Definitions of Terms I A – J

Centering and Contemplative Prayer
Definition of Terms


APOPHATIC – The exercise of pure faith; resting in God beyond concepts and particular acts, except to maintain a general loving attention to the divine presence.

CENTERING PRAYER – A contemporary form of prayer of the heart, prayer of simplicity, prayer of faith, prayer of simple regard; a method of reducing the obstacles of the gift of contemplative prayer and of facilitation the development of habits conducive to responding to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

CONTEMPLATION – A synonym for contemplative prayer.  The development of ones relationship with Christ to the point of communing beyond words, thoughts, and feelings; a process of moving from the simplified activity of waiting upon God to the ever-increasing predominance of the gifts of the Holy Spirit as the source of one’s prayer.

DIVINE THERAPY – A paradigm in which the spiritual journey is presented as a form of psychotherapy designed to heal the emotional wounds of early childhood and our mechanisms for coping with them.

DIVINE UNION – A term describing either a single experience of the union of all the faculties in God, or the permanent state of union called transformation.

ECSTASY – The temporary suspension by the divine action of the thinking and feeling faculties including at times the external senses, which facilitates the experience of the prayer of full divine union.

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  • Definitions of Terms II K - Z