Category: contemplative prayer

THE SIXTY SECOND CATHOLIC- Don’t forget!

I share with you one of my Lectio Divina meditations (Philippians 2:5). Praise be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and forever. The God who is, who was, and who is to come at the end…

WHAT IS GREATER THAN FAITH?

If you are a person who places their whole Faith in Faith, you will not want to read the rest of this. Like everything is the spiritual universe, nothing is what it seems. Not only is everything a sign of contradiction, but much of…

10 THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT MARY, MOTHER OF GOD

Despite the bad press about Mary and her being divine and the object of a cult, she is the mother of Jesus, the Son of the Living God. Of course, none of this makes any sense using the assumptions of the World. It is…

WHO DOES GOD THINK HE IS, ANYWAY? God?

Several months ago, a group of us in Tallahassee, Florida met to talk about forming a discernment group to see if anyone is interested in forming a Lay Cistercian prayer group. After our initial prayer to ask the Holy Spirit to be with us…

WHAT IS THE MOST POWERFUL ENERGY IN THE WHOLE WORLD?

This might seem like an innocuous topic for contemplative practice, but stick with me. The World is obsessed with power, be it physical power, personal power, military prowess, or political power (the one I detest the most). What bothers me most is that when…

WHO ROWS YOUR BOAT?

What follows is an exerpt from my book, Who Rows Your Boat: How you can be happier than you can possibly imagine. Use these thoughts to expand your horizon. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=books+dr.+michael+f.+conrad Who Rows Your Boat? Who Rows Your Boat? If your life is a boat,…

The Passive Man

There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile,He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile;He bought a crooked cat which caught a crooked mouse,And they all lived together in a little crooked house. –Mother Goose There was a passive man,…

PRAYING WITH PERSONALITIES

One of the ideas that rolled around in my head (there is lots of room to roll around) is the notion of personalities and prayer. I am part of several prayer groups, some of which pray the Liturgy of the Hours. Whenever there are…

TWEEKING MY LAY CISTERCIAN PRAYERS

Praying, for me, is not the same as when I began my Lay Cistercian odyssey seven years ago. I considered myself somewhat religious, but I could never have imagined I would be where I am today in my prayer life. Some of the prayer…

GROWING DEEPER IN YOUR FAITH: Five Levels of Spiritual Awareness

I have uncovered five levels of spiritual awareness as I sat, one Sunday morning at Eucharist, thinking about how my attention span waxes and wanes as I listen to the Word. I usually must make an effort to keep my focus on the readings…

TEN THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT THE POPE

Here are some of my thoughts about the Pope. They are not sensational or even revelational, but reflect my own appreciation for the person selected by the Holy Spirit to lead us in how to love with our whole hearts, our whole minds, and…

10 THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT TEMPTATIONS

Here are ten things I have learned about temptations that you may or may not have known before. Temptations are not sins. They are possible choices presented to you so that you can choose to move forward. Some choices are good for you, while…

THE DEEPEST LEVEL OF BEING CATHOLIC UNIVERSAL

There are two levels of being Catholic Universal: Baptismal and Eucharistic. Baptismal is being accepted by God as an adopted son or daughter. It is the basics of our collective Faith, but it is only the minimum of commitment to Christ, the minimum of…

GOD SPEAK

It makes me uncomfortable when I hear someone say that God told them to do say this or that or to do this or that. Because someone uses “God talk,” we quite naturally give them the benefit of the doubt and accept that God…

FIVE PRACTICES THAT MAKE A LAY CISTERCIAN: WHAT DOES YOUR CONTEMPLATIVE PRACTICE LOOK LIKE?

HOW I DESIGNED A SYSTEM OF SPIRITUALITY TO SUSTAIN MY CONTEMPLATIVE PRACTICE The following pages are samples of the horarium (hourly agenda) I use to organize my day as a Lay Cistercian. I must tell you that I am retired and have time to…

10 THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT GOD

What follows are 10 thoughts I have had about God, some controversial, some traditional, all a part of the Mystery of Faith. The difficult part of limiting 10 ideas about God is daunting because I keep wanting to add more. Actually, God is One….

THE SIGN OF CONTRADICTION

One of the strangest of all the seemingly contradictory phenomena about spirituality, and I use Cistercian Spirituality as I know it, as my frame of reference, is the sign of contradiction. My Lectio Divina (Philippians 2:5) meditations have been trending toward thinking about a…

GET SPECIFIC IN YOUR PRAYER

When trying to devote whatever time I have left to prayer, as I promised to do when making my final promises as a Lay Cistercian, I have noticed a few thing that are important about my general prayer life. Sometimes my prayer life seems…

10 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT LAY CISTERCIANS

What follows is my Lectio Divina on Philippians 2:5 that I had at 2:30 a.m. one night last week. I just happened to remember it and thought it might be of interest to you, it was to me. Lay Cistercians are laity who choose…

CHAPTER 4: DISTRACTIONS AND BAD THOUGHTS DURING CONTEMPLATION

Posted on May 20, 2019 by https://thecenterforcontemplativepractice.org This might seem like an odd topic for Lectio Divina, but, I assure you, it is very real, embarrassingly real. It is real because none of us practice prayer and hopefully contemplation without distractions and trying to avoid bad…

CONTEMPLATION IS…

This morning in my meeting at Good Shepherd Catholic Church, Tallahassee, Florida, I was joined by two wonderful persons who were seeking God through contemplation. In my attempts to fumble around to describe to them what contemplation is, I came up with these ideas…

THE POWER OF DISCERNMENT

As I approached the Lay Cistercians of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery (Trappist) with my petition and desire to be one of them, several professed members told me that our class of applicants would have to go through a period of discernment…

GROWING DEEPER IN FAITH

If Lent is a time of cultivating the ground of our spirituality, to include watering our Faith with the renewal of our Baptismal covenant with God and our commitment to sustain our Faith, then Easter is the the product of God’s grace in us….

EXSULTET JAM ANGELICA, TURBA COELORUM…

You may not have heard of this Gregorian Chant melody. It is the Pascal Story, the WHY of why the Resurrection of Christ is at the center of our Faith. Easter is a time when we get to affirm that Resurrection Enigma (see my…

THE RESURRECTION ENIGMA

Blessed Easter. What follows is an excerpt from my newest publication, The Resurrection Enigma: A Lay Cistercian reflects on five consequences the Resurrection of Christ has for living Forever. St. Paul, as you will read, states that, if the Resurrection is false, our Faith…

CHAPTER 4: To make peace with one’s adversaries before the Sun sets.

Chapter 4 – The Tools of Good Works 1. In the first place, to love the Lord God with the whole heart, the whole soul, the whole strength.2. Then, one’s neighbor as oneself.3. Then not to murder.4. Not to commit adultery.5. Not to steal.6….

SEVEN WAYS OF DIVINE LOVE

In wandering in the vast hinterlands of the Internet, I came upon writings of a Cistercian Beatrice of Nazareth, that I would like to share with you. This is not my material, having copied it from another website. I thought it compelling enough to…

A SIGN OF CONTRADICTION

The message of Christ does not make sense. Scripture says that it is folly to the Gentiles and a stumbling block to the Jews. That is another way of saying you won’t “get” what Christ is saying unless you use the Rule of Opposites….

REACHING PERFECTION

I have always had a problem with spirituality until very recently. In the last six years, since I began my discernment as a Lay Cistercian (which I am still doing) into what it means to transform myself from my false self to a new…

SOME DAYS ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS

One of the things I have noticed about myself as I try to fulfill the promises I made as a Professed Lay Cistercian, namely to do have in me the mind of Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5) by praying a daily Lectio Divina, daily Eucharist,…

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