Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer

  • Contemplation And Leisure—The Sense of Measure by Brother David Steindl-Rast
    From: Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer Stonehenge, the mysterious monument in England, more than three and a half thousand years old, is a circular arrangement of enormous rock pillars.  There are scores of them up to thirty feet in height and fifty tons in weight.  No one knows by what ingenious means they were moved to this place from a quarry twenty miles away or how they were capped with huge slabs of rock for lintels.  No one is even sure who accomplished this feat.  Neither the ideas [...]
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WISDOM STORY: The Desert And The Locust by Nathalie Leone

From: Christian Stories of Wisdom A young monk who had just reached the desert decided to consult an elder. “Father, I have been living here for one year and locusts have come six or seven times already.  You know what a scourge they are.  They infiltrate everything, enter the tents, slip [...]


  • The Freedom Of Constraint by Thomas H. Troeger
    From: Music As Prayer There are notes our voices cannot reach and our instruments cannot play.  Even the king of instruments is not the king of every sound.  Any one organ has only so many pipes.  To sing or to play music is to experience [...]



  • In The Stillness Of The Night by Martin Shannon
    From: All God’s Angels Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way.  When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.  Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly.  [...]



  • Richard Rolle—The Fire Of Love, Introduction by Bernard McGinn
    Introduction from Fire of Love The four great English mystics of the fourteenth century – Richard Rolle, Walter Hilton, Julian of Norwich, and the anonymous author of The Cloud of Unknowing – though in doctrine as in time they are closely related to one another, yet exhibit in their surviving works strongly marked and deeply interesting diversities of temperament.  Rolle, the romantic and [...]

Celtic spirituality

  • Beloved, It Is Morn by Emily Henrietta Hickey
    Beloved, it is morn! A redder berry on the thorn, A deeper yellow on the corn, For this good day new-born. Pray, Sweet, for me That I may be Faithful to God and thee. Beloved, it is day! And lovers work, as children play, With heart and brain [...]


Psalm poetry

The Holy Spirit

Mystic poetry

Scott Cairns

  • Another Song by Scott Cairns
    Most mornings I wake up slowly. That’s just the way I am. I wake up slow as I can, listening first to one thing, then another. The milk bottles chiming just outside the door, then the milktruck idling in the street. If I’m lucky, the girl through the wall will be singing and I’ll [...]

Emily Dickinson

  • A loss of something ever felt I— by Emily Dickinson
    A loss of something ever felt I— The first that I could recollect Bereft I was—of what I knew not Too young that any should suspect A Mourner walked among the children I notwithstanding went about As one bemoaning a Dominion Itself the only Prince cast out— Elder, Today, a session wiser And [...]

Denise Levertov

  • On Being by Denise Levertov
    I know this happiness is provisional: the looming presences— great suffering, great fear— withdraw only into peripheral vision: but ineluctable this shimmering of wind in the blue leaves: this flood of stillness widening the lake of sky: this need to dance, this need to kneel: this [...]

Spiritual formation

  • The Work Of Making Us Holy
    From The Joy of Full Surrender If the work of making us holy seems such a hard and impossible task, it is because we do not have the right idea of what it truly is. In truth, holiness consists of one single thing: faithfulness to the will of God. Now, this faithfulness is within the reach of everyone, whether it calls for active or passive practice of our faith. Active faithfulness means fulfilling the duties that are ours by the general laws of God and of the church, or by our particular state [...]
  • The Beautiful Spirit (Humility, Part Two) by Gary L. Thomas
    From: The Glorious Pursuit Humility is the bloom and the beauty of holiness. (Andrew Murray) Unless we make the increase of humility our study, we may find that we have been delighting in beautiful thoughts and feelings, in solemn acts of consecration and faith, while the only sure mark of the presence of God – the disappearance of self – was all the time wanting. (Andrew Murray) Following the stunning victory at Yorktown, the American colonies seemed determined to clutch defeat out of the [...]


  • Divine Presents—The Sacramental Mysteries, Introduction by Gregory Collins
    From Meeting Christ in His Mysteries In this sacramental dispensation of Christ’s mystery, the Holy Spirit acts in the same way as at other times in the economy of salvation: he prepares the church to encounter her Lord; he recalls and makes Christ manifest to the faith of the assembly.  By his transforming power he makes the mystery of Christ present here and now.  Christian liturgy not only recalls the events that saved us but actualizes them, makes them present.  The paschal [...]

Celtic Christianity

  • A Hermit's Desire attributed to Saint Kevin
    I wish, ancient and eternal King, to live in a hidden hut in the wilderness. A narrow blue stream beside it, and a clear pool for washing away my sins by the grace of the Holy Spirit. A beautiful wood all around, where birds of every kind of voice can grow up and find shelter. Facing southwards to catch the sun, with fertile soil around it suitable for every kind of plant. And virtuous young men to join me, humble and eager to serve you. Twelve young men – three fours, four threes, two sixes, [...]

Psalm 95

O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.

3 For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

4 In his hand are the deep places of the Earth: the strength of the hills is his also.

5 The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.

6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.

7 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today if ye will hear his voice,

8 Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.

10 Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:

11 Unto whom I swear in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.

A Quote From Thomas Merton

May God keep us for himself alone in silence and prayer, a life of obscure suffering and devotion to him in the humblest things.