Inscape newsletters concern teachings on the Christian Spiritual Life and Contemplative Prayer. The authentic Christian life is a life of prayerful worship in Spirit and Truth, where the main goal is to obey all the commandents of Jesus Christ by living consciously as possible in the loving presence of the Indwelling Trinity, so as to "pray always"...the "prayer in the heart", and to unceasingly give thanks to God, everywhere and for all things, in that deepest level of consciousness.
Contemplative Prayer (prayer of the whole person, body, soul and spirit) is THE LIVING REALITY where you personally encounter the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to live completely...out of love of God...and neighbor. The goal and destiny of the Christian Life, the goal of all humanity, is THEOSIS...DEIFICATION IN CHRIST!
The content of these newsletters has been drawn from Fr. George Maloney's (1924-2005) writings as a theologian, which are the result of his daily celebration of Divine Liturgy, night-vigils, the inspiriation of the Holy Spirit in his earthly life and my experiece of him as my Spiritual Father. Fr. George's voice truly echoes throughout Inscape.
VERY IMPORTANT: If possible for you: print and read Inscape in the order presented, beginning with March 2013. The issues that are specific on contemplative prayer, build upon one another from the previous months content.
May these newsletters be for you a help to live your life in the Heart of Jesus, "The Lord," and that He grant to you the constant memory of Him.
REFLECTION OF PURPOSE
Throughout these monthly Inscape teachings, there is a reminding to ourselves of this "a journey" into the specialized world of Eastern Christianity Spirituality. There are all sorts of journeys we take. The Israelites journeyed for forty years through the desert, and only the faithful "Anawim," the "poor in spirit," entered into the promised land. Their long nomadic journey ended and yielded to a deeper journey into their hearts as they lived out their commitment to God's hesed covenant.
Yet there is a danger in describing these newsletters as a journey. Our experiences of taking a journey usually are tied to a linear movement from one place to another, always coming back to our beginning base. The impression is often given that after a journey we are now back "to business as usual," as though we had not been away.
It is Father Maloney's humble hope that this journey back into the writings of some of the leading Eastern Fathers of the early centuries will continue throughout your life. Such a journey will deepen in richness as you grow in the vibrancy of such spiritual views of these Eastern Christian Theologians and Mystics and Saints. May these teachings foster in your personal life a deeper gratitude to God for the treasures locked in the patristic writings of the Eastern Fathers.
I would like to conclude by quoting from Saint Gregory of Nyssa:
"We who among beings count for nothing, who are dust, grass, vanity, who have been adopted to be children of the God of the universe, become the friend of this Being of such excellence and grandeur. This is a mystery that we can neither see nor understand nor comprehend. What thanks should we give for so great a favor? What word, what thought, what lifting up of mind in order to exalt the superabundance of this grace? We surpass our own very nature.
From mortal beings we become immortal, from perishable beings we become imperishable. From ephemeral we become eternal. In a word, from human beings we become gods.
In fact, rendered worthy to become children of God, we will have in ourselves the dignity of the Father, enriched by all the inheritance of the goods of the Father.
O munificence of the Lord, so bountiful....How great are the gifts of such ineffable treasures."
March 2013 Introduction.
April 2013 Are you called to be a Contemplative?
May 2013 How to form a Contemplative Prayer Group.
June 2013 Difficulties in Contemplation.
July 2013 Discipline as an aid to Prayer.
August 2013 Spiritual Experiences in Prayer.
September 2013 Seeking Spiritual Direction...A "Soul Friend".
October 2013 Prayer is a Loving Presence
November 2013 Surrender in the Now Moment.
December 2013 Contemplation as a Stretching Out Toward God.
January 2014 He Pitched His Tent Among Us
February 2014 Stress, Inner Peace and Healing
March 2014 The Oasis of Tears
April 2014 Contemplation and Self Emptying Love
May 2014 The Death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ
June 2014 The Holy Spirit Who Dwells Within Each of Us
July 2014 Be Intercessors
August 2014 In Humility and In Love
September 2014 The Nature of True Humility
October 2014 The Poor in Spirit
November 2014 Practical Living in Joyful Humility
December 2014 Dreams and Visions and Divine Encounter
March 2015 Heart Failure
April 2015 The Gift of Wonderment
June 2015 The Silent Heart
September 2015 Praying in the Heart
October 2015 The Heart of Jesus
November 2015 Can I really Experience God?
February 2016 Weep: There is No Other Way to Perfection
March 2016 Why must I Suffer?
February 2017 The Holy Spirit: The Gift of Merciful Love
June 2017 Childlike Abandonment and Deeper Prayer
September 2017 In God, There is no Darkness
November 2017 Being Forgiven
Father John had a stroke last November. He will continue with The Incape Newsletters as soon as he is able. Please remember him in your prayers! Thank you!