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March 2024 Centering Prayer Update




Greetings friend in Christ,


I hope you are well.


Devotional thought for March:

"The power of silence for transformation."


Pseudo-Dionysius in his Mystical Theology writes: 

“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.”


What does silence do?


  1. It strips away our false conceptions of God;

  2. It invites us to surrender even our best thoughts about God to the commitment to silent prayer;

  3. It heals us from our past by showing us our anxieties, fears, and shame and provides us space to release these to God in the silence;

  4. It also confronts us with our guilt and sins. The good news is that when you sit with these in silence, you’ll find a spaciousness of grace;

  5. And most importantly, when we’ve purged 1-4, we can experience in fleeting moments the truth of ultimate reality in mystical union with the God who loves us. This is what Dionysius is hinting at in his quotation above.


Updates:

1. Our next free online Centering Prayer Gathering will be March 23rd at 10am (eastern) Our topic for March will be "How Do You Anchor Your Soul in the Divine."


Email me at deepdivespirituality@gmail.com for the link.


2. On my YouTube channel during January, I created a new Playlist of 31 Transformational questions to help you grow in love for God and neighbor. These are a series of 1 minutes videos to help you move forward in 2024. They are the most powerful questions that I've been asked or asked myself. If you are interested, check out the playlist here: 31 Transformational Questions to Help You Grow

3. My latest book Astonished by the Word: Reading Scripture for Deep Transformation is available 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.


If you've already read it, I'd be truly grateful if you'd leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads as it will help others to find the book.


Also if you use the book in a group setting of at least 10 people and my schedule permits, I am willing to attend (via zoom) one of the meetings to answer questions. Of course my presence is complimentary as a way of thanking and serving my readers. By the way, I offer this same option for groups using my Centering Prayer: Sitting Quietly in God's Presence Can Change Your Life.


4. Links to Previous Gatherings in 2023-24 (Teaching Segments only):
















November Gathering: Showing Up as Your God Given Self 







5. 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: deepdivespirituality@gmail.com to set up a time for a Zoom call with your centering prayer group.


Blessings on your life and ministry! 


Peace,


Brian Russell

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