This course explores five traditions and practices of prayer from the history of the church: the short, frequent prayers of the Desert Fathers; the liturgical collect of the Gregorian Sacramentary and the Book of Common Prayer; the examen of conscience among the Jesuits and the Puritans; the use of imagination in disciplined meditation (composition of place) in the 17th-century meditative devotion of the Jesuits, Frances de Sales and the Puritans; and the Lord’s Prayer as a pattern for personal prayer in Martin Luther and C.S. Lewis. Each day we will examine one of these practices, place it in historical context, and discuss a short classic text from the persons or period concerned. But just like one wants not just to study sheet music, but to play the music for oneself, we will take time together to practice these patterns of prayer during the week.
This course is available onsite and online. Students must register for the online section to gain Zoom access to the course. There will not be recordings, so all students must attend live.