Friday Favorites for Prayer and Writing

Each Friday I share some of my favorite finds related to praying or writing. If I think it could help you pray or write better, then I’ll include it below.

Do you have someone else’s article or post to share? Join the Contemplative Writers Facebook group, comment on today’s post on my Facebook page, or follow me on Twitter (@edcyzewski) to nominate your favorite articles, blog posts, and books by Thursday at noon each week.

Something to Learn from the Last Generation Before the Internet

Three Weeks After My Book Is Published (It’s no secret that I appreciate the writing of D. L. Mayfield)

The Spiritual Practice of Writing a Book

Father Thomas Keating on the Meaning of Life (Hint: It doesn’t come naturally!)

From Ed’s blog: When Do Christian Books Cause Too Much Damage?

 

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Scripture Meditation

“Let your loving-kindness, O LORD, be upon us, as we have put our trust in you.”
Psalm 33:22

 

Lasting, truly healing relief from our anxieties and burdens comes from trusting in our loving and kind Lord.

Perhaps we’re so preoccupied with the weight of our worries that we forget his loving kindness could be resting upon us.

Ask God today how you can take another step of trust and rest in his loving and kind presence.

 

For Reflection

Meditation for September 6

 

Featured Book: The Way of the Heart

Week One: Head for the Hills

Henrí Nouwen distills the teachings of the desert fathers and mothers into a brief but incredibly useful book on silence, solitude, and prayer called The Way of the Heart. Grounded in the experience of ministry, Nouwen’s insights are refreshingly accessible and practical.

Readers need not be involved in ministry. If anything, ministers face heightened or exacerbated situations that call all the more for the wisdom in this slender book. This week we’re looking at why we need to head for the hills.

*****

“The words flee, be silent and pray summarize the spirituality of the desert. They indicate the three ways of preventing the world from shaping us in its image and are thus the three ways to life in the Spirit.”

*****

“Our calendars are filled with appointments, our days and weeks filled with engagements, and our years filled with plans and projects. There is seldom a period in which we do not know what to do, and we move through life in such a distracted way that we do not even take the time and rest to wonder if any of the things we think, say, or do are worth thinking, saying or doing.”

*****

“Solitude is the furnace of transformation. Without solitude we remain victims of our society and continue to be entangled in the illusions of the false self. Jesus himself entered into this furnace. There he was tempted with the three compulsions of the world: to be relevant (‘turn stones into loaves’), to be spectacular (‘throw yourself down’), and to be powerful (‘I will give you all these kingdoms’). There he affirmed God as the only source of his identity (‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve him alone’). Solitude is the place of the great struggle and the great encounter – the struggle against the compulsions of the false self, and the encounter with the loving God who offers himself as the substance of the new self.”

*****

 

For Reflection

Featured Book for September 5

Saturday Prayer

Today’s prayer comes from the Common Prayer app:

Soul of Christ, sanctify me;
body of Christ, save me;
blood of Christ, inebriate me;
water from the side of Christ, wash me;
passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good ­Jesus, hear me;
within your wounds hide me;
suffer me not to be separated from you;
from the malicious enemy defend me;
in the hour of my death call me,
and bid me come to you
that with your saints I may praise you
forever and ever. Amen.

Find more prayers in Common Prayer

Friday Favorites for Prayer and Writing

Each Friday I share some of my favorite finds related to praying or writing. If I think it could help you pray or write better, then I’ll include it below.

Do you have someone else’s article or post to share? Join the Contemplative Writers Facebook group, comment on today’s post on my Facebook page, or follow me on Twitter (@edcyzewski) to nominate your favorite articles, blog posts, and books by Thursday at noon each week.

Nurturing Craft in an Age of Content (A Fantastic Interview with Author D.L. Mayfield)

The Magic of Early Mornings (Wake up early = Less stress)

Without Smartphones, Productivity Increased 26%

A Journey into the Social Media Lives of Teens

What Happened When a Company Adopted a 5-Hour Work Day

Book Discount: Pray, Write, Grow: Cultivating Prayer and Writing Together is $.99 on Kindle

 

Keep the Contemplative Writer Sustainable

The Contemplative writer is ad-free and never shares sponsored content, but it is a lot of work to maintain. We rely on affiliate links from the books we share and the generous gifts of our readers. An automated monthly gift as low as $1 per month or a one-time gift of $5 goes a long way to sustaining our mission to provide contemplative prayer resources for our readers. Thank you!

Choose a recurring monthly donation:

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Make a one-time gift via PayPal (credit cards accepted!)


Donate Now Button

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Scripture Meditation: Responding to God with Silence

O LORD, I am not proud; I have no haughty looks. I do not occupy myself with great matters, or with things that are too hard for me. But I still my soul and make it quiet, like a child upon its mother’s breast, my soul is quieted within me.
Psalm 131:1-3

 

Do you believe that God desires to nurture, protect, and guide you? Can you accept that God desires you to rest like a child resting with his/her mother?

Stillness and quiet are appropriate, even essential responses to God.

 

For Reflection

Meditation for August 30

 

Featured Book: Thoughts in Solitude

Week Five: Silence and Solitude for the Anxious

thoughts in solitude-mertonThomas Merton was well aware of the anxiousness and fragmentation of our wold. Perhaps he saw these trends with particular clarity because he had given so much time to solitude.

Solitude can be learned and developed, just as anxiety can be exposed and then replaced. These aren’t quick fixes or processes that happen over night. They take practice, with the word practice indicated a lot of imperfection and failure as we continue. However, the rewards are invaluable.

Thomas Merton writes in Thoughts in Solitude:

*****

“Ours is a time of anxiety because we have willed it to be so. Our anxiety is not imposed on us by force from outside. We impose it on our world and upon one another from within ourselves.”

*****

“The solitary life, being silent, clears away the smoke-screen of words that man has laid down between his mind and things.”

*****

“When we are not living up to our true vocation, thought deadens our life, or substitutes itself for life, or gives in to life so that our life drowns out our thinking and stifles the voice of conscience. When we find our vocation—thought and life are one.”

*****

“As soon as a man is fully disposed to be alone with God, he is alone with God no matter where he may be—in the country, the monastery, the woods or the city.”

*****

Read more in Thoughts in Solitude

 

For Reflection

Featured Book for August 29 (1)

 

 

Saturday Prayer

Today’s prayer is by John G. Whittier:

Drop thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of thy peace.

Source: The Divine Hours

Friday Favorites for Prayer and Writing

Each Friday I share some of my favorite finds related to praying or writing. If I think it could help you pray or write better, then I’ll include it below.

Do you have someone else’s article or post to share? Join the Contemplative Writers Facebook group, comment on today’s post on my Facebook page, or follow me on Twitter (@edcyzewski) to nominate your favorite articles, blog posts, and books by Thursday at noon each week.

Hiking Actually Changes Your Brain

Gratitude Changes Your Brain (How about a gratitude hike???)

The Rebel Virgins and Desert Mothers Who Have Been Written Out of Christianity’s Early History (Prepare to have your mind blown)

A Daily Exercise that Can Revolutionize Your Writing… and Prayer (My guest post for Jane Friedman)

Why the 8-Hour Work Week Doesn’t Work

Lessons from Weakness with Elizabeth Maxon

NEWS: Pray, Write, Grow: Cultivating Prayer and Writing Together is $.99 on Kindle

 

Keep the Contemplative Writer Sustainable

The Contemplative writer is ad-free and never shares sponsored content, but it is a lot of work to maintain. We rely on affiliate links from the books we share and the generous gifts of our readers. An automated monthly gift as low as $1 per month or a one-time gift of $5 goes a long way to sustaining our mission to provide contemplative prayer resources for our readers. Thank you!

Choose a recurring monthly donation:

support-patreon-orange

Make a one-time gift via PayPal (credit cards accepted!)


Donate Now Button

Learn more about how to support us.

 

 

Featured Article: Multitasking Drains Us, Kills Focus, and Leads to Anxiety

You may have applied to a job that values “multitasking,” but the latest research tells us that regularly switching between work, email, and social media can kill focus and lead to a sense of anxiety. Even worse, we can train our brain to crave interruptions.

While working on this post I even had to close my email tab because checking email has become a regular habit. Researchers suggest that we need regular breaks away from our screens in order to recharge and set aside focused time to address email and social media without constantly interrupting our days.

Read more from the article in Quartz: 

*****

“When we attempt to multitask, we don’t actually do more than one activity at once, but quickly switch between them. And this switching is exhausting. It uses up oxygenated glucose in the brain, running down the same fuel that’s needed to focus on a task.”

*****

“Gloria Mark, professor in the department of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, says that when people are interrupted, it typically takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to their work, and most people will do two intervening tasks before going back to their original project. This switching leads to a build up of stress…”

*****

“The solution is to give up on multitasking and set aside dedicated chunks of time for each separate activity. So only check your email first thing in the morning and again at midday, or set aside 10 minutes per afternoon for Twitter.”

*****

Read more here…

 

Keep the Contemplative Writer Sustainable

The Contemplative writer is ad-free and never shares sponsored content, but it is a lot of work to maintain. We rely on affiliate links from the books we share and the generous gifts of our readers. An automated monthly gift as low as $1 per month or a one-time gift of $5 goes a long way to sustaining our mission to provide contemplative prayer resources for our readers. Thank you!

Choose a recurring monthly donation:

support-patreon-orange

Make a one-time gift via PayPal (credit cards accepted!)


Donate Now Button

Learn more about how to support us.