A prayer from St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380):

O Holy Spirit, come into my heart;
by your power draw it to yourself, God,
and give me charity with fear.

Guard me, Christ, from every evil thought,
and so warm and enflame me again
with your most gentle love
that every suffering may seem light to me.

My holy Father and my gentle Lord,
help me in my every need.
Christ love! Christ love!



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, or just “be” better, I’ll include it below.

Today, in honor of Monday’s celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we begin with three posts (well, one is a podcast) that help us explore his legacy of love, justice, and nonviolence. Don’t miss the other posts in today’s round-up, too!

As always, I’d love for you to send me your suggestions (find me on Twitter @LisaKDeam) by Thursday at noon each week.


Finding the Strength to Love from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. via Lesa Engelthaler (choosing love in the new year and every year)

Daily Lectio Divina: Nonviolence is absolute commitment to the way of love via Laura Cavanaugh (a podcast episode for meditating on some of Rev. King’s words)

Hearts & Minds Bookstore BEST BOOKS OF 2017 – PART THREE via Byron Borger (noteworthy books on race, racism, multi-ethnic ministry, cross-cultural concerns, and racial justice)

Charitable Living via Elizabeth Bruenig (what does St. Augustine tell us about a distinctly Christian economic ethic and the practice of charity?)

David Byrne Launches the “Reasons to Be Cheerful” Web Site: A Compendium of News Meant to Remind Us That the World Isn’t Actually Falling Apart via Open Culture (I just kind of need a little more cheerfulness right now; same with you?)

It’s Not Talent That Gets Books Written via Ann Kroeker (to be filed in the “don’t give up” section of your brain)




Happy New Year! And welcome back to The Contemplative Writer. I want to thank you for being part of this community. May God bless each of you in 2018. May he lead you into deeper waters of prayer and writing. May he bring you joy in your life and vocation. I’m glad we’re on the journey together.

Friday Favorites are back, and we begin our first installment of 2018 with a prayer for the new year, a prayer for the world, and some fun articles on the book and (coming) movie versions of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. Plus some other other wonderful posts! Enjoy, and, as always, let me know if you have something to recommend for next week’s Favorites. I’d love to hear from you.


May Our Illusions Wilt Under God’s Love for Us via Ed Cyzewski (a prayer for God’s grace in the coming year)

Encountering Silence in Relationships via Encountering Silence Podcast (some paradoxical approaches to silence, for example, in the midst of our noisiest relationships)

The Epiphany: The Journey of the Magi via Exile Liturgy (in this Lessons From Dead Guys podcast, learn about the significance of Epiphany in the life of the Church and in our lives)

Praying for the World with Aelred of Rievaulx via The Contemplative Writer (given the events of yesterday, we may want to revisit this medieval abbot’s thoughts on holding the whole world–not just some countries–in one embrace of love)

Hollywood’s Once and Future Classic: Why it took 54 years to turn A Wrinkle in Time into a movie via Eliza Berman (in case you’re getting ready, like me, for the film release of Wrinkle in March)

My First Love, Revisited: A Wrinkle in Time (a reader and writer reflects on her favorite book and gives a piece of advice: read the book [if you haven’t already] before you see the movie)

The Secret of Great Memoir: The Mature Self via C. S. Lakin (memoir is a popular genre for writers; here’s what you need to know before you tackle it)


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 donations of our readers. Even a gift of $5 goes a long way to sustaining our mission to provide contemplative prayer resources for our readers.

Learn how your support can keep this website running: Support Us Today


Welcome to Friday Favorites. This week, we continue to explore posts, podcasts, and videos that enrich us in this season of Advent. We end with a beautiful prayer for writers that will help our creative work. Enjoy and be blessed!

As always, if you have suggestions for Friday Favorites, let me know in the Contemplative Writers Facebook group, comment on today’s post on my Facebook page, or follow me on Twitter (@LisaKDeam) to nominate your favorite articles, blog posts, and books by Thursday at noon each week.


Bringing Down the Wonder via Tammy Perlmutter  (keeping Advent when our hearts are heavy with waiting)

Preparations in the Dark via Lisa Colon DeLay (in this podcast, Lisa reflects on Advent practices and preparations and shares three rich poems)

The God That Is Coming via Kelly Brown Douglas (an Advent video reflection on how God is always moving toward us)

When You’re Not Feeling Very Adventy via Michelle DeRusha (how do we celebrate the Advent when we’re just not feeling . . . Adventy?)

An Advent of Falling Apart via Lisa Deam (this is a post I wrote last year about the darkness that sometimes comes upon us during this season)

A Writer’s Prayer via Nicky Gant (a prayer for our creative work)


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 donations of our readers. Even a gift of $5 goes a long way to sustaining our mission to provide contemplative prayer resources for our readers.

Learn how your support can keep this website running: Support Us Today



Week One: What would you say?

Wangering cover 2One of my favorite Advent devotionals is Preparing for Jesus: Meditations on the Coming of Christ, Advent, Christmas, and the Kingdom by Walter Wangerin, Jr. I thought I’d share it with you this year. In this book, Wangerin offers thirty-seven reflections for the Advent and Christmas seasons.

In his meditation for December 5, Wangerin leads us to reflect on how Zecharaiah, the father of John the Baptist, reacted when God announced that Zechariah’s wife would soon bear a son. He reacted in disbelief. He did not trust God.

In Zechariah’s doubt is a question for us. For we are expecting a son, too. The Son of Man is coming to us, not just at Christmas, but at the end of time. How do we react to the Lord’s promise that he is coming soon? Wangerin writes:

Friend, unto you the Lord says, “Surely I am coming soon” (Rev. 22:20).


And what do you say to that promise? Do you by your unconscious behavior utter doubt? Does an earthbound vision deny the possibility? Are you scared to consider an end to the world?


“Can’t be.”


“Prove it.”


Sadly, the sign of our mistrust shall be the doubt itself, together with all the anxieties and suspicions and loneliness which doubt engenders. And these will last until we come to trust, or else until his coming comes to pass.


Jesus says, “I am coming soon!”


And how do you respond? Oh, let it be as a bride responds to the promise of the bridegroom, adorning yourself for his return, joyfully shouting with the Spirit, “Come!” (Rev. 21:2, 9; 22:17). Then your joy, your present beauty, your complete sense of assurance and belonging–these shall be signs of the Lord’s trustworthiness and of our trust, signs of his love until he comes in glory.


“Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!”

Read Preparing for Jesus here.


A Thanksgiving Prayer:

This Thanksgiving, let those of us who have much and those who have little gather at the welcoming table of the Lord. At this blessed feast, may rich and poor alike remember that we are called to serve one another and to walk together in God’s gracious world. With thankful hearts, we praise our God who like a loving parent denies us no good thing.



A prayer for wholeness from Evelyn Underhill:

O Lord, penetrate those murky corners where we hide memories and tendencies on which we do not care to look, but which we will not disinter and yield freely up to you, that you may purify and transmute them: the persistent buried grudge, the half-acknowledged enmity which is still smouldering; the bitterness of that loss we have not turned into sacrifice; the private comfort we cling to; the secret fear of failure which saps our initiative and is really inverted pride; the pessimism which is an insult to your joy, Lord; we bring all these to you, and we review them with shame and penitence in your steadfast light.