Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer

  • Faith And Beliefs—The Faithfulness At The Heart Of All Things by Brother David Steindl-Rast
    From: Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer The idea behind all this [living by the Word of God means feeding on it] is one of the deepest insights in the Bible: God speaks.  What does this mean?  It is image language, of course.  But what experience stands behind the idea that God speaks?  It is the experience of listening with our heart.  For there is an aspect to that experience which we overlook all too easily.  When we truly listen with the heart, we do not merely overhear something that [...]
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POETRY: Thirst by Mary Oliver

Another morning and I wake with thirst for the goodness I do not have. I walk out to the pond and all the way God has given us such beautiful lessons. Oh Lord, I was never a quick scholar but sulked and hunched over my books past the hour and the bell; grant me, in your mercy, a little more time. [...]

Music

  • Children Of Process by Thomas H. Troeger
    From: Music As Prayer When I was a teenager, I studied the flute with one of the instrument’s great teachers, John Oberbrunner.  I learned all the Handel sonatas and then all the Bach sonatas.  I played most of them in church services, and later in recitals during my college years.  But [...]

Angels

  • Worship God by Martin Shannon
    From: All God’s Angels The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place; he made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.  Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and who keep what [...]

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

  • In Pilgrim Life Our Rest by Edwin Sandys
    For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled. Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to [...]

Psalms

  • Psalm 8 by W. Robert Godfrey
    From Learning to Love the Psalms Psalm 8 is another song of David, but it is very different from Psalm 3.  Psalm 8 is one of the small number of psalms in Book One that do not express distress on the part of God’s people.  Instead, it represents a psalm that celebrates the great creative work of God.  The psalmist uses this celebration of the glory and power of God as a way to build confidence in God. The focus in the psalm is very much on God and his splendor.  Again, the form of the [...]

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

  • Hear My Voice by Pope John Paul II
    To you, creator of nature and humanity, of truth and beauty, I pray: Hear my voice, for it is the voice of the victims of all wars and violence among individuals and nations. Hear my voice, for it is the voice of all children who suffer and who will suffer when people put their faith in weapons and war. Hear my voice when I beg you to instill into the hearts of all human beings the vision of peace, the strength of justice, and the joy of fellowship. Hear my voice, for I speak for the multitudes [...]

A Quote From Thomas Merton

The love of solitude is sometimes condemned as “hatred of our fellow men.”  But is this true?  If we push our analysis of collective thinking a little further we will find that the dialectic of power and need, of submission and satisfaction, ends by being a dialectic of hate.  Collectivity needs not only to absorb everyone it can, but also implicitly to hate and destroy whoever cannot be absorbed.  Paradoxically, one of the needs of collectivity is to reject certain classes, or races, or groups, in order to strengthen its own self-awareness by hating them instead of absorbing them.

Psalm 8

Psalm 8: O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the Earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

 

2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

 

3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

 

4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

 

5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor.

 

6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:

 

7 All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;

 

8 The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.

 

9 O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the Earth!