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Note:

Hebrews 5:14 teaches that mature Christians should be capable of discerning between good and evil, between true doctrine and the
doctrine of devils. The teachings included below are intended to provide the diligent truth-seeker with a thorough understanding of this topic. We at Inquisitive Christianity do not endorse all of the content included in these teachings. After all, it is a rare gift to discover a teaching with which one has no disagreement. Nevertheless, we believe that these teachings offer valuable information for those who seek the truth and are spiritually mature enough to exercise discernment.

 

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Index:

 

Spiritual Formation  /  Contemplative Prayer

 

Thomas Keating: Prayer of Silence

 

 

Father Thomas Keating shares the nature of contemplative prayer. He explains that Matthew 6:6 is speaking of how our prayers ought to be secret from ourselves. The best prayer is when one doesn’t even realize he is praying.

Part 1 - Prayer of Silence  (26:26)

Part 2 - Prayer of Silence  (26:25)

 

 

What Is the Difference Between Meditation & Contemplation?
(4:02)

Dan Burke & Father John discuss the difference between meditation and contemplation.

 

 

Eric Nielsen: Piercing the Cloud of Unknowing Using Contemplative Prayer

 

Part 1 is about how distractions while using contemplative prayer to reach God-Consciousness are a normal part of the practice. The goal is to be persistent. The practitioner should simply follow the contemplative prayer instructions and let that be his only focus. He should never have God as the goal, or it will become a distraction. Following the instructions will empty the mind of distractions, and in a flash God will fill that space. Father Eric Nielsen encourages those who are afraid to stand before God or to enter his realm, saying that the individual and God have more in common than one may realize. Part 2 is about how to not have God as one’s goal in contemplative prayer. This is accomplished by filling one’s self with the feeling of contentment. The trick is to feel contentment without having an object of contentment. When this is done properly, one will be that much closer to reaching God-Consciousness.

Part 1 - Piercing the Cloud of Unknowing  (9:29)

Part 2 - Piercing the Cloud of Unknowing  (12:41)

 

 

Benedict Groeschel: Contemplative Prayer
(28:41)

 

Father Benedict Groeschel teaches about the Catechism and the Bible with an emphasis on prayer. His discussion of prayer is based on the premise that an essential condition of prayer is devotion--the belief that God is listening and cares for us. Father Groeschel discusses the various kinds of prayer, including a special emphasis on using Scripture when praying.

 

 

William Meninger: Contemplative Meditation
(46:05)

  

Father William Meninger tells how Christian mystical meditation, common with the 4th century Desert Fathers, is being renewed in today's hectic world. He explores contemplative prayer as presented in the 14th century book, The Cloud Of Unknowing and teaches the essence of experiencing greater spiritual union with God.

 

 

Martin Laird: Out of Silence Something Is Born that Leads to Silence Itself
(1:47:45)

Father Martin Laird is a renowned author and Professor of Early Christian Studies at Villanova University. In this lecture, he teaches that silence is porous and generous enough to receive both noise and no-noise. Silence forms the ground from which we see through the illusion of separation from God and are trained by the ordeals (depression, anxiety, despair) of life rooted in the Mystery in Whom we live and move and have our being.

 

 

Prayer Labyrinths

 

The Labyrinth: A Spiritual Journey
(9:26)

 

In celebration of World Labyrinth Day, Labyrinth Facilitator Jane Decker from St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Palm Beach Gardens Florida discusses how the Labyrinth can be a spiritual tool to help find God's peace. This video presents how to use the labyrinth to facilitate a spiritual journey which can bring peace and insight.

 

 

The Labyrinth
(5:42)

 

This is a video introduction to the labyrinth as a form of prayer.

 

 

Walking a Prayer Labyrinth
(3:03)

 

Learn more about the spiritual practice of walking a prayer labyrinth in this 3-minute video filmed at Laurelville's stone labyrinth on Sunset Hill.

 

 

How to Pray in a Labyrinth
(1:37)

 

For the National Day of Prayer, leaders from different faiths demonstrate how they pray. Terri Lynn Simpson, a labyrinth facilitator at the Washington National Cathedral, offers a type of prayer - walking through a labyrinth - that people of any religious persuasion can do. 

 

 

Lectio Divina

 

Oscar Joseph: Lectio Divina
 (8:24)

 

Lectio Divina is a time-honored practice among all faiths. It personalizes the text by focusing on the feeling of the text.

 

 

Thomas Keating: Lectio Divina
(1:00)

 

Father Thomas Keating teaches why lectio divina is more valuable than the exegisis of the Biblical text.

 

 

A Catholic Style of Bible Study: Lectio Divina

 

 

Karlo Broussard explains the ancient Christian practice of lectio divina in this final lesson from his teaching series "A Catholic Style of Bible Study."

Part 1 - A Catholic Style of Bible Study  (57:15)

Part 2 - A Catholic Style of Bible Study  (54:18)

 

 

How to Practice Lectio Divina in 7 Easy Steps
(7:25)

 

 

This video briefly overviews 7 steps to follow in order to practice lectio divina.