About the Christian Contemplative Prayer and Mindfulness course
Contemplative prayer shares with mindfulness the idea that our life spins out of control when we lose the ability to pay attention to the present moment. In the Christian approach self-awareness is part of a deeper awareness of God speaking to us through Scripture and simultaneously of his presence in our heart.
Contemplative prayer shares with mindfulness the idea that our life spins out of control when we lose the ability to pay attention to the present moment because we are less aware of ourselves, our feelings, and our thoughts. Mindfulness teaches that this level of awareness requires that we still the body as a way of reaching greater inner stability and clarity. This is why Christian contemplative prayer has a lot to learn from mindfulness.
At the same time, the Christian approach differs from mindfulness because self-awareness is part of a deeper awareness of God’s presence and action in us and in our lives. The stillness, silence, and awareness that characterize Christian contemplative prayer do not stem from a short circuit of our intelligence, but from hearing and understanding God speaking to us through Scripture while simultaneously becoming aware of his presence in our heart.
Fr Luigi Gioia was a Benedictine Monk for 25 years in Italy and France and is now Assistant Priest and Head of Formation at the Anglican Parish of St Paul Knightsbridge in London. He was a professor of systematic theology at the Pontifical University of Sant’Anselmo in Rome for many years and now is a research associate at the Von Hügel Institute for Critical Catholic Inquiry at Cambridge University (UK). A retreat leader in several countries, he is the author of several books of spirituality, including Say It to God: In Search of Prayer (the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book 2018), Touched by God: The Way to Contemplative Prayer (2018) and The Wisdom of St Benedict. Monastic Spirituality and the Life of the Church (2020)