Five Essential Dimensions of Christian Prayer

Deepen Your Intimacy with God through Each of these Ways of Praying

I talk a lot about silent prayer in this blog, which is understandable considering that my focus is on contemplative prayer, which the Catholic Catechism describes as “wordless prayer.” As important as silence is to contemplative and mystical forms of prayer, it’s only one of five essential dimensions of Christian prayer. In this post I look at […]

Seven Blessings of Silent Prayer

Why Contemplation Matters — For All People of Faith

Silent prayer — contemplative prayer, what the Catholic Catechism calls “wordless prayer in which mind and heart focus on God’s greatness and goodness in affective, loving adoration” — is an important element of a mature Christian spirituality. The Bible instructs us to “be still and know… God” (Psalm 46:10), and even promises us that “silence […]

Nine Ways to Foster a Contemplative Church

Christianity Needs to Affirm Silent Prayer at the Congregational Level

If you are the pastor of a church or parish, this post is for you. If you are not the pastor but are a member of a congregation, consider sharing this post with your pastor, especially if he or she is interested in silent prayer. Karl Rahner, the renowned 20th century Jesuit theologian, once wrote […]

Mindfulness and Contemplation

What's the Difference?

Recently a reader left the following comment on this blog: I have been reading and tried to practice the way of a contemplative life although poorly I believe. But my hunger for anything on the topic of contemplation continues. Recently I have also been enticed into “mindfulness” practices. Now what or how do you relation […]

Contemplation and Grieving

Photo by Fran McColman

A reader named Monika wrote the following comment and left it on one of my blog posts: I recently lost my husband of 49 years to a sudden brain tumor. I sold our home and cafe for economic reasons. I always wanted to live in quiet contemplation when the right time came. I think that it is […]

Contemplation and Conflict

I simply love this story of two desert fathers, which Thomas Merton recounts in his book The Wisdom of the Desert: There were two elders living together in a cell, and they had never had so much as one quarrel with one another. One therefore said to the other: Come on, let us have at […]

The Dazzling Darkness

Photo by Fran McColman

“There is in God (some say) A deep, but dazzling darkness” — Henry Vaughan “Truly, you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior.” — Isaiah 45:15 “Your brightness is my darkness. I know nothing of You and, by myself, I cannot even imagine how to go about knowing You. If I imagine You, […]