Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer: An Approach to Life in Fullness

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A monk reflects on the many aspects of the spiritual life with the basic attitude of gratefulness.

“A true delight.” —Henri J. M. Nouwen
A member of the Calmaldolese order of monks, and well-known for his far-reaching interests in theology and science (he has explored the implications of contemporary physics with Fritjof Capra, the author of The Tao of Physics), Steindl-Rast does a wonderful job of exploring the relationship between prayer and that sense of gratefulness that comes with love, which is at the very center of what it means to be human. “To bless whatever there is, and for no other reason but simply because it is, that is what we are made for as human beings,” he writes. Connecting contemplation and action, he affirms that contemplation may best be realized by “acting in love.” “Thinking about God is important,” he states, but “acting in God leads to a deeper knowledge. Lovers are closer to love than scholars who merely reflect on love. It would be a bit awkward to reflect on kissing while you kiss.” –Doug Thorpe

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