Electric Prayer

The Liturgy of the Hours, the Mass, and other things.

Archive for the ‘Spiritual Life’ Category

Encouraging people with free trials

Posted by universalis on 23 January 2019

When groups get together, at conferences, retreats and so on, it is quite common for them to do at least some of the Hours and it is also common for them to use Universalis to do it. The question is how to preserve that spark when everyone gets home afterwards, in the hope that it will burst into flame.

So here is a summary of how anyone with a mobile phone, or a tablet, or a laptop, can get the Hours free for at least a month. This gives good habits a chance to get established, and lets people decide whether they really want to carry on doing the Hours, in whatever way suits them best.

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Posted in Downloadable Universalis, Spiritual Life | 1 Comment »

“Waking up to God”: a review

Posted by universalis on 17 April 2018

José Manuel Eguiguren, Waking up to God: an Experience of Lectio Divina, Downside Abbey Press 2017, ISBN: 978-1-898663-19-5, £20 from Downside Abbey Bookshop (follow the link or email them at books@downside.co.uk).

In 2009 Pope Benedict XVI said, ‘Leading men and women to God, to the God who speaks in the Bible: this is the supreme and fundamental priority of the Church and of the Successor of Peter at the present time.’ The ancient practice of Lectio Divina is becoming increasingly well known to Catholics and is building strong links with Christians of other Churches and traditions. Universalis has recently included in its offer an approach to Lectio Divina that takes users to the Gospel of the day and places it within a framework that encourages readers to listen with the ear of the heart, as Jesus’ first disciples listened to him and, where possible, to share with one another what God’s Word is saying to them in their own personal situation.

There are already a great many books on Lectio Divina and Waking up to God is big (over 500 pages). Why should you read it?

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How to lend money

Posted by universalis on 20 January 2007

“The good man takes pity and lends”, says Psalm 111. So when a friend of mine asked me to lend him £50 because a cheque had arrived late, I knew what I had to do.

But how to do it? Lending money and borrowing money are good ways of losing friends. Here’s the solution that leapt into my mind at that moment. It worked then, and I’ve told other people about it, and it seems to work for them too.

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Posted in Spiritual Life | 29 Comments »

Muscular Christianity

Posted by universalis on 26 June 2006

In a secular world full of distractions we need to make space for prayer in any way we can. A friend of mine has an innocent-looking bracelet that just happens to have its beads in groups of 10: perfect for impromptu Rosaries. I used to have ten keys on my key-ring, and that was good too.

Let me commend to you the practice of going to the gym and using the rowing machine. Not that it has ten of anything; but its use involves a longish period of regular, repetitive motion, and I have discovered that that is ideal for simple prayers.

At the rate of one word per stroke, rowing one mile on the machine takes me one Our Father and two Hail Marys. The exact number varies a little: if you add in "In the name of…" at the beginning and "For thine is the kingdom…" at the end, and pull a bit harder, you can cut out one of the Hail Marys.

Praying at this slow pace (a mile takes me over seven minutes) engages the mind in meditation for a good long time. With practice, you can squeeze any number of prayer intentions non-verbally into the gaps between strokes. And from the point of view of exercise, this is something you can do with your eyes shut instead of obsessively observing the display on the ergometer.

It helps if you go to a gym without music.

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Posted in Spiritual Life | 31 Comments »