Vol. 11 No. 3 MARCH 1997
If you knew the gift of God
In Lent we should learn again that our whole attitude to prayer will always depend on our idea of God. Ruth Burrows (Sister Rachel of the Quidenham Carmel), author of many books, including the recent Living in Mystery (Sheed & Ward), insists here that our approach to prayer changes once we believe 'in God's absolute unconditional love, not in a notional way but in one which transforms our attitudes and whole approach to life'.
Prayer as the realisation of presence
Robert P. Imbelli
In prayer we face up to the joys and sorrows of everyday life. Robert Imbelli, who is a priest in the Archdiocese of New York and associate professor of systematic theology at Boston College, shows how it is in prayer that we bring to these daily concerns 'the heartfelt desire of finding them transformed by the presence of God in Jesus Christ'.
Learning from the charismatics
Bishop Ambrose Griffiths OSB
We may need to experience different kinds of prayer on our journey to God. Ambrose Griffiths, who has been monk, priest, abbot and is now Bishop of Hexam and Newcastle, describes his discovery of charismatic prayer and how it has helped very many people grow in their relationship with God. 'But it should never be assumed that this is the only, or best,way to pray.'
Do you pray the psalms?
Edmund Hill OP
Some people have difficulty in using the prayer of the Church (known also as the Liturgy of the Hours, the Divine Office or the breviary) and especially the psalms. Edmund Hill, an English Dominican and author of several books of theology, including Prayer, Praise and Politics, helps us to deal with these difficulties so that 'the Church's "formal, official prayer", rooted both in the scriptures and in the tradition of the Fathers' may really nourish our spiritual life.
The spirituality of the diocesan priest
In learning to pray, how dependent is the priest on his congregation? Brian O'Sullivan, Parish Priest of the Assumption of Our Lady, Englesfield Green, Surrey, and past Chairman of the National Conference of Priests of England and Wales, describes how he gradually found a new spirituality which was closely linked to the laity. 'As we lead them in prayer and especially in the liturgy of the Eucharist and sacraments we receive with, and even from, the people, the gifts we bring to them.'
Prayerways in the parish
How can a parish deepen its life of prayer? John Udris, who is Parish Priest of St Theresa's, Beaconsfield, Bucks., offers some guidance among the different methods of prayer which may satisfy the the diffrent needs of parishioners.
Preaching and teaching the Word
Vicky Cosstick, who is director of Pastoral Formation at Allen Hall Seminary , London, gives a commentary on the lectionary readings for the Sundays of April. These reflections are also offered as an RCIA resource and include group discussion material for the post-Easter 'mystagogia' period.
What is Celtic spirituality?
Gilbert Markus OP
Gilbert Markus, who is the Catholic chaplain to Strathclyde University and has, with Thomas Clancy, recently written Iona: the earliest poetry of a Celtic monastery (Edinburgh University Press), in this article looks at three recently published works that have emerged from what he calls the 'booming Celtophile Industry' and asks some questions.
Postscript: In the name of the fathers
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