The Prayer of the Heart

Chapter Talks

In the gospel of today Jesus tells the story of two men who went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the upholder of the law, and the other a tax collector (Lk 18:9-14).  The prayer of one is received by God, the other is not.  One goes inward and puts his glance on himself, on his own conversion; the other looks at his neighbor, he does not go inward. 

October 23, 2022 Read More

Teach us to Pray

Chapter Talks

St. Luke’s gospel for this Sunday has three pericopes, all on the theme of prayer.  The gospel begins with one of the disciples asking Jesus to teach them to pray.  And Jesus’ reply is the Lord’s prayer.  Jesus spoke in Aramaic, and he begins by addressing God as ‘Abba’.  Most scholars assert that the use of Abba in his native language was very personal and intimate: Abba in Jesus’ language is more like ‘daddy’ in English.  What is this saying?  For Jesus God was very close to him in an intimate bond of love:  a covenant of love between Son and Father.  This covenantal relationship was confirmed at his baptism.

July 24, 2022 Read More

Our True Identity and Prayer

Chapter Talks

I have been reading Bonnie Thurston’s book, Shaped By the End You Live For. She quotes material from Thomas Merton that I have not read before and you will hear more of these pithy texts in a moment. I like to return to the ‘false self – true self’ dynamic that was important to Merton’s journey and to his understanding of monastic, contemplative life. Recalling our brief discussion several weeks ago I chose not to use the word ‘dichotomy’ in terms of the false self-true self relationship, so as not to give the sense that there is a split between these two realities.

May 10, 2020 Read More

Prayer, Itself, is Obedience

Chapter Talks

I begin with these words of Thomas Merton: “Prayer itself is obedience. Our deepest obedience takes place when we pray. Prayer is an act of surrender; it is essentially an act of surrender to God’s love” (quoted in: Shaped By the End You Live For, Bonnie Thurston, p.73). These words of Merton were written at the end of his life and should give us great pause for reflection. What does it mean that ‘our deepest obedience’ happens when we pray’?

May 03, 2020 Read More

A Monastic Day of Prayer at St Agnes Parish

News

On Saturday, April 27, Sisters Claire, Karen, and Gertrude were gifted with the opportunity to lead a Monastic Day of Prayer at the Ignatian Spiritual Life Center, a ministry of St Agnes Church, San Francisco.

May 02, 2019 Read More
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