David Torkington's Course on Prayer

People often wonder, “What is the meaning (or purpose) of life?” There are lots of answers offered, but there is only one that is authoritative, because it is uttered by the Divine Word Himself: Love. In fact, this is so important that He commanded it: “Love the Lord your God with all your mind and heart and soul and strength” and “love one another as I have love you.”

Learning God means learning Love

This is the whole purpose of life in this world: to learn to love as God loves, so that we can spend eternity enjoying Love Himself. Prayer is the School of Love and Christ is our Teacher; the task of every Christian disciple is to learn from Him (“disciple” means “learner”).

David Torkington blogs on SpiritualDirection.com
David Torkington blogs at Spiritual Direction-dot-com

If we do not devote ourselves to learning what our Divine Master wishes to teach us, we will not graduate when the final bell (our death knell) tolls. If you have been goofing off, throwing spit wads and dreaming of recess, you may need to play a little catch-up with the help of a good Tutor. To anyone who needs some help getting up to speed, I recommend that they read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest David Torkington’s excellent teaching on prayer. While he has written several fine books on the subject, you can get started with his online “Mini-Course on Prayer,” hosted on Spiritual Direction.com. For your convenience, each blog post in the series is listed and linked here below:

Mini-Course on Prayer by David Torkington

Part 1. A Prayer Primer

  1. The Unquenchable Fire of Love
  2. Listen to Teresa of Avila
  3. It Is in Giving that We Receive
  4. The Way to Mystical Union
  5. The Journey Begins
  6. In Union, the Mystical Body
  7. Faith and Abandonment to the Fullness of Love
  8. Thanksgiving, Sacrifice, and Adoration
  9. Examination of Conscience and Repentance
  10. The Paramount Importance of Daily Prayer

Part 2. Introducing Christian Meditation

  1. Introducing Christian Mystical Contemplation
  2. The Meaning of Mystical Theology
  3. Early Christian Mystical Spirituality, Part 1
  4. Early Christian Mystical Spirituality, Part 2
  5. The Beginning of Mystical Prayer
  6. Purification in the Desert
  7. From the Prayer of Quiet to the Spiritual Betrothals
  8. The Meaning of Contemplation
  9. A Handful of Heretics
  10. Monasticism
  11. Saint Bernard–A New Dawn
  12. The Franciscan Spring
  13. The Primacy of Love
  14. The Primacy of Love in Catholic Reform
  15. The Curse and Consequences of Quietism
  16. Devout Humanism

Part 3. A Brief History of Christian Mystical Spirituality

  1. Introducing Christian Meditation
  2. From Meditation to Contemplation
  3. Genuine Christian Meditation and Its Counterfeit
  4. Mystical Premonitions
  5. A Hermit at Prayer
  6. Mental and Emotional Paralysis
  7. Making the Impossible Possible
  8. The Little Back Shop
  9. A Lesson from My Father
  10. The Prayer without Ceasing

Part 4. The Mystic Way

  1. The Modern Malaise
  2. Love Is All You Need
  3. The Beginning of Contemplation
  4. Sweetness and Light
  5. From Light to Darkness
  6. From Darkness to Light
  7. The Interior Castle
  8. The Dark Night of the Soul
  9. Union with the Three
  10. Confirmatory Signs of the Mystic Way
  11. True Imitation of Christ
  12. The Language of Love
  13. The White Martyrdom that Leads to Union
  14. How to Pray in Mystic Contemplation, Part 1
  15. How to Pray in Mystic Contemplation, Part 2
  16. How to Pray in Mystic Contemplation, Part 3
  17. How to Pray in Mystic Contemplation, Part 4
  18. God’s Holy Angel
  19. Death to the Demons Within
  20. The Fruits of Contemplation: The Infused Virtues
  21. Renewal and Family Love
  22. Holiness and the Liturgy
  23. To Contemplate and Share the Fruits of Contemplation
  24. From Here to Eternity

Let me know what you think about this series, and also if you find any errors in the links above.

Learn more about David Torkington, his books and teaching, on his website.

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