I hope you are doing well.
Here is a quotation from Pseudo-Dionysius's classic work The Mystical Theology. He describes the process of how silent meditative prayer chips away at everything and everyone that isn't God as the means to knowing the God who love us by unknowing: "I pray that we could come to this darkness so far above light! If only we lacked sight and knowledge so as to see, so as to know, unseeing and unknowing, that which lies beyond all vision and knowledge. For this would be really to see and to know: to praise the Transcendent One in a transcending way, namely through the denial of all beings. We would be like sculptors who set out to carve a statue. They remove every obstacle to the pure view of the hidden image, and simply by this act of clearing aside they show up the beauty which is hidden." 1. Invitation to Our Centering Prayer Gathering: August 19th at noon Eastern
August 19th Noon–1:30 pm (eastern)
We will divide the time into three blocks:
(a) after a brief welcome and prayer, Rich and I offer some reflections to help you in your centering prayer practice: this month we are sharing ideas and key points drawn from one of my favorite books on centering prayer: Murchadh O'Madagáin's Centering Prayer and the Healing of the Unconscious
(b) we will practice centering prayer for 20 minutes as a group;
(c) we will have a group conversation in which you can ask questions, share resources, or give a testimony.
Here is the Zoom link for the gatherings: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82892486531?pwd=Z3RHbVFaTHVxSGpPUVJrcWU4c3M1Zz09
It will be great to have you join the group. Please RSVP to this email so that Rich and I can have an idea about the number of attendees. You can invite friends, but please have them email me to sign up.
2. My latest book Astonished by the Word: Reading Scripture for Deep Transformation releases 8/15 and is available for pre-order now: https://amzn.to/3DQ427A
I reflect on lessons for reading Scripture that combine contemplative spirituality with all that I've learned teaching, preaching, and writing on the Bible for the last 30 years.
Thank you for your support.
3. Links to Previous Gatherings (Teaching Segments only):
February Gathering: Divine Therapy: How God Heals Through Silence
March Gathering: Answering Common Objections and Obstacles to Centering Prayer
April Gathering: Insights from the Cloud of Unknowing
May Gathering: Practicing God's Presence After Centering Prayer
July Gathering: Letting Go and Letting God
4. Additional Resources
a. If you have questions about centering prayer, send them my way and I’ll answer them via email or create a video that answers the question.
b. I'm continuing to build a playlist on centering prayer on YouTube: Dr. Brian Russell’s Centering Prayer Playlist
c. Here are my recommended books for deepening your understanding and practice of centering prayer: Brian's Top Ten Favorite Resources
d. I’m also happy to join any groups using my book Centering Prayer for an hour of reflection and prayer time. Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time for a Zoom call with your centering prayer group.
Blessings on your life and ministry!