07 November 2018, The Tablet

Prayer in the postmodern era

by Gemma Simmonds

Prayer in the postmodern era

Prayers during a mass celebrated by the then Pope John Paul II at Wembley Stadium, London
Photo: PA/S&G Barratts/Empics


In a talk given shortly before his death, the Trappist monk Thomas Merton remarked that prayer is a matter of discovering what we already have and experiencing what we already possess. It is a reassuring comment, especially for those who struggle with prayer because they believe they need to master techniques or reach some kind of mindless, disembodied realm of higher consciousness by tearing themselves away from the concrete world.

A similar reassurance breathes throughout Luigi Gioia’s Touched by God: The Way to Contemplative Prayer.

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