Via Media

Via Media

Blogger bleg

I was just listening to our local Catholic radio station, and they were playing a most interesting discussion, obviously from England – about the Church and the press. I’ve figured out that it must be a feed from EWTN’s "Top of the Week" program, which seems to have variable content. But I’d really like to know what the program was and if there’s any way it can be accessed online. Thanks!

And then this, from a reader:

Do you or possibly any of your blog readers know of a study guide or study questions related to Brother Lawrence’s "Practice of the Presence of God"? It seems to be a tremendously popular (and practical/useful) book.

A Protestant friend wants to do a group study on how to increase personal holiness and suggests a popular recent Evangelical book on the topic that also has a study guide.

Looking toward the tried-and-true spirituality of the Church, I’d like to suggest "Practice…" for the group study, but can’t locate a study guide on the Internet. Any help you can suggest? Anybody’s Parish create such a study guide that they could share with me?

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posted December 31, 2006 at 1:33 pm

I found something on the web, but the link doesn’t work. The PDF file is there, though.
I used the following search terms:
study guide practice of the presence of god
It’s on the first page and about 25 listings down; The entry looks like this:
[PDF] Never Alone: Practicing the Presence of God Leaders GuideFile Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – View as HTML
Never Alone: Practicing the Presence of God. Leaders Guide. A Few Introductory Thoughts… The study you are about to embark on has the power to change the … – Similar pages

Hope this helps and sorry I couldn’t do better for you!

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posted December 31, 2006 at 1:59 pm

Not sure if this will help, I couldn’t see anything that obviously matched your description, but you can access some british radio programs with religious subject matter via or

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posted December 31, 2006 at 2:27 pm

Thanks for the link to the Practice Study guide. Whole thing looks pretty usable.
Interesting that the site it once was posted on was a Nazarene (Protestant) publishing house.
Blessings, MarkAA

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posted December 31, 2006 at 3:02 pm

I don’t know why you would need a study guide. It is a very straight forward book that can be easily read. I have the Spire publisher’s edition copyrighted in 1958 and 1967 that includes “Spiritual Maxims” and other texts and it runs 112 pages. Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God,Grand Rapids: Spire Books – Peter Kreeft makes some interesting comments regarding the relationship between the practice of the presence of God and the Logos mysticism of the Gospel of St. John and developed by St. Thomas Aquinas and the O.P.

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posted December 31, 2006 at 3:10 pm

I’d never even heard of the book until put out a public domain audiobook of the thing. I haven’t listened to it, but obviously the book has some kind of following.
Same thing with The Imitation of Christ, which for some reason was the sole Catholic book in some kind of Evangelical religious book giftbox. I have a friend who’s an Evangelical and loves it; has several editions. But it kills me, because how the heck can you read a book full of the importance of the Mass and priests and the sacraments and just ignore that bit, while glomming onto the rest? You can’t understand the rest without the sacramental stuff! Or worse (as I’ve seen on some evangelical blogs), condescend to poor Tom a Kempis about how little he knew about _real_ Christianity, because he was just some poor ignorant medieval Catholic, and how he’d really have been free from sin’s burden if he’d just known the Sinner’s Prayer.
*bangs head against table*
Still, it’s good that people are drawn toward the Church even in small ways.

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posted December 31, 2006 at 3:25 pm

The reason for desiring a study guide is that it fits the format of the study group I’m in. We read a book chapter (usually scripture but not always) and meet to discuss it by answering a few questions. The questions, which are provided in advance, help facilitate a discussion because the members can think about their answers to each, so the discussions are meaningful and flow easily. It’s not generally to explain the subject but to help us discuss it as a group after reading. However, of course, with scripture the questions often end up providing a framework or direction in their own way, too. :)

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posted December 31, 2006 at 9:22 pm

“The Practice of the Presence of God” is popular, but I find myself among the dissenters.
While I would unhesitatingly recommend Thomas a Kempis’ work to anyone, Brother Lawrence’s not so much. I really wanted to like it, since it came so well recommended to me, but after reading it, I had the nagging feeling that Brother Lawrence was, how to say it, a tad too proud of himself. I couldn’t help but detect some pride in the way he repeatedly puts down those who kept more intellectual content in their spiritual strivings than he did. He may not have intended to claim superiority over them, but that is what his words suggest to me.

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