Being in Love: The Practice of Christian Prayer

By William Johnston | Go to book overview

ONE
Being in Love

You have asked me, Thomas, to write to you about the art of prayer; and in answer to your request I am putting down some ideas that may help both you and those whom you direct in your centre. I am indeed happy that you have decided to devote your life to personal meditation and to the guidance of others. This is a real calling, a vocation that puts you in the mainstream of modern life. For enlightened people everywhere are fast coming to the realization that what the modern world needs is prayer. Only prayer and the activity that springs from prayer can save our troubled generation from total destruction. Yes, prayer shakes the universe. It brings God's help. It leads to profound wisdom — a wisdom beside which the knowledge of scientist and scholar is but a tiny candle held up to the glorious light of the noonday sun. Persevere in the pursuit of this wisdom, prudently guide others in their inner journey, and you will find yourself on a path that leads not only to deep interior peace but also (wonder of wonders) to that world peace for which men and women everywhere so ardently long.

Though I have the temerity to write to you on this sublime subject, do not think of me as a highly enlightened master. I am just a poor fellow traveller stumbling along the way. Were I to speak more boldly I might say, with Paul, that I am an athlete running in the Isthmian games. I am not perfect nor have I arrived, but “I press on towards

-9-

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Being in Love: The Practice of Christian Prayer
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents 1
  • Preface to the Second Edition 5
  • One - Being in Love 9
  • Two - Prayer and the Body (1) 18
  • Three - Prayer and the Body (2) 27
  • Four - Ways of Praying 35
  • Five - Grades of Prayer 44
  • Six - Prayer in Nature 51
  • Seven - Existential Prayer 56
  • Eight - Quietism 63
  • Nine - Ego, Self, God 69
  • Ten - The Mystery of Jesus 76
  • Eleven - Crisis 82
  • Twelve - Second Journey 90
  • Thirteen - Return to Paradise 100
  • Fourteen - Existential Dread 108
  • Fifteen - Night 115
  • Sixteen - Prayer of Suffering 122
  • Seventeen - Being-In-Love 129
  • Eighteen - Dialogue 140
  • Ninteen - Discernment 148
  • Twenty - Social Consciousness 161
  • Index 167
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