Contemplative Prayer Bibliography – John Boruff

“Mystical gold” right here! However, even the most golden works of contemplative prayer are bound to have their dross. Expect some “mystical dross” of Catholic Marianism, but probably no more than that. You will not find any Thomas Merton or Thomas Keating referred to favorably here, except perhaps in Dubay:–but even Dubay has criticized Merton for his pluralism. Thomas DubayNo centering prayer, no New Age ideas–although Aumann uses terminology like “a truly Christian gnosis” (he is not advocating Gnosticism, but using the Greek word for revelation knowledge in application to charismatic or prophetic subjects); sometimes Aumann and Dubay use the word “psychic” freely, but again, they are not using it in a New Age or spiritualist understanding. Dubay uses the phrase “centering prayer,” but uses it in application to the traditional Teresian teaching on contemplation; no New Age or pluralist Mertonism going on. Benedict GroeschelBenedict Groeschel criticizes Merton; I like Groeschel as a modern mystical theologian; he might be my favorite, because he seems to be more of a traditional Catholic.

Aumann, Jordan. Spiritual Theology. London: Continuum, 2006. Chapter 12.

Baker, Augustine. Holy Wisdom: or, Directions for the Prayer of Contemplation. Oxford: Benediction Classics, 2007. The Third Treatise, Fourth Section.

Devine, Arthur. A Manual of Mystical Theology. London: R. & T. Washbourne, 1903. Parts 1 and 3.

Dubay, Thomas. Fire Within. San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1989. Chapter 5.

—–. Prayer Primer. San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 2002. Chapter 9.

—–. Contemplation: Union with God. Ignatius Press, 2006. DVD. – See Video. This video is actually more solid than Groeschel’s video.

Farges, Albert. Mystical Phenomena Compared with Their Human and Diabolical Counterfeits. Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing, 2003. Part 1, Chapters 1-4.

Garrigou-Lagrange, Reginald. The Three Ages of the Interior Life. Rockford, IL: TAN Books, 1999. Part 3, Chapters 28-31.

Groeschel, Benedict. Listening at Prayer. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1984. Chapter 6.

—–. Prayer: A Way of Life. 1991. Video, Part 1: “Listening to God.” – See Online Video 1 and Video 2

—–. A Still, Small Voice: A Practical Guide on Reported Revelations. San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1993.

—–. Religious Experience. 2003. Video on visions, God’s presence, and spiritual discernment of demonic and New Age phenomena. – See VideoHas some “mystical dross”; no sign of universalism, but from an academic or objective viewpoint, examines the “religious experiences” of both Christians and non-Christians. There are Marian visions mentioned; but also passing references to New Age figures like Evelyn Underhill or Mahatma Ghandi, or Confucius. Still a very interesting study; and the fact that its in video format is great; but I would not recommend anyone who struggles with universalism to watch the video.

Poulain, Augustin. The Graces of Interior Prayer. Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing, 1996. Part 2, Chapter 4.

Tanquerey, Adolphe. The Spiritual Life. Rockford, IL: TAN Books, 2000. Book 3.

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About John Boruff

John Boruff is a husband, father, blogger, and life insurance agent.
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