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Thursday January 31 – Prayer as Relationship
image courtesy of elpopophoto
Be still … and know
… God.
- Psalm 46: 11
"I would like to emphasize the fact that the spiritual journey has great difficulty in getting off to a good start if we are carrying with us a negative attitude towards God which will be like a ball and chain around our emotions, if not our feet. It's important to have a good idea of God. A good idea of God consists, of course, in trusting [God].
"… The whole syndrome of reward and punishment, in actual fact, belongs to an attitude towards God which springs from a fairly immature attitude that is normal for children but should have developed into a more mature vision in an adult if their religious education had been truly adequate. And the only way to make a religious education adequate is practice. That is to say, a discipline of prayer and action that awakens our whole being to the contemplative dimension of the Gospel, which is to be under the inspiration of the Spirit both in prayer and action.
" … With this in mind, let me turn your attention to the value of contemplative prayer and practice as an indispensable means for developing the contemplative dimension of the Gospel and those dispositions … [of] the self-in-God and God-in-us, which is the essential starting point in regard to a mature attitude and a spontaneous and energetic attitude as we commence the spiritual journey."
- Thomas Keating, excerpts from Monday's video
In Intimacy with God, Father Thomas says, "The Christian spiritual path is based on a deepening trust in God." Deepening trust in any relationship, including with God, is a process that takes time and commitment. The process moves us from acquaintanceship to friendliness to friendship, and ultimately, if we consent, to intimacy."
A Meditation
"The Christian tradition is the transmission of the relationship with the living God that Jesus experienced. Participation in his own consciousness of God as Abba is what Jesus called the Kingdom of God. This kingdom is not a geographical location, an institution, or a form of government. It is a state of consciousness and of enlightened faith. To enter it, the preconceived ideas and pre-packaged values that we brought with us from early childhood have to be re-evaluated and outgrown."
- Thomas Keating, Manifesting God
To Practice
- Reflect on these questions: How has your relationship with God changed or deepened with a Centering Prayer practice? Have the terms you use for God changed over time?

- Journey Group registration closes tomorrow, February 1.  This is a weekly, yearlong commitment, beginning the week of February 11. You may sign-up here for either an in-person or Zoom video group.  You will be asked to provide your first and second choice. If you have any questions, please reply to this email.  Final group rosters will be emailed next week.

Resources for Further Study:
You may wish to read Chapter 1, "Prayer as Relationship" in Manifesting God, by Thomas Keating.

An archive of previous emails may be found here.
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