so violently that on the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard, and on the third day with their own hands they threw the ship’s tackle overboard.  When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest raged, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned. Since they had been without food for a [...]

Mysticism

  • Frances Caryll Houselander
    From Crisis Magazine In the midst of all the shouting it can be extremely difficult to hear the voices of spiritually powerful women who have come to terms with Holy Mother Church. Such women have found in the church, in their own femininity as well as in hers, a deep and satisfying sacramentality. One such voice is that of the lay spiritual theologian Caryll Houselander. Both her substantial [...]

Psalm poetry

  • The King of Love my Shepherd Is by Henry W. Baker
    The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness [...]

Psalms

  • The Character And Structure Of Book One by W. Robert Godfrey
    From Learning to Love the Psalms The realism of the Psalter in facing the great difficulties of the Christian life is one of its most appealing and refreshing features.  The psalms don’t sugarcoat the life of faith.  They state problems and struggles openly and clearly.  The serious emotions evoked by the disappointments, pains, and frustrations of life are expressed strongly and honestly.  At the same time, the psalms present powerful responses of faith.  Over and over in Book One, [...]

Mystic poetry

Wisdom

  • Saint Francis And The Wolf by Nathalie Leone
    From: Christian Stories of Wisdom Francis loved animals.  He saw a sacred link between animals and men and spoke to all his brothers in the same way, whether they were feathered or furred, and whether they walked upright or on all fours. One day Francis was on his way to the abbey of Gubbio.  He walked at a brisk pace, leading his donkey by its bridle.  Just as he began to see the towers of the abbey coming into view above the trees, his path was blocked by some peasants. “Brother Francis, [...]

Spiritual formation

  • Holiness Made Easy by Jean-Pierre de Caussade
    From The Joy of Full Surrender I believe that if those who are seriously striving after holiness were instructed as to the conduct they ought to follow they would be spared a good deal of trouble.  I speak as much of laypersons as of religious.  If the former (that is, laypersons) could realize the merit concealed in the actions of each moment of the day – I mean in each of the daily duties and actions belonging to their state of life – and if the latter (that is, those who are members of [...]

Virtues

  • Freedom From Within (Detachment) by Gary L. Thomas
    From: The Glorious Pursuit If you desire to undertake a devout life, you must not only cease to sin, but also cleanse your heart from all affections to sin.  Souls that are recovered from the state of sin, and still retain these affections, eat without joy, and drag themselves along rather than walk.  They do good, but with such a spiritual heaviness that it takes away all the grace from their good exercises. (Francis de Sales) For me, the saddest flowers in all the world will always be [...]

Come, Creator Spirit

  • The Paraclete, A "Person" by Raniero Cantalamessa
    From: Come, Creator Spirit “Paraclete” is the title that most clearly expresses the personal character of the Holy Spirit.  Using that title, the author of the hymn takes us a decisive step forward in contemplating the Holy Spirit.  If by the term, “Creator,” he affirmed that the Spirit was by nature divine, now by the term “Paraclete” he affirms that the Spirit is also a divine person.  The other titles and symbols of the Spirit – water, fire, love, and the very name [...]

True Devotion to the Holy Spirit

  • Your Soul's Supreme Director by Luis M. Martinez
    From True Devotion to the Holy Spirit The soul’s delightful Guest does not remain idle in his intimate sanctuary.  Being, as the church calls him, fire and light.  He hardly takes possession of the soul before his beneficent influence extends itself to the whole being and begins with divine activity its work of transformation. The Holy Spirit lives in the center of the soul, in that profound region of the will where he himself has diffused charity.  And from that center, he pours [...]

Spirituality

  • Divine Presents, The Sacramental Mysteries—The Sacramental Mystery of Baptism by Gregory Collins
    From Meeting Christ in His Mysteries O useful element and clear! My sacred wash and cleanser here, My first consigner unto those Fountains of life, where the Lamb goes! What sublime truths and wholesome themes, Lodge in thy mystical, deep streams! Such as dull man can never find Unless that Spirit lead his mind, Which first upon thy face did move, And hatched all with his quick’ning love. (Henry Vaughan) In holy scripture this mystery has such an overwhelming significance that a great [...]

20th Century Roman Catholic Spirituality

  • Four Prayers by Frances Caryll Houselander
    Descend, Holy Spirit of Life! Come down into our hearts, that we may live. Descend into emptiness, that emptiness may be filled. Descend into the dust, that the dust may flower. Descend into the dark, that the light may shine in the darkness. Amen. Be born in us, Incarnate Love. Take our flesh and blood, and give us your humanity; take our eyes, and give us your vision; take our minds, and give us your pure thought; take our feet and set them in your path; take our hands, and fold them in your [...]

A Quote From Thomas Merton

The contemplative life, which must not be construed as an escape from time and matter, from social responsibility and from the life of sense, but rather, as an advance into solitude and the desert, a confrontation with poverty and the void, a renunciation of the empirical self, in the presence of death, and nothingness, in order to overcome the ignorance and error that spring from the fear of “being nothing.”  The man who dares to be alone can come to see that the “emptiness” and “usefulness” which the collective mind fears and condemns are necessary conditions for the encounter with truth.

Psalm 3

Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.

 

2 Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.

 

3 But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.

 

4 I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.

 

5 I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.

 

6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.

 

7 Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.

 

8 Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.