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Centering Prayer: Renewing an Ancient…

Centering Prayer: Renewing an Ancient Christian Prayer Form

by Basil Pennington

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    Centering Prayer and the Healing of the Unconscious by Fr. Murchadh O Madagain (wrmjr66)
    wrmjr66: A lesser known work that branches off of Pennington's writing.

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It is with great joy that I accompany the author into the communion of those saints who have mentored both of us; Thomas Merton, to whom he attributes the term, "Centering", Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, Thomas Keating, Edward Hays, the unnamed author of the ancient classic, "The Cloud of Unknowing", among others. His broad acquaintance with spiritual persons sharing the blessing of praying interiorly introduces many others as well. Having recently purchased the hard cover 1980 edition I'm reminded that, had I read it in its entirety 20 years ago, I would have been fascinated, but unable to grasp the metaphoric descriptions of this indescribable form of prayer. A couple of years ago, after years of trying to "make contemplation work", I settled into the prayer phrase, "Gracious Lord, I surrender to your care." I cannot pinpoint the hour during which God's hug enveloped me to allow the holy privilege of slipping silently into Center, but I recognize that it was entirely the work of God, and not of my dogged determination. Because of the many workshops Pennington has conducted, the last section of the book in response to questions raised both by puzzled and skeptical participants echoed many of my own. Perhaps the question section is the place to begin, because the longings expressed therein may remind all of us of our beginnings. I sense those spiritual mothers and fathers smiling as I realize that intense longing is a Grace, a Gift, and as I discovered, a Promise as well.
(Amazon reviewer)
  societystf | Apr 5, 2016 |
This has been one of those "basic" books that help us understand that prayer is so much more than a laundry list of requests to God. Prayer is listening. Prayer is being in touch with the Creator. Prayer is allowing God to come and be present in silence and in power. ( )
1 vote roydknight | Jul 22, 2007 |
Finally an approach to prayer that assumes communication with the Almighty is much more than just babbling your want-list and repeating rote liturgies. Finally an approach to Christian prayer that realizes that the rewards of prayer ARE in fact prayer itself.

If you are buddhist oriented Christian, this is the book for you, for it will aid in your practice, yet help you maintain your sense of being a Child of Christ. ( )
  Arctic-Stranger | Mar 13, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385181795, Paperback)

The practice of prayer and meditation in modern Western Christianity is rooted in the Eastern tradition of early Church prayer as well as the wisdom of early Church fathers. In Centering Prayer, M. Basil Pennington, the author of the highly acclaimed Daily We Touch Him, returns to these roots, offering contemporary Christians a new approach to ancient prayer forms.

Pennington combines the best of the Eastern spiritual exercises (such as the Jesus Prayer) with a spirituality for today's world. Addressing the obstacles that discourage people from praying well, he explains how to relax for prayer, how to listen to and be directed by the Other, and how to handle the pain and distractions that can stifle attempts to communicate with God. Centering Prayer has sold more than a quarter million copies since it was first published in 1982. In this eminently practical book, simple, inspiring instructions will help readers find the comfort and the guidance they seek through prayer.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:47 -0400)

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