Silence and poetry

In this second of a two part series, Mark and Frances continue a discussion of the important role of silence in our contemplative prayer life, and in our daily life. Building on the more objective list of the twelve degrees of silence they discussed in the previous program, this week they introduce the writings of Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified, a Carmelite Saint who was Canonized in 2015, where Jesus Himself instructs the Saint on how to practice silence. The Lord uses very powerful poetic imagery to try and provide a picture of just what He wants Miriam (Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified), and for that matter all of us, to try and practice this deep interior silence. The Lord well understands that it is not the external noise of the world that often interrupts our efforts to find this silence, but rather it is the reverberating echo of our own thoughts and internal conversation that disrupts our prayer life. External events and circumstances will always pose a threat to our interior silence, but it is more how we respond to them and what permission we give them to enter into our hearts that has the potentially most negative consequences for our prayer. This program is very helpful for anyone looking to find more effective ways to practice silence, both in prayer and in their daily life.
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Poetry and Prayer with St. Teresa

In the on-going series on poetry and prayer, Mark and Frances explore the prayerful poem by St. Teresa of Avila entitled, “In the Hands of God.” This wonderful reflection by St. Teresa is her own version of prayerful abandonment to the will of God. Much like the more later prayer penned by St. Therese of Lisieux, titled ‘Act of Oblation to Merciful Love,’ this poem by St. Teresa is a heartfelt outpouring of her deep desire to place everything in the hands of her Heavenly Father. Mark and Frances walk through each verse of the poem and provide both the literal explanation as well as uncover the deeper meaning of Teresa’s words. This is a great introduction not only to one of St. Teresa’s great poems, but also to the use of poetry as a means for vocal, meditative and even contemplative prayer.

Poetry as Prayer

Have you ever wondered why so many Saints have taken to writing poetry, this is certainly the case for the more contemplative orders, and all the well known Carmelites wrote both poetry and prayers. What is it about the Psalms that makes them so important to our daily prayer life and to the liturgy? In this informative conversation, Mark and Frances explore the role of poetry in the act of prayer, and specifically contemplative prayer. They read from the Psalms and from some of the great Saints of Carmel, but they also discuss how even secular poetry can serve as a means to deepen our awareness of the world around us and help us to enter into a conversation with the Creator.