LIVING CHRIST


God's Mercy Now

      DEEPEN  YOUR                     PRAYER LIFE

 

The Jesus Prayer

 

"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."

LINK:  WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PRAYING THE JESUS PRAYER?

 

 

    -- 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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01J6TqPD4lc&feature=related

 

THE JESUS PRAYER – PART 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1czadp_mzw&feature=related

 

THE JESUS PRAYER – PART 3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkP45-LmJuQ&feature=related

LINK:  UNDERSTANDING THE JESUS PRAYER 

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:  The Way of a Pilgrim is a classic but anonymous work of Russian spirituality (a.k.a "the Way of the Pilgrim") which has charmed countless readers with its tale of a nineteenth-century peasant seeking the truth with simple humility, finding joy in the practice of the "Jesus Prayer."  This repetitive prayer, traditional in the Christian East, centers on the holy name of Jesus and enables the pilgrim to fulfill the seemingly impossible command of St. Paul in 2 Thessalonians 5:17 to "pray always." 

This book is at once both entertaining and edifying.  Anyone who has ever appreciated the word of Dostoevsky or Tolstoy will be delighted with the vision of 19th century Russia that emerges from this book.  Yet at the same time, the very practical teaching on the Jesus prayer is very much able to be appropriated by those living a very different lifestyle in a much more hectic, even frantic age.  Don't miss this classic!  It should be read at least once by any serious Christian, Eastern or Western, Protestant, Catholic or Orthodox.  Guaranteed to refresh you and deepen your relationship with God if you make the least attempt to put some of its simple yet profound teaching into practice. 

LINK:  ARTICLE: WAY OF A PILGRIM

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: 

http://rcspiritualdirection.com/blog/

 

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: 

 LINK:   SPIRITUALITY -- MARK MALLETT

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.

LINK:  CATHOLIC TREASURY-- ON PRAYER AND HOLINESS 


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). 

St. Ambrose

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

Brother Lawrence

St. John Henry Newman, Nicholas of Cusa

Origen

St. Patrick

St. Ephraim of Syria, Henry Suso, Dorothy Sayers

St. Teresa of Avila, St. Theresa of Lisieux, St. Thomas a Kempis, St. Thomas Aquinas

LINK:     ETHEREAL LIBRARY -- CHRISTIAN AND CATHOLIC

   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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER 

 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:

LINK:  CATHOLIC UNDERSTANDINGS OF PRAYER

LINK:   SPIRITUAL DIRECTION IN PRAYER

LINK:   KINDS OF PRAYER -- VATICAN ARCHIVES

LINK:      WARNING ABOUT THE "CENTERING PRAYER" MOVEMENT

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:

LINK:    ST. TERESA OF AVILA: INTERIOR CASTLE

 

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: 

LINK:    ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS: THE DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL

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).

 

LINK:   NUMEROUS PRAYERS OF THE SAINTS -- SELECT

 

I just discovered this great Catholic blog.  You might want to go there:  THE SAINTHOOD PROJECT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VIDEO HELPS to pray the Jesus Prayer:

 

FLOWING WATER & ICONS – 15 MINUTES

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=5jjIfpNkSxE

 

THE JESUS PRAYER SUNG BY SR. TEREZA VODJANA, ORTHODOX UKRAINIAN NUNS – 10 MINUTES

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7UmcdTQ2x4

 

ELDER EPHRAIM, GREEK ORTHODOX,  PRAYING THE JESUS PRAYER – 15 MINUTES

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHDVgMGmzcw&feature=related