Carmelite Conversations
Provoking Contemplation au Deux

Provoking Contemplation au Deux

February 2, 2016
This particular program aired on the eve of the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. This feast recalls not only the Lord's arrival at the temple, but also the preparation of the two individuals who were able to recognize the Lord, Anna and Simeon. It is written that both these contemplative souls had prepared themselves well through prayer and fasting, and that they waited with heroic patience and perseverance for the arrival of the Lord. In a very real way they serve as models of the persons of prayer we are all called to be. In this program Mark and Frances pick up the conversation on the book by Fr. Donald Haggerty entitled "Contemplative Provocations." Here they discuss the clear signs that a person has begun to enter into contemplative prayer, and they provide recognizable affirmations that the can assure the soul they are not actually regressing or losing time in prayer. They also discuss the importance of not being led by our emotions in prayer, and how we must seek to go beyond a felt experience. Finally, Mark and Frances discuss the role of the mind in contemplative prayer, and most especially what we can do about the wild thoughts that so often try to distract us away from our loving focus on the Lord.
 
RESOURCES
Books:
“Contemplative Provocations” by Fr. Donald Haggerty, Ignatius Press.
 
“The Practice of Contemplation According to John of the Cross” by James W. Kinn, ICS Publications.
 
“Union with the Lord in Prayer” by Rev. Venard Poslusney, O.Carm, 101 Foundation.
 
“My Only Friend is Darkness: Living the Night of Faith with St. John of the Cross” by Barbara Dent, ICS Publications.
 
“The Dark Night” from “The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross,” Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD and Otilio Rodriguez, OCD, ICS Publications.
Provoking Contemplation

Provoking Contemplation

January 26, 2016
This program originally aired on the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. During this conversation Mark and Frances first discuss the event of Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus. What is most striking about this event is the presence of the unbearable light that Paul cannot view with his human eye. Instead, Paul is gifted with spiritual vision and provided an encounter with Christ that, in some way, we are all called to. We are called to this light because we are all called to ever deepening levels of conversion. The conversation then moves on to look in detail at our individual call to a contemplative encounter with Christ. For this conversation Mark and Frances are using a book entitled "Contemplative Provocations" by a Fr. Donald Haggerty. Fr. Haggerty gives due credit to St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross for many of the insights he shares in this series of reflections. This first in a series of discussions on this book focuses on how and why God often conceals Himself when we seek Him in contemplative prayer. Mark and Frances also discuss how we must continue to respond in faith to these early and often confusing first stages on contemplative prayer.
 
RESOURCES
Books:
“Contemplative Provocations: Brief, Concentrated Obersvations on Aspects of a Life with God” by Fr. Donald Haggerty, Ignatius Press.
 
“The Practice of Contemplation According to John of the Cross” by James W. Kinn, ICS Publications.
Upon this Mountain

Upon this Mountain

April 29, 2013

During this program Mark and Frances conclude the series on the book entitled “Upon this Mountain.” This particular book, written by a cloistered Carmelite Nun is the fruit of forty years of prayer and reflection. Mark and Frances explore some of the deeper meanings of our universal call to holiness, and how we are not called to this for ourselves but for the entire body of Christ. They discuss some of the more challenging aspects of the use of the imagination in prayer, and what is meant by our needing to empty ourselves of formal images. They also discuss the deeper meaning of silence in prayer.

Fr. Daniel Chowning

Fr. Daniel Chowning

June 4, 2012

This program is an interview with Fr. Daniel Chowning. Fr. Chowning is an internationally recognized speaker on Spirituality, Prayer and the Carmelite Order. In this particular program, Mark and Frances talk to Fr. Chowning about the importance of Silence and Solitude, and how to find these important elements in our modern busy world. They also discuss the importance on finding a contemplative spirit in the midst of a busy life.

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