Search results: "new year" (page 1 of 4)

 


Photo Credits: “A Resolve for Every Morning of the New Year” from a vintage, 1909 Calendar by Bishop John H. Vincent. In public domain via Wikipedia and modified one hundred and ten years later by Nexus Prayer International.

Resolved: More Prayer

Photo by NordWood Themes. Modified and used with permission by Nexus Prayer via Unsplash

Before highlighting a few of the resolutions I’ve made for Nexus Prayer and myself for the New Year, let’s take a quick look at last year and the resolutions currently trending in the United States for 2019  according to Inc. (Thank you, Statista!)Infographic: The Top New Year's Resolutions For 2019 | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Notice anything missing? As in previous years, you’ll find no resolutions (less than 10%) to spend more time with God through increased church attendance, Scripture reading, or prayer among Americans priorities. No surprise there. Equally unsurprising is that prayer in general, and nexus prayer in particular, are both at the top of my New Year’s resolution list. As promised, here are a few personal goals and plans for Nexus Prayer in 2019:

  • Nexus Prayer – Since Nexus Prayer was first launched in 2015, I have gradually succeeded in increasing the amount of time I spend daily in nexus prayer and I plan on continuing that trend for 2019. Although my daily goal will remain at one hour, my average for the last three years has been 30 minutes. That works out to 5,359 sessions; 1,570 days; 803 total hours, with an average of 3.4 sessions per day. I’m not bragging here. To the contrary, I wish I could pray more. But what’s worth mentioning is that the vast majority of that time spent connecting to God through nexus prayer was done in five minute prayer sessions! That’s 803 hours spent with God in prayer five minutes at a time. It adds up!
  • Intercessory Prayer – Likewise, I’m increasing my daily intercessory prayer time – time used praying for the needs of others in 2019. This includes praying for family, friends, the nexus prayer circle, my parish, various ministries, my fellow brothers at the Order of Saint Francis, my community, our country (God bless America!), and too many other individuals, churches, and organizations to list here by name.
  • Book Projects  – Although work on my first book on nexus prayer got off to a good start in 2018, I intend to have it completed and released before year-end. In addition, I have begun work on  a second book focusing on the history and symbolism of the San Damiano Cross (the cross of Saint Francis). Most of this research and writing will continue this year with my weekly visits to The Lanier Theological Library,
  • Franciscan Formation – As many of you know, I was accepted as a Candidate with The Order of Saint Francis (Anglican) last Fall when my formation to become a Franciscan friar was begun in earnest. The process continues this year, culminating in June when I will travel to Wisconsin to take my temporary vows as a Postulant.
  • Nexus Prayer Circle – Our local nexus prayer circle that meets every Sunday at Saint Dunstan’s Episcopal Church has continued to grow and flourish.  I pray for God’s continued blessings on the members of this group, while also doing all I can to help grow the prayer group that has formed at the 1960 Hope Center and meets every Friday at 12:30pm.
  • Advocacy – My volunteer work as an advocate for “the least of these” will continue this year focusing on the elderly, homeless, victims of human and sex trafficking, as well as immigrants and refugees. I also hope to become involved in preserving God’s Creation by learning more about climate change, global warming, and taking better care of our environment.
  • Personal – My plethora of personal goals for 2019 are too many to mention (all according to God’s will of course), but include: learning to live debt free, living more intentionally, eating better, serving more in my local parish, reducing clutter, getting more organized, being a better husband, father, friend, and continuing to perfect my biscotti recipe!

And what about you? What dreams do you dare to dream? What goals has God given you? How will you stretch, grow, serve, and love both God and your neighbor in 2019? What audacious projects will you take on in the coming year? Only you and God know the answers to those questions, but whatever your resolutions, my prayers are with you. However, know this: the answer is ultimately found in Matthew 6:33.

“But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
and all these things will be added unto you.”


NOTES & REFERENCES

1 The Top New Year’s Resolutions for 2019 | Statista and Inc. Magazine

2 Photo Credit: Happy New Year 2019 by NordWood Themes in Public Domain via Unsplash | Used and modified with permission by Nexus Prayer International.

Resolutionary Praying

RESOLUTIONARY PRAYING

When the brother of Jesus¹ wrote in James 4:14 “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away”, perhaps he had in mind the rhetorical question, “Where does all the time go”? I find myself asking that same question about 2017 with a hot cup of tea and a warm bagel on this first cold January morning of 2018 – the first day of a new week of a new month and a new year.

Like most years, and as I mentioned in my post Praying Resolutely exactly one year ago today, I don’t make resolutions per se. Instead, each year around the time the first cold front arrives, and usually during my evening prayer walks, I begin conducting my personal and spiritual inventory of what I accomplished (or did not accomplish) in the previous year.

Now, don’t get me wrong, like most everyone else I do have a long list of personal, family, home, business, and even financial goals I’d like I need to accomplish this year, but I prefer having one larger all-encompassing resolution – a theme as it were – for my year. Last year it was to pray more. This year, though I doubt I’ll pray less, my main aspiration is to draw close – even closer – to God. Needless to say, I plan on accomplishing this through nexus prayer, which brings me back to James …

“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you…” – James 4:8

Just like Psalm 46:10 in the Old Testament, this short verse in the New Testament – another command with a promise – is pregnant with meaning. Simply put, if we desire to have more of God in our lives in 2018, then we only need to initiate our intention – through prayer – to be present to God and He will meet us there. Jesus referred to it as going to pray in our inner room (the subject of a future post), Matthew 6:6, and I know of no better way to connect with God there than through nexus prayer, but I’ll let my fifty-two journal posts this year (I plan on writing one a week, of which this is the first) explain how this may best be achieved.

I look forward to sharing these spiritual insights with you throughout 2018 right here on the Nexus Prayer website and through our local prayer group gatherings, but for now, I’ll close with arguably the most important lesson of Psalm 46:10 found in Step 4 of nexus prayer. Namely, being still or letting go. If you are like me, 2017 was filled with many blessings, achievements, and successes, as well as a few disappointments along the way. That said, last night during my prayer walk and after taking one more long good look in my mental rear-view mirror, I left the not-so-great parts of 2017 behind me, while carrying forward into the new year all the goodness of last year – the people, the experiences, the memories, lessons learned, and wisdom gained.

May all the blessings of Emmanuel – God with us – be yours not only today, the eighth day of Christmas and first day of the new year, but every day of 2018 as you draw closer to God through nexus prayer. Amen.

Now, just for fun, and thanks to Statistics Brain, here are the results for 2017’s top ten resolutions in America.² And just in case you are one of those people who actually enjoy making New Year’s resolutions, how about this one? Resolve to join me in praying no less than a five minute nexus prayer 365 times (once each day) in 2018. I’ve made that commitment, and hope you’ll join me in adding more prayer in general, and more nexus prayer in particular to the top of your list! Happy New Year!

AMERICA’S TOP TEN NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR 2017

1 Lose Weight / Healthier Eating | 21.4%
2 Life / Self Improvements | 12.3%
3 Better Financial Decisions | 8.5%
4 Quit Smoking | 7.1%
5 Do more exciting things | 6.3%
6 Spend More Time with Family / Close Friends | 6.2%
7 Work out more often | 5.5%
8 Learn something new on my own | 5.3%
9 Do more good deeds for others | 5.2%
10 Find the love of my life | 4.3%

NOTES & REFERENCES

1 James the brother of Jesus | Wikipedia – the free Encyclopedia | There is disagreement about the exact relationship of James to Jesus. The presumed author of the Epistle of James is also sometimes identified with James, son of Alphaeus, James, son of Zebedee, and James the Less.

2 Top 10 Resolutions for 2017 | Statistic Brain Research Institute

3 Photo Credit: Happy New Year 2018 | By Nordwood Themes in Public Domain via Unsplash | Used and modified with permission by Nexus Prayer International.

Praying Resolutely

“2017 Sparkler” by Brigitte Tohm| Used and modified with Permission via Unsplash | Nexus Prayer International

LEAPING INTO 2017
Right on the heels of my New Year’s Eve post on The Arithmetic of Prayer, I want to wish everyone a 2017 that is filled with God’s blessings, happiness, love, success, health, meaning, purpose, peace, and … prayer. Happy New Year!

And since it is that time when most of us make our annual New Year resolutions, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the Top 10 New Year resolutions made for 2015, with thanks to Statistics Brain for the assist.

TOP TEN NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS OF 2015

1 Lose Weight
2 Getting Organized
3 Spend Less, Save More
4 Enjoy Life to the Fullest
5 Staying Fit and Healthy
6 Learn Something Exciting
7 Quit Smoking
8 Help Others in Their Dreams
9 Fall in Love
10 Spend More Time with Family

That’s the good news. A couple of those are even on my list for 2017, maybe yours too? The not-so-good news, according to Statistics Brain¹, is that only 8% percent of Americans were successful in achieving their resolution, and only 46% were successful in maintaining their resolution longer than six months. But I noticed an even more alarming fact from reading that list. Did you notice that reading the bible, going to church, drawing closer to God, serving others, and PRAYING MORE did not make the top 10?

RESOLVING TO PRAY MORE IN 2017
It probably won’t surprise anyone to learn that prayer – all types of prayer in general and nexus prayer in particular – are at the top of my New Year’s resolutions list. Specifically, and with God’s help, I am asking Him to help me spend more time connecting with Him, my family, my church, and my local community through prayer in 2017. Here’s how …

  • Nexus Prayer – Launching the Nexus Prayer website last September went very smoothly, but there are still quite a few sections that need to be completed. Likewise, so far so good in introducing nexus prayer to my “… Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the Earth” Acts 1:8. Local classes, presentations, and starting of Nexus Prayer Circles are all planned for 2017. On a personal note, and according to my iPhone prayer timer, last year I connected with God through nexus prayer 1,478 times for 366 consecutive days (leap year) with a total duration of 214 hours and 31 minutes. Not bad, but with God’s help I want to do better in 2017. My personal nexus prayer goal this year is to pray no less than three times a day for a total of no less than an hour a day. God gives me 24 hours a day; it’s the least I can do.
  • Prayer Wall – The infrastructure for the Nexus Prayer wall got installed , but still needs more tweaking and beta testing. Until I officially launch it on this website, you are invited to submit your prayer request 24.7.365. It would be my privilege to pray on behalf of you, your family, or friends.
  • Prayerwalking – Last November I conducted the first ever Nexus Prayer Walk for our community (with many more planned.) Since that time, I have continued my regular weekly prayer walks every evening for the individuals and families (represented by their house numbers, cars, and street names) in the neighborhood immediately surrounding our home here in Spring, Texas. I also just completed a study of Randy Sprinkle’s excellent book and six week course on prayer walking entitled Follow Me: Lessons for Becoming a Prayerwalker. In 2017 I look forward to continuing my prayer walks as often as possible, and both introducing and conducting prayer walk practicums for local groups and churches in our area.
  • Sacred Spaces – For years I have sought out sacred spaces – both indoor and outdoor – to serve as places of retreat for both contemplation and special praying. Starting this year, I will be identifying my finds and hosting public gatherings for nexus prayer at sacred spaces locally, nationally, and internationally. Have a favorite “hiding place” of your own you’d like to recommend? Send me a note.
  • Book on Nexus Prayer – The manuscript of my first book on Nexus Prayer is well under way with a goal of completing it, an eBook, and a “real” book before the end of next year. Thank you in advance for your prayers that God gives me the spiritual insights, wisdom, time, and resources to complete this project on schedule.

I haven’t listed all of my New Year’s resolutions here, just my No. 1 – spend more time with God in prayer – along with a few nexus prayer goals. The bottom line for me is that I’m “all in” to do everything that I can to improve my relationship with and better connect to God through prayer in 2017. My daily prayer to God is “Lord, teach me to pray.” Luke 11:1 and to learn how to “pray without ceasing” I Thessalonians 5:17.

My prayer for you? That “more prayer” also makes it into your top ten resolutions this year. Have you made praying more one of your resolutions for 2017? Drop me a line. I’d love to hear about it. Happy New Year!

Ready to begin? Nexus prayer can be done in as little as five minutes a day and The Steps are easy to learn. Questions? Feel free to contact me anytime!

NOTES & REFERENCES

1 “New Year’s Resolutions Statistics– Statistic Brain.” | 2016 Statistic Brain Research Institute, publishing as Statistic Brain. | Research Date: December 12, 2016 | http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/

2 Photo: “2017 Sparkler” by Brigitte Tohm | Used and modified with Permission via Unsplash.

Save

Save

Save

Save

The Arithmetic of Prayer

“New Year’s Eve Watch” – Copyright © 2016 Nexus Prayer International.

 

LEAPING INTO 2017

Christmas and gift giving are now behind us, but thanks to Julius Caesar and Pope Gregory XIII¹ we will all be receiving a very special gift – the gift of time – this New Year’s Eve when on December 31, 2016 at precisely 23 hours, 59 minutes, and 59 seconds everyone’s day and year will officially become one second longer. That’s because, as announced last July, a leap second² will be inserted at the U.S. Naval Observatory’s Master Clock Facility in Washington, DC.

So, how will you use your extra second of life? May I suggest prayer? Right before you pop the cork on your bottle of champagne, steal a New Year’s kiss, watch the Waterford crystal ball drop in New York City, or blow your party horn with a shout of “Happy New Year”, why not use your extra second to send up a little prayer to God?

NO TIME TO PRAY
Most people think of prayer in terms of minutes, rather than hours. Truth is, I often hear people say, “I don’t have one spare minute in my day for anything, let alone prayer.” Ironically, we can all find the time we need to eat, sleep, watch television, or attend a concert or sporting event, but we can’t find a single minute for prayer? Okay, for arguments sake, I’ll accept that. No doubt we’re all busy. But what if I could show you that it is possible to connect with God via prayer in no more time than it takes you to blink³ your eyes? If you don’t have a minute, can you spare a second? (If your answer is “no”, then you get an extra second tonight absolutely free, so no excuses!) “What”, you say? You can’t say a prayer in one second? Sure you can! In fact, I’m going to show you how you can say three prayers in only 1/60th of a minute. Just for fun, let’s do the math to show that a second is more than enough time to “upload” a prayer, or two, or three to God…

THE ARITHMETIC OF PRAYER
In a previous post, I mentioned that the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging at USC has calculated that, on average, we humans have 70,000 thoughts per day. Now, we know that there are 86,000 seconds in a day, so if we take those 86,000 seconds God has given us and divide that number by the 70,000 thoughts most of us have in a day, we get one thought per every 1.234285714285714 seconds. BUT we can send God a thought (a prayer) in even less time than that! Scientists have shown that the blink of the human eye takes only 300 to 400 milliseconds. Since there’s 1,000 milliseconds in each second, that means a blink of an eye takes around 1/3 of a second, just enough time for three prayers in one second! But wait, there’s even more! Remember, God is not bound by our human limitations of time and space. For example, in I Corinthians 15:52 we read that the Lord will one day descend from heaven to resurrect “in the twinkling of an eye” all those who have believed in Him, and will do so in only eleven one-hundredths of a second³ – the amount of time it takes for light to enter and “bounce off” the back of the human eye. Now, that’s fast! Impressed? Then consider the fact that because God is omniscient and omnipresent, He is able to receive, process, and even answer our prayers in less than a nanosecond³ (one billionth of a second.)

A BLINK AND A PRAYER
So, are you ready to use that leap second for prayer tonight? Here’s how to do it. Prepare your prayer in advance, then associate a key word with your prayer. For example, just before the stroke of midnight tonight, and borrowing from Psalm 46:10 and nexus prayer, my prayer will be asking God to help me be still (let go) of all – the good, the bad, the ugly – of 2016 (the past), the present, and all of 2017 (the future). In other words, letting go of all of me, and letting God have all of me – my yesterdays, todays, and tomorrows. With that prayer I have associated the word “Be”, so when I say (pray) the word “Be”, it contains all the intent and content of my specific prayer entirely. In this way, I can pray my prayer in the blink of an eye. Similarly, if I also want to pray for all the members of my family, I simply have to list all their names in advance and ask God’s blessing and protection for them in 2017, then associate the word “Fam” (family) with that prayer. And if I want to be really ambitious, I can also pray for my church – every single ministry, pastor, director, and volunteer. Like before, I simply enumerate them by name and associate the word “church” with it. Because our mind is faster than our mouth, at the appropriate time I can simply pray “Be, Fam, Church” – all three in one second – and by pushing the “send button” on the computer of my mind, upload in the blink of an eye my prayers to God. (Try it!)

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION
Okay, time for a reality check from this tongue-in-cheek kind of post as I do have a serious point that I’m trying to make. Namely, we can all do better in 2017 in communicating with God, so why not place that New Year resolution at the top of our list? Praying in a second may be possible, but it’s not very practical or meaningful. One thing is certain. God gives us 24 hours every single day – in fact he’ll be giving us 365 more of them at the stroke of midnight tonight. Whether a second, five minutes, thirty minutes, or even an hour a day, why not join me in making more time for prayer your first resolution of 2017? Take a second to think about it. You’ll be glad you did.

Ready to begin? Nexus prayer can be done in as little as five minutes a day and The Steps are easy to learn. Questions? Feel free to contact me anytime!

NOTES & REFERENCES

1 The Gregorian Calendar replaced the Julian Calendar in October 1582 |Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia

2 World timekeepers are adding a leap second on December 31, 2016 | via EarthSky

3 “How Long is a Blink of an Eye?” – William M. Briggs, Statistician to the Stars

4 A nanosecond (ns) is an SI unit of time equal to one billionth of a second. One nanosecond is to one second as one second is to 31.71 years. |Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia

5 According to Jack Van Impe, an Evangelist and expert on Prophecy and the End Times.

6 Photo: “New Year’s Eve Watch” Allen Aaron White – Copyright © 2016 Nexus Prayer International.

Me

“Life is a journey, not a destination.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Rev. Allen A. White | Nexus Prayer International

Allen White, Founder & Director

A LITTLE ABOUT ME
Hi, there! I’m Allen. Whether I personally handed you a Nexus Prayer card while out and about in the city, you arrived here from Google, or were referred by a church or a friend, thank you for taking the time to visit this website and for your interest in Nexus Prayer. To help us get better acquainted, please allow me to tell you a little about myself…

 

MY MUSES
Through the years there have been several noteworthy individuals: Francis A. Schaeffer, John Michael Talbot, and Thomas Keating to name just a few, who have each had a unique and profound influence on my spiritual formation as a Christian. But I’d be remiss to not also acknowledge the contributions of many other friends, religious, pastors, priests, and Christian artists of all stripes who have also greatly impacted my life, including: Francesco Bernardone, Murray Bodo, Richard Foster, Thomas Merton, John Main, Henri Nouwen, Adeline O’Donoghue, Rob Price, Richard Rohr, Randall Trego, Dallas Willard, and more.

It was Dr. Schaeffer, of L’Abri, Switzerland fame, who single-handedly helped me Escape from Reason and who persuaded me to abandon my faithless agnosticism for faith in Christ. Soon after becoming a Christian, I discovered the music and ministry of Franciscan friar, John Michael Talbot. Not only did John Michael inspire me to use my own voice and classical guitar as instruments of praise, but he taught me by his own example the importance for humility as a Christian musician. Finally, Fr. Thomas Keating was not only a world-wide spiritual pioneer in his teachings on Centering Prayer, but also the mentor and muse primarily responsible for teaching me Christian meditation and setting me on the contemplative path.


ABOUT ALLEN A. WHITE

• Founder & Director: Nexus Prayer International
• Chaplain: The Hope Center (Houston, Texas)
• Advocate: For Houston’s homeless and all “least of these.”
• Curator: The Saint Francis of Assisi Research Library
• Episcopalian: Eucharistic Minister at Saint Dunstan’s Episcopal Church
• Franciscan: Friar in formation (Candidate) with Anglican Order of Saint Francis
• Ecumenical: Ordained Baptist Minister of the Gospel

Original Matterhorn photograph by Sam Ferrara via Unsplash | Used with Permission | Nexus Prayer International

MY TRAVELS
As a native Houstonian, I received my classical music education at the University of Houston and formal theological training at Tennessee Temple (now Piedmont International University). But along the way and between here and there, I’ve been blessed to have visited, ministered, and lived in some of the most interesting countries and beautiful cities in the world. Consequently, I have a special place in my heart for the quaint alpine villages, cosmopolitan cities, and soaring majestic Alps of Switzerland.


MY JOURNEY
Having been born, reared, and educated as a Roman Catholic; an avowed agnostic during my youth and college years; a student of philosophy  and the world’s major religions as a young adult; having dabbled with Buddhism, and explored Hinduism in a Hare Krishna Temple; studied and taught Christian meditation; and been ordained as both a Southern Baptist Deacon and Minister of the Gospel, today I am proud to be an active Episcopalian, yet humbled to be a leader of Nexus Prayer, Chaplain of The Hope Center, and a candidate in formation as a Franciscan friar. As mentioned earlier, life’s a journey, not a destination.


MY CAREER
My diverse professional career and ministry have spanned more than forty years in both the private and non-profit sectors. As such, over the years I have served numerous congregations as an associate pastor, worship leader, and teacher. In the “real world”, my secular career has included work as a human resources executive, businessman, and even an antiquities dealer. In other words, I’ve worn many different hats over the years. Today, I don’t even have hair!

And although now technically retired, it doesn’t mean I’m not busy. Indeed, I’ve never been busier! That’s because God has chosen to place both my wife and me in separate, yet complimentary ministries as advocates for the most vulnerable members of society.

While my wife, Leslie Ann, serves full-time at Redeemed Ministries, most days you will find me hard at work at The Hope Center, sharing Nexus Prayer, being an advocate for “the least of these”, serving within my local parish, or researching and writing for my various book and writing projects at the Lanier Theological Library.


MY FUTURE
And my spiritual journey continues even today. What an exciting time it is to be alive in the 21st century as a follower of the Way, a contemplative Christian, and soon, a Franciscan friar. Surely the best is still yet to come! But happily, I am not on this pilgrimage alone. As mentioned above, and in addition to Jesus and Saint Francis,  I am blessed to have a diverse and special group of individuals accompany me on my life’s journey, but none more so than my wife, Leslie Ann White, whose unconditional love, companionship, and example these many years have not only made me a better person, but a better Christian.

Pace e Bene (Peace and all good)! – Allen


NOTES & REFERENCES

1 Photo Credit: Original Line Drawing of Allen White © Copyright 2017 by Allen Aaron White. | Used with permission. | Nexus Prayer International.

2 Photo Credit: Original Matterhorn photograph by Sam Ferrara via Unsplash | Used with Permission | Nexus Prayer International.

3 Photo Credit: “Stones in Balance” by Bekir Dönmez on Unsplash | Public Domain via Unsplash | Used and modified with permission by Nexus Prayer International.

4 Photo Credit: Saint Francis of Assisi |The oldest surviving depiction of Saint Francis is a fresco near the entrance of the Benedictine abbey of Subiaco, painted between March 1228 and March 1229. | In Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons and License Art Libre.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Little Poor Man’s Fresh Catch

New additions to The Little Poor Man’s Library of Saint Francis arrive just about every week, with six new catches “fresh off the boat” added today alone.

These new books cover the 800th Anniversary of St. Francis, the San Damiano Cross, The Rule & Testament of Saint Francis, and a brief history of Franciscanism, and include:

  • The Crucifix that Spoke to St. Francis by Michael Goonan
  • Saint Francis of Assisi by John R. H. Moorman
  • Francis and the San Damiano Cross by Susan Saint Sing, PhD
  • The Rule & Testament of St. Francis by Kajetan Esser, O.F.M.
  • Francis of Assisi: A Revolutionary Life by Adrian House
  • The Francis Book: 800 Years with the Saint from Assisi by Roy M. Gasnick

All of these books are currently on the shelves and ready to be checked out at The Little Poor Man’s Library of Saint Francis, along with these other wonderful titles.  Questions? As always, feel free to contact me anytime.

 

 

Remembering Thomas Keating

Fr. Thomas Keating, (1923-2018)

REMEMBERING THOMAS KEATING
Father Thomas Keating, O.C.S.O.
7 March 1923 – 25 October 2018
Requiescat In Pace


Editor’s Note: Father Thomas Keating¹, Co-Founder of centering prayer and a pioneer in contemplative prayer, Christian spirituality, and interfaith dialogue died yesterday, October 25, 2018, at age 95.

It was at one of his lectures back in 1998 that Fr. Keating set me on the contemplative path and introduced me to centering prayer. And because his teaching and writing have had such a profound influence on me over the years, I feel a deep, personal loss. Fr. Keating may no longer be with us physically, but there is no doubt in my mind that his ministry and spiritual legacy will continue until the end of time. May he rest in peace.



BIOGRAPHY

Born in New York City in 1923, Thomas Keating attended Deerfield Academy, Yale University, and Fordham University, where he graduated in December 1943. He entered the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (also known as Trappists) in Valley Falls, Rhode Island, in January 1944. He was appointed Superior of St. Benedict’s Monastery, Snowmass, Colorado, in 1958, and was elected abbot of St. Joseph’s Abbey, Spencer, Massachusetts, in 1961. He returned to Snowmass after retiring as abbot of Spencer in 1981, where he established a program with retreats in the practice of Centering Prayer, a contemporary form of the Christian contemplative tradition through the auspices of Contemplative Outreach.²

LOCALLY
I remember it like it was yesterday. While serving a local Baptist church as associate pastor back in 1998, I received a sign from God. Well, in a manner of speaking. As I recall, it was a tiny classified ad in the Houston Chronicle’s Religion Section that, at first glance, appeared to be either a typo or an oxymoron announcing that a Trappist monk would be speaking at a Baptist church. As it turned out, the ad was legit. The church was River Oaks Baptist Church. The monk? Also, legit – Thomas Keating.

Intrigued, I attended Father Keating’s lecture on prayer that evening where he stood front and center on the stage, his hands gently folded as in in prayer, speaking for about ninety minutes without the use of a podium or notes. He spoke both extemporaneously and compellingly to a packed-out church on the importance of taking the time out of our busy daily lives and schedules to make a connection with God. (Keating likened it to sending God many short emails throughout the day. Today we would just text or FaceTime God.) To my ears, it sounded like a Christian version of meditation; he referred to it as centering prayer. I left the church that night in amazement of what I had just heard with a well-fed soul, an armful of Keating’s books, and a commitment to God to learn more. And learn more I did during the next several years through his lectures, more than 40 books and videos, and dozens of centering prayer and silent prayer retreats I participated in at Villa de Matel, in Houston.

LEGACY
Today, with more than twenty years having now passed since my introduction to Christian “meditation” (thank you, Fr. Keating), I’m now the one standing in front of people teaching and spreading the “good news” of contemplative prayer.  And along with thousands of other disciples and people all over the world, I express my appreciation for the profound influence of Father Keating on my life and give thanks to God for the enormous spiritual legacy he has left behind for generations to come.


 NOTES & REFERENCES

1 R.I.P. Father Thomas Keating | National Catholic Reporter (NCR)

2 Thomas Keating Bio | Wikipedia – the free Encyclopedia

3 Photo Credit: Fr. Thomas Keating | Public Domain by Christopher [CC BY 2.0  (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Research Library Catalog

All of the books in the Saint Francis of Assisi Research Library are written exclusively about Saint Francis, the San Damiano Cross, or Franciscan spirituality and include biographies, non-fiction, and fictional works. These hardback, paperback, or occasional leather-bound books may be new, used, or even ex-library, but all are clean with no markings, notes, or underlining. Some are First Editions and many are out-of-print. All are in very good or new condition. Learn more here.

The most current, but ever-expanding list of books that comprise the library are listed alphabetically below. In time, I plan on including a brief synopsis of each book, but for now you can find excellent reviews (Google, Amazon, Good Reads, Barnes & Noble etc.) by simply googling the title of the book.

Questions? Feel free to Contact Me anytime.


THE SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI RESEARCH LIBRARY

ONLINE CATALOG
Most recent update:
March 23, 2019


  1. A Eucharistic Vision & the Spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi
    Mark of Whitstable, OFM (Fr. Mark Elvins)
    Gracewing, Ltd.
    Paperback / © 2007 / 85 pages


  2. A Mended and Broken Heart: The Life and Love of Francis of Assisi
    Wendy Murray
    Basic Books
    Hardback / © 2008 / 304 pages

  3. A Retreat with Francis & Clare of Assisi: Following Our Pilgrim Hearts
    Murray Bodo & Susan Saint Sing
    St. Anthony Messenger Press
    Paperback / © 1996 / 93 pp


  4. Brother Leo Remembers Francis: Companions of Saint Francis of Assisi
    Roderic Petrie, O.F.M.
    St. Anthony Messenger Press
    Paperback / © 1999 / 115 pp

  5. Conversations with St. Francis
    James C. Howell
    Abingdon Press
    Paperback / © 2008 / 107 pp


  6. Daily Readings with St. Francis of Assisi
    Sister Elizabeth Marie Klepec, OSF
    Templegate Publishers
    Paperback / © 1988 / 96 pages


  7. Daring to Cross the Threshold: Francis of Assisi Encounters Sultan Malek
    Kathleen Warren, OSF
    Wipf & Stock Publishers
    Paperback / © 2012 / 151 pages


  8. Dating God: Live and Love in the Way of St. Francis
    Daniel P. Horan, O.F.M.
    St. Anthony Messenger Press
    Paperback / © 2012 / 129 pages

  9. Following Francis of Assisi: A Spirituality for Daily Living
    Patti Normile
    St. Anthony Messenger Press
    Paperback / © 1996 / 124 pp


  10. Francis & Clare of Assisi: Selected Writings
    Foreword by Michael Morris
    Harper Collins Spiritual Classics
    Paperback / © 1982/2006
    128 pp


  11. Francis and the San Damiano Cross: Meditations on Spiritual Transformation
    Susan Saint Sing, PhD.
    St. Anthony Messenger Press
    Paperback / © 2006 / 103 pages


  12. Francis, Bible of the Poor
    Auspicius van Corstanje, O.F.M.
    Translated by David Smith
    Franciscan Herald Press
    Hardback / © 1997 / 228 pages


  13. Francis of Assisi: A Revolutionary Life
    Adrian House
    Hidden Spring
    Softcover / © 2001 / 336 pages

  14. Francis of Assisi: The Wandering Years
    Anthony Mockler
    Phaidan Press, Ltd.
    Hardback / © 1976 / 256 pages


  15. Francis: The Journey & The Dream
    Murray Bodo, O.F.M.
    St. Anthony Msg Press
    Hardback / © 2011 / 257 pages


  16. God’s Fool: The Life and Times of Francis of Assisi
    Julien Green
    Harper & Row
    Hardback / © 1985 / 273 pages


  17. Instruments of Christ: Reflections on the Peace Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi
    Albert Haase, O.F.M.
    St. Anthony Msg Press
    Paperback / © 2004 / 81 pp


  18. Let me Sow Love: Living the Peace Prayer of St. Francis
    James E. Adams
    Ave Maria Press
    Paperback / © 2003 / 152 pp

  19. Light in the Dark Ages: The Friendship of Francis & Clare of Assisi
    Jon. M. Sweeney
    Paraclete Press
    Paperback / © 2007 / 204 pages


  20. Living the Wisdom of St. Francis
    Wayne Simsic
    Paulist Press
    Paperback / © 2001 / 111 pp


  21. On the Road with Francis of Assisi:
    A Timeless Journey Through Umbria and Tuscany, and Beyond

    Linda Bird Francke
    Random House
    Trade Paperback / © 2005 / 266 pp


  22. Origins of the Franciscan Order
    Kajetan Esser, O.F.M.
    Franciscan Herald Press
    Hardback / © 1970 / 289 pages


  23. Praying with Francis of Assisi: Companions for the Journey
    Joseph Stoutzenberger & John D. Bohrer
    Saint Mary’s Press
    Paperback / © 1989 / 105 pp


  24. Saint Francis
    Marie Dennis & Art by John A. Swanson
    Orbis Books
    Hardback / © 2002 / 119 pages

  25. Saint Francis
    Robert West
    Thomas Nelson
    Paperback / © 2010 / 233 pp


  26. Saint Francis and His Four Ladies
    Joan Mowat Erikson
    Orbis Books
    Paperback / © 1993 / 184 pages


  27. Saint Francis and The Foolishness of God
    Marie Dennis, Joseph Nangle O.F.M., et al
    Norton / First Edition
    Hardback / © 1970 / 140 pages

  28. Saint Francis of Assisi
    Morris Bishop
    Little, Brown, & Company
    First Edition
    Hardback / © 1974 / 227 pp


  29. Saint Francis: Nature Mystic: The Derivation and Significance of the
    Nature Stories in the Franciscan Legend

    Edward A. Armstrong
    University of California Press
    Hardcover / © 1973 / 270 pp


  30. Salvation: Scenes from the Life of Saint Francis
    Valerie Martin
    Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
    Paperback / © 2002 / 288 pages


  31. St. Francis of America:
    How A Thirteenth-Century Monk Became America’s Most Popular Saint
    Patricia Appelbaum
    The University of North Carolina Press
    Hardback / © 2015 / 270 pp


  32. St. Francis of Assisi: A Biography
    Omer Englebert
    St. Anthony Msg Press
    Paperback / © 1965 / 282 pages


  33. St. Francis of Assisi
    Johannes Jörgensen
    Longmans, Green, & Co
    Hardback / © 1957 / 428 pages


  34. Saint Francis of Assisi
    Jacques Le Goff | Translated by Christine Rhone
    Routledge
    Softcover / © 2004 / 159 pp


  35. Saint Francis of Assisi
    G. K. Chesterton
    Paraclete Press
    Softcover / © 2013 / 199 pages


  36. Saint Francis of Assisi
    Photographs by Dennis Stock
    Text by Lawrence Cunningham
    A Scala Book / Harper & Row
    Hardcover / © 1981 / 124 pages

  37. St. Francis of Assisi: Writings for a Gospel Life
    Regis J. Armstrong, O.F.M. Cap.|
    Crossroad Publishing Co.
    Softcover / © 1994 / 240 pp


  38. Saint Francis of Assisi
    John R. H. Moorman
    Franciscan Herald Press
    Paperback / © 1976 / 118 pages


  39. St. Francis of Assisi: Omnibus of Sources
    Writings & Early Biographies
    Marion A. Habig, O.F.M. (Editor) Franciscan Press
    Hardback / © 1991 / 1,665 pages
    (Library Reference Book Only – not available for loan.)


  40. St. Francis of Assisi: The Best from All His Works
    Stephen Rost, Editor
    Thomas Nelson Publishers
    Christian Classics Collection
    Hardcover / © 1989 / 284 pages


  41. Tales of St. Francis: Ancient Stories for Contemporary Living
    Murray Bodo, O.F.M.
    St. Anthony Msg Press
    Paperback / © 1992 / 187 pages


  42. The Cost of Community: Jesus, St. Francis, & Life in the Kingdom
    Jamie Arpin-Ricci, C.J.
    IVP Books (Intervarsity Press)
    Softcover / © 2011 / 236 pages


  43. The Crucifix that Spoke to St. Francis
    Michael Goonan, S.S.P.
    IVP Books (Intervarsity Press)
    Softcover / © 2011 / 236 pages


  44. The Ecstasies of Saint Francis: The Way of Liberty Poverty
    John Ryan Haule
    Steiner Books, Inc.
    Paperback / © 2003 / 192 pages


  45. The Francis Book: 800 Years with the Saint from Assisi
    Roy M. Gasnick, O.F.M.Macmillan Publishing Co.
    Hardback / © 1980 / 211 pages (Copy 1 with dust jacket)


  46. The Francis Book: 800 Years with the Saint from Assisi
    Roy M. Gasnick, O.F.M.Macmillan Publishing Co.
    Hardback / © 1980 / 211 pages (Copy 2 with dust jacket)


  47. The Francis Book: 800 Years with the Saint from Assisi
    Roy M. Gasnick, O.F.M.Macmillan Publishing Co.
    Hardback / © 1980 / 211 pages (Copy 3 without dust jacket)

  48. The Gospels According to Saint Francis
    Hilarion Kistner, O.F.M.
    Franciscan Media
    Softcover / © 2014 / 121 pages


  49. The Larks of Umbria
    Albert Paul Schimberg
    Bruce Publishing Co
    Hardback / © 1942 / 237 pages


  50. The Lessons of St. Francis
    John Michael Talbot w/ Steve Rabey
    Dutton
    Hardback / © 1997 / 255 pages


  51. The Life and Prayers of Saint Francis
    Wyatt North
    CreateSpace Books
    Paperback / © 2012 / 70 pages

  52. The Life of St. Francis of Assisi
    Saint Bonaventure
    Tan Books
    Paperback / © 1988 (Reprint) / 187 pages


  53. The Life of Saint Francis of Assisi: And a Sketch of the Franciscan Order
    Pamfilo Da Magliano, O.S.F.
    P. O’Shea (Reprint) Softcover / © 1867 / 674 pp
    American Edition


  54. The Little Flowers of Saint Francis: The Life of Saint Francis of Assisi
    Translated & Edited by Bishop H.E. Manning, DD
    Konecky & Konecky
    Hardback /© 2005 / 301 pages

  55. The Road to Assisi: The Essential Biography of Saint Francis
    Paul Sabatier
    Paraclete Press
    Hardcover / © 1989 / 187 pages


  56. The Roots of St. Francis
    Raphael Brown
    Franciscan Herald Press
    |Hardback / © 1982 / 212 pages


  57. The Rule & Testament of St. Francis:
    Conferences to the Modern Followers

    Kajetan Esser, O.F.M.
    Franciscan Herald Press
    Hardback / © 1977 / 226 pp


  58. The Saint Francis Prayer Book: A Guide to Deepen Your Spiritual Life
    John M. Sweeney
    Paraclete Press
    Softcover / © 2004 / 156 pages


  59. The St. Francis Holy Fool Prayer Book
    John M. Sweeney
    Paraclete Press
    Softcover / © 2017 / 114 pp


  60. The Simple Way: Meditations on the Words of Saint Francis
    Murray Bodo, O.F.M.
    Saint Anthony Messenger Press & Franciscan Communications
    Paperback / © 2009 / 132 pages


  61. The Way of Lady Poverty: The Ecstasies of St. Francis
    John Ryan Haule
    Lindisfarne Books
    Softcover / © 2004 / 183 pages


  62. The Way of St. Francis: A Spirituality of Reconciliation
    Murray Bodo, O.F.M.
    Doubleday & Co.
    Hardback / © 1984 / 180 pages


  63. The Wisdom of St. Francis
    Compiled and Introduced by
    Brother Ramon, S.S.F.
    Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
    Hardback / © 1997 / 48 pp


  64. The Wondrous Adventures of St. Francis of Assisi
    Tricia Gray
    St. Anthony Messenger Press & Franciscan Communications
    Paperback / © 2003 / 164 pages


  65. True Joy from Assisi: The Assisi Experience of Inner Peace & Joy
    Raphael Brown
    Franciscan Herald Press
    Hardback / © 1978 / 268 pages


  66. When Saint Francis Saved the Church
    Jon M. Sweeney
    Ave Maria Press
    Hardback / © 2014 / 175 pages


Cairns of Prayer

CAIRNS OF PRAYER

I recently reached a new milestone and marked it with another cairn. A cairn of nexus prayer. A cairn on my prayer timer.

Cairns¹, from the Scottish Gaelic: càrn, are human-made piles of stones that have been used from prehistoric times and that are still being used today for many and varied purposes, including landmarks, milestones, monument markers, and sometimes for ceremonial purposes such as identifying a famous gravesite or significant battle ground. For example, cairns or milestones were used to mark key distances and landmarks along the Appian Way² (Rome’s oldest road), and are still used today to indicate important or dangerous paths along remote jungle, densely forested, or mountainous areas such as some of the trails I’ve hiked leading to a few sacred spaces in Switzerland. Interestingly, for centuries historical monument markers were so prolific in Europe that in ancient Roman religion the Romans even had their own god, Terminus³, whose sole purpose was the protection of boundary markers. Of course, in everyday circumstances from the time we enter this world to the time we depart it, the term “milestone” is used in more casual ways to mark special occasions along our journey in this life such as the birth of a child, graduation, an engagement or marriage, job promotion, or significant awards and achievements.

All of that said, and as mentioned earlier, I have a personal cairn of my own to share – a cairn of prayer. Please know this is no humblebrag (though it’s true I’m both happy and humbled), but just last week I surpassed the 5,000 mark for completed individual nexus prayers. Sure, there’s good reason to celebrate because, after all, it took me the better part of three years of multiple daily nexus prayers to reach that number. However, the primary reason I’m so happy to have hit that marker is not because five thousand is the largest isogrammic³ number in the English language, but because it means that while on my nexus prayer journey over the past 1,453 days, I have spent almost 800 hours making a personal connection with God using nexus prayer. And surprisingly, most of those times of prayer were done in five-minute increments – the 5-minute nexus prayer.

So why am I writing about this milestone and sharing it with you here? The answer is because the most common excuse I frequently hear from people (Christians and non-Christians alike) about prayer in general and nexus prayer in particular is “I’m just too busy to stop and pray.” Of course, we all know that we make the time for the things that matter most to us – time for work, meals, sleep, romance, sporting events, recreation, television, social media, family time, and sometimes even church. What or, more importantly, who is missing in that litany of activities? God. God gives us twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to use as we choose. I’m simply challenging all of us to prayerfully look at our daily lives – our schedules and action lists – and find a five-minute time slot at least once a day to just “be” with God in the quietude of nexus prayer. To listen to God’s still, small voice.

Five minutes doesn’t sound like much, but even a single five-minute nexus prayer once a day – every day – will provide you with more than 30 minutes spent in quality, one-on-one time with God each week. Do that twice a day and you just spent more than one hour with God that week. I encourage you to make this a part of your regular daily routine, leaving markers along the way, and before you know it you too will have 5,000 cairns of prayer – cairns that will continue to lead you to the heart of God. Cairns that will show others the Way.


NOTES & REFERENCE

1 Cairn | Wikipedia – the free Encyclopedia

2 Appian Way | Wikipedia – the free Encyclopedia

3 Terminus – Ancient Roman god of boundary markers. | Wikipedia – the free Encyclopedia

4 Isograms| An isogram (also known as a “nonpattern word”) is a logological term for a word or phrase without a repeating letter. | Source: Wikipedia – the free Encyclopedia.

5 Photo Credit: “Stones in Balance” by Bekir Dönmez on Unsplash | Public Domain via Unsplash | Used and modified with permission by Nexus Prayer International.

6 Photo Credit: Design for a stained glass window with Terminus Hans Holbein | Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. Modified with permission – Nexus Prayer International,

7 Photo Credit: © Copyright 2018 Nexus Prayer Timer 5K by Allen Aaron White. | Used with permission Nexus Prayer International.

« Older posts

© 2019 Nexus Prayer

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑