Paul writes – I’ve recently appreciated the opportunity (via National Catholic Reporter) to listen to Episcopalian priest, Cynthia Bourgeault talk about Centering Prayer & Inner Awakening, in an interview with Tom Fox. The interview is in two parts. Right click on the title of each part to down load and save it as an Mp3. Alternatively, visit the NCR website for other options.
The Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault is the principal teacher and advisor to the Contemplative Society. She is also a retreat and conference leader, teacher of prayer, writer on the spiritual life, and Episcopal priest. Cynthia is committed to the recovery of the Christian contemplative path.
Episode 1: The confirmation of silence (20 min.)
“God doesn't have a preference for silent prayer, Bourgeault tells interviewer Tom Fox, but she says God's job of entering us is made easier if we are comfortable with ourselves. "Where we usually hide from ourselves is in our noise," she says. Silence disarms people so they can't hide in their personalities. And if everyone is doing it -- being silent -- it allows everyone to open up their being and learn to sit in their own skins.”
Episode 2: Heart-broken Christians (20 min.)
Bourgeault says she works a lot with "heart-broken Christians." When these people, who were raised Christian, were young, typically in their late teen years, began to ask precocious spiritual questions, they didn't get the answers that would feed their souls. "They were turned off by overly rigid or dogmatic or guilt inducing put offs. And they left. Many have taken very adventurous, sincere -- sometimes admirable -- journeys into other faith traditions," Bourgeault tells interviewer Tom Fox. ‘But they always had the hunger to come home.’”
Bourgeault is the author of Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening – a guidebook for those who wish to know the practice of Centering Prayer. It examines how the practice is related to the classic tradition of Christian contemplation, looks at the distinct nuances of its method, and explores its potential to transform Christian life.