The Jesus Prayer
"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."
-- This ancient prayer is nearly as old as the church itself. Originating in the Eastern orthodox church, being very popular in Russia, the Jesus prayer can enable you to deepen your prayer life . The first website is absolutely wonderful. You'll find there much spiritual direction and great teachings from the Desert Fathers, early saints of the Church, practical suggestions, warnings, etc. This site may be just what you need to make significant spiritual progress. Keep in mind that any spiritual progress at all requires fidelity to the Sacraments and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Eucharist, as well. If you are not a catholic, you will be happy to know that many Christians (Protestants or non-Catholics) rely on the Jesus Prayer for a deep prayer life.
THE JESUS PRAYER – PART 1
THE JESUS PRAYER – PART 2
THE JESUS PRAYER – PART 3
LINK: SAYING THE JESUS PRAYER
LINK: ORTHODOX SITE -- Be sure to check out the recommended links at the bottom of the page.
For a wonderful video about CUSTODY OF THE HEART, a practice of early Christianity, especially of the Fathers of the Desert, see these links (the talk is divided into 10 minute segments):
JESUS PRAYER – WATCHFULNESS OR WAKEFULNESS 1/6 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5mUxdYB8nM&feature=related
JESUS PRAYER – WATCHFULNESS OR WAKEFULNESS 2/6 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJB6Ga6CB4k
JESUS PRAYER – WATCHFULNESS OR WAKEFULNESS 3/6 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAszq4-XTDg
JESUS PRAYER – WATCHFULNESS OR WAKEFULNESS 4/6 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPLdI7tr-nU
JESUS PRAYER – WATCHFULNESS OR WAKEFULNESS 5/6 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsLVIN-q6SM
RECOMMENDED BOOK: Prayer of the Heart, by George A. Maloney S.J.
In this comprehensive guide to Christian contemplative prayer, Fr. George Maloney, S.J. a leading exponent of the Eastern Christian spiritual tradition in the decades after Vatican II, opens up this tradition of prayer--in particular the Jesus Prayer of the Eastern Church--to Western Christians in a clear and practical manner. Unmatched as a readable and complete guide to Eastern Christian spirituality during its fifteen-year history of publication, it fills a void in the spirituality market for today's readers as well.
About the Author: Father George A. Maloney, SJ, was well-known in Roman Catholic and Russian Byzantine Rite circles for his many works on prayer and spirituality. In his life he wrote some 80 books, journal and popular articles on theology, prayer, and Eastern Christian spirituality. This new edition of Prayer of the Heart is being re-printed by Ave Maria Press after being out of print for many years. Fr Maloney died in 2005.
Review of this book - " It is truly a wonderful thing to see the re-issuing of Fr. George Maloney's classic study, Prayer of the Heart. This is a ground-breaking book whose appearance first introduced a generation of Catholic (Western) readers to the riches of the Orthodox (Eastern) spirituality of the Jesus Prayer. Its second edition will teach many more about the ancient church's tradition of Jesus-centered mysticism, and the principles of a peaceful and devoted spiritual life that can be followed not merely in the monastery, but in the day-to-day business of our hectic lives."
FOR SPIRITUAL DIRECTION, TRY THIS WONDERFUL WEBSITE:
I recently discovered a wonderful Catholic blog, by Mark Mallette. Information can be found at the top of the PROPHECY AND MERCY page. His SPIRITUALITY page I have linked here for you:
Another good site for spiritual direction, prayer, etc. is this one: CATHOLIC SPIRITUAL DIRECTION -- http://rcspiritualdirection.com/blog/
The site below this paragraph contains many spiritual classics (St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Catherine of Siena, De Caussade, Frances De Sales, Brother Lawrence, St. Augustine, St. Bonaventure, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Thomas a Kempis, and more)-- with full texts that may be read online. I particularly recommend the Spiritual Maxims of Father Grou and the writings of Father Garrigou-LaGrange.
Another easy to use website which contains many Catholic books which you can download or read online.
LINK: FREE CATHOLIC E-BOOKS
The site below (ETHEREAL, IN BLUE) can be searched for entire texts of books, lives of saints, etc. The following are all on this website:
Anne Catherine Emmerich, mystic and stigmatist (she had the wounds of Christ) Her life, and Her meditations, including a lengthy piece on the Eucharist, the Passion and the Death of Jesus complete with much historical detail not available in the scriptures. Throughout her life, she had visions revealing many details of the entire life of Christ. Be sure to read the chapter on the Agony in the Garden (the book after her life story).
Father Grou – Treatise on Mysticism, Contemplation, and the Unitive Way
St. Augustine, St. Anselm, St. Alphonsus de Ligouri – Uniformity with God’s Will, St. Athanasius
Barnabas – The Epistle, St. Basil, St. Bede, St. Benedict of Nursia, St. Bernard of Clairvaux
St. Catherine of Genoa, St. Catherine of Siena, St. John Chrysostom, St. Cyril of Alexander
St. Francis of Sales
St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Iranaeus
St. Jerome, St. John of the Cross, Julian of Norwich
St. John Henry Newman, Nicholas of Cusa
St. Ephraim of Syria, Henry Suso, Dorothy Sayers
St. Teresa of Avila, St. Theresa of Lisieux, St. Thomas a Kempis, St. Thomas Aquinas
As you enter deeper into contemplative prayer, you will be moving beyond words and images into a silent, listening mode of being in God's presence, (the prayer of quiet) to be filled by Him. It is imperative that you are in communion with the Church and the protection of St. Michael and the Saints to avoid the onslaughts of the evil one, who may use your inexperience to entertain himself. Mistrust unusual experiences, "apparitions", etc. Know that anything of this sort, if it is from God, must be tested and subjected to the scrutiny of the Church. Don't obsess about this; just be prudent and humble about it. Find more information about this further down.
To help you understand the types of prayer, these sites are useful:
The first link below contains CHURCH FATHERS, the writings of the earliest fathers and saints of the Church from the first, second, third centuries, including St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas:
Another good article explaining why Centering Prayer can be dangerous: http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/dissent/centerprayer.htm
DOCTORS OF THE CHURCH:
ST. TERESA OF AVILA
ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS
If you would like to do more reading on contemplative prayer, turn to the classics of the church. St. Teresa of Avila, a discalced Carmelite in Spain who reformed her order during the Spanish Inquisition, wrote to her beloved sisters of entering the "Interior Castle" where they could enter in union with the King of Kings. You can find the entire text on line at this site:
St. John of the Cross who assisted St. Teresa, serving as the first novice master of her reformed order, also wrote classics illustrating the many stages of interior prayer: The Ascent of Mt. Carmel, The Living Flanme of Love, Spiritual Canticle, and The Dark Night of the Soul, among them. If you are advanced in prayer, you may find some of his writings helpful. Find the text and explanation of his highly mystical verses on this site:
Both of these classics can also be found in their entirety in the CATHOLIC TREASURY (the link can be found higher up on this same page).
I just discovered this great Catholic blog. You might want to go there: THE SAINTHOOD PROJECT
FLOWING WATER & ICONS – 15 MINUTES
THE JESUS PRAYER SUNG BY SR. TEREZA VODJANA, ORTHODOX UKRAINIAN NUNS – 10 MINUTES
ELDER EPHRAIM, GREEK ORTHODOX, PRAYING THE JESUS PRAYER – 15 MINUTES