Armchair Mystic: Easing Into Contemplative Prayer

Overview

This user-friendly book blends theory and practice, gently and concretely taking the reader through the first steps of contemplative prayer. Armchair Mystic begins with the necessary details of time and place to pray, then presents the maturation of the prayer life in four stages: Talking at God, Talking to God, Listening to God and Being With God. Each chapter begins with an Orientation and ends with a concluding summary. Step-by-step exercises throughout the book provide concrete examples of how to use the ...
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Armchair Mystic: Easing Into Contemplative Prayer

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Overview

This user-friendly book blends theory and practice, gently and concretely taking the reader through the first steps of contemplative prayer. Armchair Mystic begins with the necessary details of time and place to pray, then presents the maturation of the prayer life in four stages: Talking at God, Talking to God, Listening to God and Being With God. Each chapter begins with an Orientation and ends with a concluding summary. Step-by-step exercises throughout the book provide concrete examples of how to use the concepts discussed. Armchair Mystic will prove invaluable to individuals and small groups who are new to contemplative prayer, or who wish to deepen their experience of it.
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Editorial Reviews

Theology Digest
Thibodeaux guides the lay reader from the preliminary notions of contemplative prayer through the way prayer evolves, the difficulties on the way, and finally to the ultimate goal of prayer.
Catholic Library World
In fifteen easy-to-read chapters, Thibodeaux gives an overview of basic stages, practices, obstacles and graces of prayer. Along the way, he provides numerous prayer exercises and clear instructions how to enter into them. The most obvious audience of this text will be high school and college students who have evinced serious interest in learning to pray...yet adults can follow it with profit.
Catholic Parent
He [Thibodeaux] presents both the practicalities and the mysteries of prayer with clarity, humor and easy-to-understand examples and, in the book's appendix, he presents helpful suggestions for 'praying without ceasing' in the ordinary events of one's day, as well as for contemplative prayer.
Buena Vista Resource Page
...is clear about ways to keep our committment to prayer even when our experiences are not as we imagined.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780867164305
  • Publisher: Franciscan Media
  • Publication date: 4/1/2001
  • Pages: 180
  • Sales rank: 214,805
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

MARK E. THIBODEAUX, S.J., is a spiritual director, retreat director, high school teacher and a Jesuit priest. He holds a Master of Divinity from Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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Read an Excerpt

Contemplative prayer is not necessarily easy. In fact, there are parts of the experience that are very difficult. But the point is that if I have the strong will and desire to pray contemplatively, I do not have to shave my head and join a monastery to do it. The armchair that sits in my house is just as capable of being the 'holy ground' of contemplative prayer as the monastic stall of a cloistered church.
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Table of Contents

Index of Exercises v
Foreword vii
Acknowledgments xi
Introduction 1
Chapter 1 Time, Place and Space: The Nuts and Bolts of How to Begin 7
Chapter 2 Aunt Sally: The Four Stages of Prayer 17
Chapter 3 From Martha to Mary: The Direction of Prayer 31
Chapter 4 Solitude: A Necessary Tool 41
Chapter 5 Stage One: Talking at God: Ready-made Prayer 53
Chapter 6 Stage Two: Talking to God: Extemporaneous Prayer 63
Chapter 7 Stage Three: Listening to God: Meditative Prayer 73
Chapter 8 Reading the Signs of the Prayer Times: The Graces of Prayer 91
Chapter 9 Sorting Through a Big Catch: Part One: The Review of Prayer 101
Chapter 10 Sorting Through a Big Catch: Part Two: Five Ways to Review Prayer 109
Chapter 11 When Things Go Haywire: Dealing With Distractions 119
Chapter 12 When I'm Bored With God: Dealing With Dryness 129
Chapter 13 Why I'm Bored With God: Hints of an Explanation 137
Chapter 14 Stage Four: Being With God: Contemplative Prayer 151
Chapter 15 Putting Prayer in Action: The Test of Authentic Prayer 161
Appendix A Living a PrayerFul Life: God in the Details 171
Appendix B Resource Recommendations 177
Appendix C Scripture Suggestions 179
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2010

    Great book - full of practical exercises and suggestions

    My copy is marked up and dog-eared to death and when I get stuck I often go back and pull this book out to get some ideas about what to try. I still feel like I've barely scratched the surface.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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