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Category Archives: Prayer
Scripture and Prayer – Listening Prayer
“Speak Lord; your servant is listening” 1 Sam 3:10
God speaks to us in many ways: nature, people, and events… In listening to God in prayer, we focus on Scripture as God’s word to me here and now. What the text meant to the original writers/ hearers, to others throughout history, may be helpful – but it can also distract from what God is saying to me now. We are not trying to preach mental sermons to ourselves, nor discover insights that will be helpful to others.
In any relationship, there is a great difference between hearing the words and really listening. So being attentive in this form of prayer is essential. Inner quiet, relaxation, attentiveness, total honesty: “God I feel bored, angry, excited, scared…”
Use only a small passage of scripture. This is not drinking beer it is sipping a liqueur. Taste God’s goodness. Ignatius of Loyola called this form of prayer an “application of the senses”. If you wish, you can use the same passage again and again, simplifying, returning to and resting at that point where you met God. Where God spoke to you. Savouring one phrase, one word. Resting “like a child quieted at its mother’s breast” (Ps 131:2)
On one of my bookshelves there are books by and about Carthusians, then Camaldolese, Cistercians, Benedictines, and Jesuits. It is a sort of spectrum. Teenagers would probably describe Carthusians as the most “hard out” monks – “hard core”.
The photograph I took above is of Le Grande Chartreuse, from where Carthusians take their name. It shows, in the center of the photo, receding towards the back, a row of two-up, two-down town-house like constructions, one for each Carthusian monk. Each has his own garden surrounded by a wall. They live alone. Together. Read more of this post