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Contemplative Prayer for the Contemporary Spirit

Small Group Formation Guidelines: Small Group Formation Guidelines are offered separately or as an appendix to the body of work shown below.  Guidelines are given for a simple one-hour group structure.  One brief spiritual essay selected from Section Two is suitable for one evening of prayer.  Readings are provided in units of various lengths of 3 to 12 weeks.  To begin a group, to discern the level of group interest, and to become familiar with the format, one unit may be chosen from Section Two.  Guidelines are useful for parish small group formation as well as individual home study and reflection.

Minimum facilitator requirements: experiential understanding of small group dynamics.

“And you know the way where I am going.”  John 14:4

Section One: The Ground of Our Prayer

  • The Ground of Our Prayer
  • How is the contemporary spirit different from any other?
  • Confessing My Powerlessness
  • What Is Contemplative Prayer?
  • I am interested in contemplative prayer; how do I begin?
  • Am I one who is called to pray in this way?
  • Sounds and Silence/Harmony and Balance

Section Two: Spiritual Essays/Brief Readings

  • The Lord’s Prayer  (7 spiritual essays)
  • The Beatitudes  (8)
  • The Prayer of St. Francis  (12)
  • Along the Way  (12)
  • Spiritual Friendship  (12)
  • Order Your Days  (7)

Section Three: Examination of Consciousness

Basic theme: Belonging/”Come Unto Me”

“Come unto me, all you who labor and I will give you rest” Matt. 11:28

Each of us longs for belonging. Our basic search is what drives our lives. Jesus very clearly in simple terms defines belonging, invites us to him, and shows us the way.  The guidelines follow basic themes of gratitude, humility, forgiveness and commitment.

The intent of examination is to provide a thorough, personal examination of consciousness in one’s own time, leading to a deeper commitment to Christ within and beyond one’s faith community.

  • Week One:  Gratitude
  • Week Two:   Examine
  • Week Three:  Humility
  • Week Four: Forgiveness
  • Week Five: Commitment
  • Week Six: “Follow Me”

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