Dr. Anthony Lilles – Beginning to Pray

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BTP#1 Beginning to Pray w/ Dr. Anthony Lilles: Heaven In Faith Day 1 Prayer 1 by Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

Episode 1 Beginning to Pray: “Heaven in Faith” Day 1 Prayer 1 – “Remain in Me”

BTP#2 Beginning to Pray w/ Dr. Anthony Lilles: Heaven In Faith Day 1 Prayer 2 by Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

Episode 2 Beginning to Pray: “Heaven in Faith” Day 1 Prayer 2 – “Abyss calls to Abyss”

From “Beginning to Pray: Your Life Hidden in Christ”:

Elisabeth of the Trinity says that the journey to contemplative prayer (which she refers to as the pathway of the abyss), requires that we die to trying to live merely by natural lights. Instead we must seek to live hidden with Christ in God. She taught this because she understood the peace and strength such a life provides – she herself thrived in it. Christ is the supernatural Light, the inexhaustible source of loving knowledge of God in our hearts. If we live by the loving knowledge that Christ alone provides we discover that we are invincible to things which “pass away”, for our hearts transcend them, “seeking God alone.” (Heaven in Faith, #11).

BTP#3 Beginning to Pray w/ Dr. Anthony Lilles: Heaven In Faith Day 2 Prayer 1 by Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

Episode 3 Beginning to Pray: “Heaven in Faith” Day 2 Prayer 1 – “The Kingdom of God is Within You”
From “Heaven in Faith: Day 2 Prayer 1″ found in The Complete Works vol 1:

6. The same saint also says that “God is the center of the soul. So when the soul with all” its “strength will know God perfectly, love and enjoy Him fully, then it will have reached the deepest center that can be attained in Him.” Before attaining this, the soul is already “in God who is its center,” “but it is not yet in its deepest center, for it can still go further. Since love is what unites us to God, the more intense this love is, the more deeply the soul enters into God and the more it is centered in Him. When it “possess even one degree of love it is already in its center”; but when this love has attained its perfection, the soul will have penetrated into its deepest enter. There it will be transformed to the point of becoming very like God.”

BTP#4 Beginning to Pray w/ Dr. Anthony Lilles: Heaven In Faith Day 2 Prayer 2 by Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

Episode 4 Beginning to Pray: “Heaven in Faith” Day 2 Prayer 2 – “Hurry and Come Down”
8. “As long as our will has fancies that are foreign to divine union, whims that are now yes, now no, we are like children: we do not advance with giant steps in love for fire has not yet burnt up all the alloy; the gold is not pure; we are still seeking ourselves; God has not consumed” all our hostility to Him. But when the boiling cauldron has consumed “every imperfect love, every imperfect sorrow, every imperfect fear,” “then love is perfect and the golden ring of our alliance is larger than Heaven and earth. The is the secret cellar in which love places his elect,” this “love leads us by ways and paths known to him alone and he leads us with no turning back, for we will not retrace our steps.”

BTP#5 Beginning to Pray w/ Dr. Anthony Lilles: Heaven In Faith Day 3 Prayer 1 by Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

Episode 5 Beginning to Pray: “Heaven in Faith” Day 3 Prayer 1 – “We will come to him and make our home in him”

From “Heaven in Faith: Day 3 Prayer 1″ found in The Complete Works vol 1:

8. … “Each incident, each event, each suffering, as well as each joy, is a sacrament which gives God to it; so it no longer makes a distinction between these things; it surmounts them, goes beyond them to rest in its Master, above all things. It “exalts” Him high on the “mountain of its heart,” yes, “higher than His gifts, His consolation, higher than the sweetness that descends from Him.” “The property of love is never to seek self, to keep back nothing, but to give everything to the one it loves.” “Blessed the soul that loves” in truth; “the Lord has become its captive through love”!

BTP#6 Beginning to Pray w/ Dr. Anthony Lilles: Heaven In Faith Day 3 Prayer 2 by Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

11. “You have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God” St. Paul comes to bring us a light to guide us on the pathway of the abyss. “You have died”! What does that mean but that the soul that aspires to live close to God “in the invincible fortress of holy recollection” must be “set apart, stripped, and withdrawn from all things” (in spirit). This soul “finds within itself a simple ascending movement of love to God, whatever creatures may do; it is invincible to things which” pass away, “for it transcends them, seeking God alone.”

BTP#7 Beginning to Pray w/ Dr. Anthony Lilles: Heaven In Faith Day 4 Prayer 1 by Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

Episode 7 Beginning to Pray: “Heaven in Faith” Day 4 Prayer 1 – “Our God, wrote St. Paul, is a consuming Fire”

From “Heaven in Faith: Day 4 Prayer 1″ found in The Complete Works vol 1:

13. “Dues ignis consumens,” Our God, wrote St. Paul, is a consuming Fire, that is a “a fire of love” which destroys, which “transforms into itself everything that it touches.” “The delights of the divine enkindling are renewed in our depths by an unremitting activity: the enkindling of love in a mutual and eternal satisfaction. It is a renewal that takes place at every moment in there eternally, and this is the silence in which, somehow, they have lost themselves.” “Freed from their prison, they sail on the Ocean of Divinity without any creature being an obstacle or hindrance to them.”

BTP#8 Beginning to Pray w/ Dr. Anthony Lilles: Heaven In Faith Day 4 Prayer 2 by Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

16. But to attain to this love the soul must first be “entirely surrendered, its “will must be calmly lost in God’s will; so that its “inclinations,” “its faculties” “move only in this love and for the sake of this love. I do every with love, I suffer everything with love: this is what David meant when he sang, ‘I will keep all my strength for You.'”

BTP#9 Beginning to Pray w/ Dr. Anthony Lilles: Heaven In Faith Day 5 Prayer 1 by Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

From “Heaven in Faith: Day 5 Prayer 1″ found in The Complete Works vol 1:

17. Behold, I stand at the door and knock, If any man listens to My voice and opens the door to Me, I ell come in to him and sup with him, and he with Me.” Blessed the ears of the soul alert enough, recollected enough to hear the voice of the Word of God; blessed also the eyes of this soul which in the light of a deep and living faith can witness the “coming of the Master into His intimate sanctuary.'”

BTP#10 Beginning to Pray w/ Dr. Anthony Lilles: Heaven In Faith Day 5 Prayer 2 by Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

“Heaven in Faith” Day 5 Prayer 2 – “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood, remains in Me and I in him.”

18. ….”The first sign of love is this: that Jesus has given us His flesh to eat and His blood to drink.” “The property of love is to be always giving and always receiving. Now this love ” of Christ is “generous. All that He has, all that He is, He gives; all that we have , all that we are, He takes away. He asks for more than we of our ourselves are capable of giving.”

BTP#11 Beginning to Pray w/ Dr. Anthony Lilles: Heaven In Faith Day 6 Prayer 1 by Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

Episode 11 Beginning to Pray: “Heaven in Faith” Day 6 Prayer 1 – “To approach God we must believe”

19. “We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.” That is our great act of faith, the way to repay our God love for love; it is “the mystery hidden” in the Father’s heart, of which St. Paul speaks, which, at last, we penetrate and our whole soul thrills!”

BTP#12 Beginning to Pray w/ Dr. Anthony Lilles: Heaven In Faith Day 6 Prayer 2 by Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

From “Heaven in Faith: Day 6 Prayer 2″ found in The Complete Works vol 1:

19. …What is this single eye of which the Master speaks but this “simplicity of intention” which “gathers into unity all the scattered forces of the soul and unites the spirit itself to God. It is simplicity which gives God honor and praise; it is simplicity which presents and offers the virtues to Him. Then, penetrating and permeating itself, permeating and penetrating all creatures, it finds God in its depths.

BTP#13 Beginning to Pray w/ Dr. Anthony Lilles: Heaven In Faith Day 7 Prayer 1 by Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

Episode 13 Beginning to Pray: “Heaven in Faith” Day 7 Prayer 1 – “God chose us in Him before creation, that we should be holy and immaculate in His presence, in love.
22. “Our created essence asks to be rejoined with its principle”, The Word, “the Splendor of the Father, is the eternal archtype after which creatures are designed on the day of their creation.” This is ‘why God wills that, freed from ourselves, we should stretch out our arms towards our exemplar and possess it,” “rising” above all things “towards our model.” “This contemplation opens” The soul “to unexpected horizons.”

BTP#14 Beginning to Pray w/ Dr. Anthony Lilles: Heaven In Faith Day 7 Prayer 2 by Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

From “Heaven in Faith: Day 7 Prayer 2″ found in The Complete Works vol 1:

24…”When God sees that we are prepared to receive His grace, His generous goodness is ready to give us the gift that will give us His likeness. Our aptitude for receiving His grace depends on the inner integrity with which we move towards Him.” And then God, “bringing us His gifts,” can “give Himself, imprint on us His likeness, forgive, and free us.”

BTP#15 Beginning to Pray w/ Dr. Anthony Lilles: Heaven In Faith Day 8 Prayer 1 by Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

From “Heaven in Faith: Day 8 Prayer 1″ found in The Complete Works vol 1:

26. This is how the mystery of predestination, the mystery of divine election appeared to the enlightened gaze of the Apostle. “Those whom He has foreknown” Are not we of that number? Cannot God say to our soul what he once said through the voice of His prophet: “I passed by you and saw you. I saw that the time had come for you to be loved. I spread my garment over you. I swore to you to protect you, and I made a covenant with you, and you became mine.”

BTP#16 Beginning to Pray w/ Dr. Anthony Lilles: Heaven In Faith Day 8 Prayer 2 by Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

Episode 16 Beginning to Pray: “Heaven in Faith” Day 8 Prayer 2- “It seems to me that all is loss since I have known the excelling knowledge of my Lord Jesus Christ…”

From “Heaven in Faith: Day 8 Prayer 2″ found in The Complete Works vol 1:

30. Let us lovingly eat this bread of the will of God. If sometimes His will is more crucifying, we can doubtless say with our adored Master: “Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass me by,” but we will add immediately: “Yet not as I will, but as You will”; and in strength and serenity, with the divine Crucified, we will also climb our calvary singing in the depths of our hearts and raising a hymn of thanksgiving to the Father.

BTP#17 Beginning to Pray w/ Dr. Anthony Lilles: Heaven In Faith Day 9 Prayer 1 by Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

From “Heaven in Faith: Day 8 Prayer 2″ found in The Complete Works vol 1:

32. “See,” says St. John, “what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God’ and such we are….Now we are the children of God, and we have not yet seen what we shall be. We know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him makes himself holy, just as He Himself is holy.”

BTP#18 Beginning to Pray w/ Dr. Anthony Lilles: Heaven In Faith Day 9 Prayer 2 by Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

From “Heaven in Faith: Day 9 Prayer 2″ found in The Complete Works vol 1:

37. “If anyone should affirm to me that to find the bottom of the abyss is to be immersed in humility, I would not contradict him. However, it seems to me that to be plunged into humility is to be plunged into God, for God is the bottom of the abyss. This is why humility, like charity, is always capable of increasing.”

BTP#19 Beginning to Pray w/ Dr. Anthony Lilles: Heaven In Faith Day 10 Prayer 1 by Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

From “Heaven in Faith: Day 10 Prayer 1″ found in The Complete Works vol 1:

40. “It seems to me that the attitude of the Virgin during the months that elapsed between the Annunciation and the Nativity is the model for interior souls, those whom God has chosen to live within, in the depths of the bottomless abyss. In what peace, in what recollection Mary lent herself to everything she did! How even the most trivial things were divinized by her! For through it all the Virgin remained the adorer of the gift of God! This did not prevent her from spending herself outwardly when it was a matter of charity”

BTP#20 Beginning to Pray w/ Dr. Anthony Lilles: Heaven In Faith Day 10 Prayer 2 by Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

From “Heaven in Faith: Day 10 Prayer 2″ found in The Complete Works vol 1:

44. …In the heaven of our soul let us be praises of glory of the Holy Trinity, praises of love of our Immaculate Mother. One day the veil will fall, we will be introduced into the eternal courts, and there will we will sing in the bosom of infinite Love. And God will give us “the new name promised to the Victor.”” What will it be? LAUDEM GLORIAE”

BTP#22 St. Catherine of Siena – Passion for Truth: Beginning to Pray w/ Dr. Anthony Lilles

An Excerpt from today’s posting and podcast: Catherine of Siena – passion for truth

She is an important figure for those who see a rediscovery of prayer as the force of renewal in the Church. Because she put her devotion to Christ first, she found herself with a spiritual mission to help restore the life and unity of Christ’s body. Some of her efforts met with a little success. But as she approached her death at the age of 33, her lifetime of effort in building up the Church seemed to be in vain. Corruption, scandal, cowardice – and most of all indifference – seemed to infect the Church even more. (For more on her life, go tohttp://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03447a.htm.) Yet she never lost hope and she persevered in prayer. This is because she understood the love and mercy of God.
She was uneducated, but in 1377, by a miracle, she learned to write. Even so she retained secretaries to whom she dictated most of her thoughts. Her master work on the spiritual life is known as the Dialogues. These are conversations between her soul and God the Father. God the Father reveals his deep love for his Son and his plan to build up the Church. One of the beautiful aspects of this conversation is the Father’s explanation for how each soul can come to know Jesus.

Christ is the bridge to the Father and we cross this bridge by allowing our hearts to be pierced by what the Lord has done for us. The passion of Christ reveals at once the truth about who God is and who we are in his sight. For her, among the greatest blocks to the spiritual life is ignorance. Knowledge of God and knowledge of self go hand in hand in progressing toward spiritual maturity. But the knowing is not simply an intellectual trip. It as the kind of knowing informed by the loving affection of a real friendship. The friendship she describes in tender terms evokes the deepest joys and sorrows all at once…..

BTP#23 “Let Your Face shine on us and we shall be saved” Beginning to Pray Special w/ Dr. Anthony Lilles

Dr. Lilles’ offered a Day of Recollection in April 2013. We are blessed to have the presentations he gave that day in audio form. They are OUTSTANDING!

Here is Presentation 1:

Mental prayer, that is prayer that searches the face of Christ, is a source of conversion. Beautiful truths about the incarnation and the paschal mystery come together in the face of Risen Lord who gazes on us with love. In the shadow of this love, we discover the freedom to turn ourselves to the Lord ever more completely. Our day begins with a meditation on the psalms which point the way to this prayer. We will introduce the saints who will guide us through our reflections: St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Therese of Lisieux, Blessed Elisabeth of the Trinity and Blessed John Paul II.

BTP#24 “Gazing on the Face of Christ with the Saints” Beginning to Pray Special w/ Dr. Anthony Lilles

Episode 24 Beginning to Pray Special: “Gazing on the Face of Christ with the Saints”

Dr. Lilles’ continues his Day of Recollection offered in April 2013.

Here is the continuation of the first presentation which focuses on the Mystical Saints who can help us to gaze on the Face of Christ:

Anthony will introduce the saints who will guide us through our reflections: St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Therese of Lisieux, Blessed Elisabeth of the Trinity and Blessed John Paul II. He also answers questions about methods of prayers, teaching others to pray, and how can one help restore the sense of the sacred to the mass and Eucharistic adoration.

BTP#25 “The Face of the Bridegroom: Source of Mystical Prayer” Beginning to Pray Special w/ Dr. Anthony Lilles

Dr. Lilles’ continues his Day of Recollection offered in April 2013.

The renewal of mental prayer in 16th Century Spain is characterized by a rediscovery of the face of Christ in contemplation. Using passages from her life, we will consider how St. Teresa’s contemplation of the face of Christ developed during her conversion. We will compare this with the way St. John of the Cross pondered the face of Christ in the Spiritual Canticle. These saints help us see the mysterious Face of Christ, hidden in suffering and reflected in the secret of our faith, as the threshold and source for mystical prayer.

BTP#26 “The Face of Christ: Radiance of Mercy and Sign of Hope” Beginning to Pray Special w/ Dr. Anthony Lilles

Dr. Lilles’ continues his Day of Recollection offered in April 2013.

In an age of great confusion and rejection of God, St. Therese of Lisieux, Blessed Elisabeth of the Trinity and John Paul II find in Christ the reason for our hope. Starting with St. Therese’s devotion to the Holy Face expressed in living her life as a offering to merciful love, we will see how the pathway she pioneered was followed and further developed in the spiritual missions of Blessed Elisabeth of the Trinity and Blessed John Paul II. In particular, we will contemplate the relationship of mercy and hope that the Face of Christ helps us to see when hope and mercy are most needed so that we too can follow the path of mercy.

St. Hildegard and “Conversatio Morum – the Conversion of Life” – The Mystery of Faith in the Wisdom of the Saints

St. Hildegard and “Conversatio Morum – the Conversion of Life” – The Mystery of Faith in the Wisdom of the Saints

Benedictine Spirituality and Lectio Divina…a “way of being”. In part one of this particular teaching, Dr. Lilles discusses the life St. Hildegard of Bingen and her expression of Benedictine teaching.

BTP#21 St. Hildegard von Bingen and “The Iron Mountain”: Beginning to Pray w/ Dr. Anthony Lilles

September 17 is the feast of St. Hiildegard of Bingen. She lived from 1098-1179. A Benedictine Nun, at the age of 42, she was given visions and commanded rise up and cry out what she saw. She obeyed and produced a set of writings known today as Scivias.

Her first vision is of a hidden mountain, the mountain of God’s throne, an iron mountain of immutable justice hidden in divine glory. A purifying Fear of the Lord contemplates this splendor. Not the kind of fear that pulls away to protect itself. Rather the kind of fear that is vigilant and sees the truth. Eyes which gaze with this holy fear can never be satisfied with the merely mediocre. They guard against every form of compromise. The glory they behold demands absolute allegiance, complete surrender, and total humility.

BTP#30 St. Benedict, Listening, and Discernment – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles

BTP#30 St. Benedict, Listening and Discernment – The Mystery of Faith in the Wisdom of the Saints. In this episode Dr. Lilles offers a general introduction to this series, the mystical key to discernment, and a teaching of St. Benedict.

Dr. Lilles offers 4 key points we should keep in mind as we move forward in this series

1. The Search for God
2. Listening to God – Lectio Divnia
3. Conversion to God – Conversatio Morum
4. Living with oneself and letting God fashion one into His image

BTP#31 St. Bernard and the 12 Steps to Humility and Pride – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles

In this episode Dr. Lilles begins the discussion on St. Bernard of Clairvaux and his teachings found in “The 12 Steps to Humility and Pride”.

BTP#32 St. Bernard, the 12 Steps to Humility and Pride, On Loving God – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles

Dr. Lilles’ continues his discussion on St. Bernard of Clairvaux, “The 12 Steps of Humility and Pride” and “On Loving God”

BTP#33 St. Bernard and “On Loving God” – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles

BTP#33 St. Bernard and “On Loving God” (Part 3) – The Mystery of Faith in the Wisdom of the Saints. In this episode Dr. Lilles continues the discussion on St. Bernard of Clairvaux and his teachings found in “On Loving God”.

As if Already in Eternity: The Wisdom of Blessed Elisabeth of the Trinity by Anthony Lilles

Here’s an excerpt from Anthony’s posting:
Blessed Elisabeth of the Trinity is a witness to the primacy of contemplation in the life of the Church and the mystical wisdom contemplation releases into human history. This is the wisdom that understands how God is present in both the public square as well as in the intimacy of our hearts. Today, when the whole world needs this wisdom renewed, the Church celebrates her feast day and invites us to consider her powerful spiritual doctrine.

She wrote a famous prayer to the Holy Trinity that has helped many contemplatives recover devotion to the Divine Persons in their life of prayer. This work is cited to support the Catechism of the Catholic Church’s teaching on the Divine Works and the Trinitarian Missions. The teaching itself is that God calls every individual to a great and beautiful purpose, to become a dwelling place for His presence in the world:

The ultimate end of the divine economy is the entry of God’s creatures into the perfect unity of the Blessed Trinity. But even now we are called to be a dwelling for the Most Holy Trinity, ‘If a man loves me,’ says the Lord, ‘he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him’ (CCC 260).

BTP#34 “Hidden Mountain, Secret Garden” pt 1 – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles

In this episode Dr. Lilles discusses the writing of his book, “Hidden Mountain, Secret Garden: A Theological Contemplation of Prayer”. What is a “mystic” and what is the particular calling of Carmelite spirituality is also addressed. St. Therese, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity are highlighted.

BTP#35 Identifying and Battling the “Irrational Spirits” – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles

In this episode Dr. Lilles discusses the nature of prayer. The use of “methods” or “techniques” is cautioned by Dr. Lilles. The relationship with the person of Jesus Christ is paramount. He discusses the struggles in prayer and the real “enemies” which assaults us in prayer. He points to the experience and teachings of St. Anthony of the Desert, who battled the irrational spirits opposed to our relationship with God. Dr. Lilles then relates that teaching to the places of “death” which confront our lives today, the importance of naming the irrational “spirit” and using the “Word of Truth” to fight the battle.

BTP#36 The Prayer of St. John Paul II – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles

In this episode Dr. Lilles discusses The Prayer of St. John Paul II. He reflects on “Sign of Contradiction” The Lenten Retreat reached in 1976 by Karol Cardinal Wojtyla to Pope Paul VI and the papal household.

BTP#Special – Pilgrimage- Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles

We join Dr. Lilles on his pilgrimage following the Primitive Way or Original Way (known in Spanish as El Camino de Santiago Primitivo) which was the first pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. He describes to us the true meaning of what it is to be called to “pilgrimage” (as opposed to just “trip taking”). We discuss the disposition of the heart and mind, as well as the significance of the “shrine”. A very compelling sharing on prayer and the journey of faith.

St. Hildegard and “The Creation and The Fall” and the Battle of Prayer – The Mystery of Faith in the Wisdom of the Saints

Dr. Lilles’ teaches that prayer is a battle between the Truth and the lie, and how our understanding affects how we are going to live. We need to be aware that there is a liar who is trying to drag us down. We need to understand creation and fall, which is brought forward by a particular vision given to, doctor of the Church, St. Hildegard of Bingen. She helps us appreciate the “stench” of evil. Evil is the absence of something good in us, it is darkness. Christ is the Light which illuminates our hearts and the world.