What is the use of praying if at the very moment of prayer, we have so little confidence in God that we are busy planning our own kind of answer to our prayer?

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Conversations of the Heart VST Summer School
Cynthia Bourgeault Wednesday 9-15 July 2007

In the early centuries the church worked out of the Third Eye. This was the early mode of epistemology.

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sooner or later, if we follow Christ we have to risk everything in order to gain everything. We have to gamble on the invisible and risk all that we can see and taste and feel. But we know the risk is worth it, because there is nothing more insecure than the transient world. For this world as we see it is passing away (I Cor. 7:31). 26

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Conversations of the Heart VST Summer School
Cynthia Bourgeault Wednesday 9-15 July 2007

Meditation opens us to a relationship with the sense of coherence. It allows us to see connection. We cannot see this with the mind.

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Grace, which is charity, contains in itself all virtues in a hidden and potential manner, like the leaves and the branches of the oak hidden in the meat of an acorn. To be an acorn is to have a taste for being an oak tree. Habitual grace brings with it all the Christian virtues in their seed. 23

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In the 25 February online edition of “First Things” George Weigel has drawn out some interesting numbers from the annual “Status of Global Christianity” survey published by the International Bulletin of Missionary Research.

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…before we can surrender ourselves we must become ourselves. For no one can give up what he does not possess.

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The phrase self-conquest can come to sound odious because very often it can mean not the conquest of ourselves but a conquest by ourselves. A victory we have won by our own power. … Real self-conquest is the conquest of ourselves not by ourselves but by the Holy Spirit. Self-conquest is really self-surrender. 20

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It would be absurd to suppose that because emotion sometimes interferes with reason, that it therefore has no place in the spiritual life. Christianity is not stoicism.

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Conversations of the Heart VST Summer School
Cynthia Bourgeault Wednesday 9-15 July 2007

We are finite, contingent, separate, dependent, creatures – this is all a legitimate experience of being human. But, we also have an experience of limitless divinity – “I” cannot be contained.

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