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2-Establishing a Practice

Title and Description
 Media Ideas for Using in a Group
Too Deep for Word, Rediscovering Lectio Divina with 500 Scripture Texts for Prayer by Thelma Hall, r.c.

 BookThe book includes 500 scripture text for prayer by theme which helps in selecting Lectio text to use in your group.  There are 50 different themes including anxiety, compassion, forgiveness, Lent, service, etc.

Lectio Divina brochures can be provided for group members.  You can also borrow the Lectio Divina DVD (32 minutes) by Fr. Carl Arico.

 The Better Part, Stages of Contemplative Living by Thomas Keating

"In the deep rest of contemplative prayer the human body receives permission, so to speak, to evacuate the emotional junk of a lifetime.  In other words, we have a psychological tummy filled with emotional traumas.  We are like persons sitting for ten, twenty, thirty, or forty years, on a meal that we never digested.... What we need to do is heal our psychological indigestion is a thorough evacuation of the emotional trauma itself.  That requires a willingness to feel the primitive emotions of grief, fear, panic, despair, or whatever emotions accompanied the traumatic events... of early life.  In the purification of the unconscious this healing takes place through the process of contemplative prayer.  Contemplative prayer gradually brings about the liberation of whatever presents the presence of God from becoming a part our constant awareness.

 The Human Condition by Thomas Keating

"The spiritual journey," writes Thomas Keating, "is not a career or a success story.  It is a series of humiliations of the false self that becomes more and more profound.  These make room inside us for the Holy Spirit to come in and heal.  What prevents us from being available to God is gradually evacuated.  We keep getting closer and closer to our center.  Every now and then God lifts  a corner of the veil and enters into our new awareness through various channels, as if to say, 'Here I am.  Where are you?  Come and join me.'"
Psalms for Prayer    An Invitation to Wholeness by Nan C. Merrill

"A rework of the Book of Psalms in a loving, contemplative manner ..."

"May it stand as a companion, a dialogue, if you will, of one age speaking with a later age.  May it serve as an invitation to listen to the Voice of Silence that speaks within your own soul."

 Book Read a Psalm or part of a Psalm just before a  Centering Prayer sit.
 Finding Grace at the Center  The Beginning of Centering Prayer by M. Baisl Pennington, Thomas Keating and Thomas E. Clark

Reflections and advice on Centering Prayer's possibilities--and its pitfalls--are presented with clarity and simplicity, with a vision of the deeper life of the soul that contemplative prayer can bring about.

 Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening by Cynthia Bourgeault

"A complete guidebook for all who wish to know the practice of Centering Prayer.  Cynthia Bourgeault goes further than offereing an introduction, however.  She examines how the practice is related to the classic tradition of Christian contemplation, looks at the distinct nuances of its method, and explores it revolutionary potential to transform Christian life.  Thoe book encourages dialogue between Centering Prayer enthusiasts and those classic institutions of Christian nurture - churches,seminaries, and schools of theology - that have yet to accept real ownership of the practice and its potential.

The Practices that Bring the Fruits of Centering Prayer into Daily Life

"There are many practices that help translate the effects of Centering Prayer into daily life.  Four of these practices are included in this set:

1.  Attention/intention by David Frenette (34 minutes)
2.  Lectio Divina by Fr. Carl Arico (32 minutes)
3.  Prayer of Forgiveness by St. Bernadette Teasdale (32 minutes)
4.  Welcoming Prayer
      a. The Human Condition with Sr. Bernadette Teasdale (23 min)
      b. The Welcoming Prayer Practice with Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler
           (33 minutes)

DVD Each DVD can be used to introduce a new practice to your Centering Prayer Group.  Also available to support these practices are the 40 Day Contemplative Life Booklets; brochures are available for Lectio Divina and The Welcoming Prayer.
 Contemplative Life Program, Year 2 "Dispositions"

The intention of this in-home program is to provide the tools, teachings and support necessary to live the contemplative dimension of the Gospel in everyday life.  The program assumes a current practice of Centering Prayer.  (Note that Year One is not a prerequisite for Year Two participation.

The topics for Year Two focus mostly on contemplative dispositions including:

  • Spirituality of Money
  • Contemplative Service
  • Silence and Solitude
  • Simplicity
  • Discipline of Prayer
  • Hospitality
  • Faith: An Advent Companion


The program is primarily designed for individual, in-home, daily use. However, more and more Centering Prayer group members are using the CLP as part of their group focus. In fact, it was part of the original conception of the CLP that it might be the focus of a group or community for an entire year, as it has great potential to build connection, belonging and spiritual deepening in a group setting.