PMR Paper Posted

Pseudo-Dionysius and the anonymous author of The Cloud of Unknowing have much to offer this conversation on thought and prayer. In both cases, contemplation is positioned as a craft that can be taught—like woodworking or writing—and that the work of this craft is a practice of unknowing, a leaving behind of the senses, reasons, and thoughts of the intellect. And yet, in this via negativa tradition, the practitioner is also instructed in the ways of contemplative prayer, a method of using words and phrases to guide the development of the practitioner’s skill. The practitioner is instructed to choose a sacred word—something simple, such as God or Love—that stands as the symbol of intent for accepting God’s presence within the contemplative’s awareness.

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