The Way of the Heart: The Spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers
by Henri Nouwen
“Arsenius, flee from the world, be silent, pray always . . ”
Solitude — Silence — Prayer :: a summary of the spirituality of the desert.
- the furnace of transformation
- Temptations that face
- to be relevant
- to be spectacular
- to be powerful
- The very first thing we need to do is set apart a time and place to be with God.
- Silence is the way to make solitude a reality.
- Silence makes us pilgrims.
- Silence guards the fire (Holy Spirit) within.
- Silence teaches us to speak.
- We speak a great deal, but what good does it really do.
- “wordy unbelief”
- A word with power comes out of silence. A word that bears fruit comes out of silence.
- Divine silence in which love rests secure.
- . . . how to keep them from being so busy that they can no longer hear the voice of God who speaks in silence.”
- Pray always . . . solitude and silence are never separate from prayer. They create space for prayer.
- Hesychia — the rest which flows from unceasing prayer.
- Prayer isn’t just talking to God or thinking about God.
- Hesychastic Prayer:
- prayer of the heart
- to descend with the mind into the heart and stand before the face of God
- Heart = the source of all energies: impulses, feelings, mood, wishes, perception, understanding, will, plans, decision, PERSONALITY
- Hide Nothing :: Surrender All
- Happy are the pure in heart: they shall see God
- Prayer — simple, unceasing, all-inclusive.