What we think of prayer and speaking with God and how we practice such things may have little to do with how God speaks or communicates with us. Learning more of the nature of God's communication and native language from the ancient Christian tradition can tremendously help point us in the best direction when it comes to unceasing prayer.
speaking in silence
dave brisbin | [06.15.08]
At the Catholic funeral of a friend--full mass bringing back childhood memories of liturgy, familiar sights, sounds, smells. Lost in the experience until I remember to start thinking about the experience. Words in my head replacing pure experience. Where did the experience go when the words started flowing again? What does it mean to pray unceasingly? A flow of words or wordless experience? How do we learn to speak in silence?
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learning god's language
dave brisbin | [06.22.08]
From speaking in silence, the next move is into the actual nature of God's purest communication with us--silent presence. God's native tongue is pure presence. What does that mean? How do we participate in it? As Brother Lawrence, a medieval monk, shows us, it's not just in our prayer time and set aside times of formal worship, but in every moment of our lives, if we will just take the time to learn how to speak God's language.
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a change of mind
dave brisbin | [06.29.08]
Blending Scripture with one psychological school of thought called cognitive/behavioral therapy, we arrive at the same place of transformation. If all our behavior is comprised of four components--thinking, acting, feeling, and physiology--and if we only have direct control over the first two, acting and thinking, then all or our behavior begins with a change of mind, a "renewing of our minds," as Paul puts it. If we can change our thinking, we can choose different actions. New ways of acting change our feelings about life and relationships that then change our very physiology--our bodies' reaction to our feelings. Jesus gave us the same formula for transformation in his very first words in the gospel of Mark. Transformation begins with a change of mind.
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