By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Edward Hays was a storyteller, artist, and the author of more than 35 bestselling books on prayer and spirituality. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas on May 31, 1958. After thirteen years in the parish ministry, he made an extended prayer pilgrimage to the Near East, Israel, and India. He then served as director of Shantivanam, a contemplative center in the Midwest, and as the priest chaplain at the Kansas State Penitentiary in Lansing. He was the co-founder and moving spirit behind Forest of Peace Publishing.
Over his long and illustrious career, Hays manifested a daring mystical sensibility and an unbridled imagination that makes his vision consistently fresh and invigorating. He creatively used parables and stories to discern God’s presence within the precincts of everyday life. He often presented startling images for believers: tears are “prayer beads,” a question mark is a “holy symbol,” sleep is “a sacrament as God’s Good Night News,” and a smile is “an outward sign of a laughing soul.” His prayers, original psalms, and daily rituals provide a framework for a fresh and wide-ranging devotional life.
Edward Hays was above all a master of everyday spirituality. This is a tradition that goes back to Celtic Christians who sought the presence of God in household duties, and even farther back to Jesus, who framed his teachings around common activities. Through his many writings, Hays encourages us to read and interpret what shows up in our lives, to find places of meditation and silence where we live and work, to keep an open house in our heart for all things, to sustain the art of long looking, and to cultivate a sense of wonder.
Take this e-course and sample the writings and practices of this master teacher who shows us new ways to connect with the Divine in the midst of our hectic and hurried lives. Each email has a short passage from one of Edward Hays’s books and a suggestion for how you can practice that thought during the day. On the Sundays of Lent and Easter, you will receive one of Hays’ creative prayers or psalms.
Participants will share their responses to Hays’ teachings and their experiences with the exercises in the online Practice Circle. Join us for a refreshing Lent that will help sustain you throughout 2020.