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There is an Anglican tradition of contemplative prayer (patrimony) which consists in kneeling, sitting, lying, in silence. It is an aphophatic way,it uses no images or narratives, it has no theme or passage, it does not seek pathways or destination; it is silence before the reality of God. It is a way taught within Anglicanism for most of the last century; Fr Gilbert Shaw was the great apostle of the methodology, in recent years Fr. Bill Scott has guided people in this way.

It is a methodology without methodology, it consists in the silence, not in listening for a voice in the silence, not in listening to the silence as a voice, it is the silence. This way is not to be found in intrusion into the silence, it is not a journey to God found beyond the silence by becoming one with the silence in which God may be found. It is the silence. The prayer is not in embracing, moulding or entering into the silence, it is not in letting the silence be moulded around the soul at prayer, or the woman in the application of the silence.

It is the loss of everything that is not the silence, it is not the loss of self, it is the silence. It is not discerning the ‘heart-beat’ of God, but it may be hearing therumours of the wordless love of the Sacred Heart, which can be heard only in the silence.

Reposted from Fr Jones, of St Peter’s, London Docks HERE on 25 January.

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