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Intimacy with God [Paperback]

Thomas Keating
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

24 May 1996
The prominent Trappist monk and founder of the centering prayer movement, Thomas Keating provides this poetic and accessible introduction to the method of Centering Prayer.

Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Crossroad Publishing Co ,U.S. (24 May 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824515889
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824515881
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 13.5 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,236,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


For all those aspiring to a genuine spiritual life, Father Keating has charted a course that will take us progressively closer to our divine goal as we learn to touch God, first with the words of our lips, then with reflections of the mind and with the feelings of the heart. --Living Prayer

Packed into this book is a treasury of spiritual history and teaching. There is a richness of complexity which is always disciplined by the simplicity of the goal of prayer-union (or intimacy) with God. --St. Anthony Messenger

This is perhaps Keating's most readable and enlightening work. Filled with insight and practical advice, it offers sound wisdom on the way that centering prayer can deepen our intimacy with God. --Spiritual Book News --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Thomas Keating is the founder of the Centering Prayer movement, an author, a teacher, and a monk who has worked for many years to foster understanding among the world's religions. A member of the Cistercian Order in the Benedictine tradition, he has served at monasteries in Colorado and Massachusetts and currently directs retreats in the practice of Centering Prayer, a cornerstone of contemporary Christian contemplative practice. He is the author of numerous books, including Fruits and Gifts of the Spirit; Manifesting God; Open Mind, Open Heart; St. Therese of Lisieux; and The Transformation of Suffering. He lives at St. Benedict's Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Keating explains the history of centering prayer. Centering prayer is based on 'The Cloud of Unknowing', is Trinitarian in concept and is a form of contemplative prayer whose roots go back to the desert fathers and possibly beyond. It is an interior practice based on the gospel invitation to 'Go into your room and shut the door.' It focuses on listening deeply within. Contemplation is about 'receiving' rather than forcing things to happen.

Keating shows how centering prayer is a way of accessing deep healing. Centering prayer deals with the unconscious and whilst practising we come across blockages to our human and spiritual growth which can be physical, spiritual or emotional. Centering prayer invites us to face up to issues we are not acknowledging in life and perhaps to discover those we don't even know exist. Blockages alert us to the fact that we are not totally giving in to God's will for us. Keating points out that it is often in circumstances that seem unacceptable to us that the Kingdom of God is most active and we can go through an intense period of psychological unloading which leads to deep healing. The aim is to purify the heart, empty oneself of self, undergo profound inner transformation and move towards intimacy with God. Keating refers to God as the Divine Therapist.

Keating suggests that it is God's grace that calls a person and invites him/her onto the journey. It is up to the individual to consent and allow God to come in to heal our woundedness which is the human condition. This can be difficult as we face our dark side and begin to integrate and accept it. Keating notes that we often put up resistance to this invitation to transformation. It can be a lifetime's work. Some never attempt it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book gets to the heart of prayer 17 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am pleasantly surprised by Thomas Keating's approach tpo prayer which makes absoloute sense and provides a way of gradually progressing to finding God's presence in one's life.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Purchase 3 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was recommended to buy this book by a friend - I have just started reading it, although I am not too familiar with some of the terms used in the book - not being of the same faith as the author but from what I have read there will be useful lessons that I can take from this book.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
147 of 147 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Explanation and Defense of Centering Prayer Techniques 1 Sep 2004
By Timothy Kearney - Published on Amazon.com
It is my guess that people who are looking at this title are already familiar with Trappist priest Thomas Keating and his championing of centering prayer. It is also likely that people who are familiar with Keating may know something about the controversy that surrounds the man and his technique of centering prayer. Perusing some of the criticisms of his book "Open Mind, Open Heart" by some Amazon readers will highlight both the admiration many have of this man, as well as some of the controversy. While some of the objections to centering prayer have merit if centering prayer becomes just another form of meditation, this is not due to Keating's writings as much as a misreading of his works or a misunderstanding of his intentions.

In this work, Keating sets out to further explain the technique of centering prayer. While he does use some psychology in this work, it does so not contain the heavy psychological point of view that some of his other writings contain (at least not in the detail), nor does he focus too heavily on non-Christian traditions of meditation. Instead he discusses centering prayer and roots in the Christian tradition. He also offers personal reasons why this technique is so important for him, namely that he saw many people who are Christians traveling to other parts of the world searching for something that is an important part of Catholic monasticism. The book was published in the 1990's, after years of trial and error concerning the centering prayer, as well as his success at leading workshops that introduced many people to those form of prayer, and the book contains many anecdotes he learned along the way.

Keating clearly sees the importance of centering prayer as a way of connecting with God, and entering into the presence of God. While he views it as a solitary activity by its nature, he strongly suggests that people who participate in centering prayer be part of a larger faith community, and if possible a centering prayer group. He espouses spiritual direction. The book also espouses what he calls "Divine Therapy" where hurts that are deep within us can be surfaced and healed in a spiritual manner, though he is also careful to state that this is not a replacement of psychological therapy.

This book compliments Keating's other writings and can help the reader come to a deeper understanding of centering prayer and the part it can play in a Christian spirituality.
112 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keating's statement of the THEORY of centering prayer 24 July 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are familiar with Fr. Keating's OPEN MIND, OPEN HEART, you know his advice on the PRACTICE of centering prayer. INTIMACY WITH GOD offers a clear statement of his views on the theory behind this form of prayer. The two books together provide an in-depth introduction to centering prayer, a form of Christian meditation that can lead to the kind of prayer called "contemplative prayer" and can transform your life.
71 of 71 people found the following review helpful
By Walter Mock - Published on Amazon.com
INTIMACY WITH GOD by Father Thomas Keating is one of the best books I have ever read about prayer. First and foremost Father Keatings book provided me with a safe haven to feel issues that I have felt since I was an orphan as a young boy. This book gave me affirmation and insight to my feelings about not only who God is but what it means to have a personal relationship with God in a hectic world. As I read this book the little boy in me felt God's loving arms and presence surround me and I felt an inner peace and excitement in what I was reading. As a Protestant Pastor I would strongly recommend this book by Father Keating to anyone who I may meet for a brother in Christ has written a very sensitive, loving book. If one desires to have a more intimate realtionship with God and not the world then read this book. The worse thing that may happen is you may stop and think about your priorities. By the end of the book you may also be thinking about what has been missing in my life that I need? The best thing is you may feel God's loving arms and presence in your life as you read and reflect. Reflect on where is God in my life? Maybe its time to take the step and find out! God be with you.
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction to a very valuable practice 30 Oct 2005
By Dan Grafius - Published on Amazon.com
This is another excellent book from Father Thomas Keating and signifies a solid introduction to the theory and practice of Centering Prayer. I encourage anyone who has immersed themselves in any of the wonderful eastern meditational practices, but who have always longed for something similar in a Christian context, to pick this book up and give Centering Prayer a try. This recommendation, though, should in no way dissuade those whose interest and path have been exclusively Christian. For the practice of Centering Prayer, as Father Keating so aptly explains in this wonderful book, is Christian through and through. What impresses me so much about the whole Centering Prayer movement, if one can describe it as such, is that this is not sugarcoated, watered-down, or pie-in-the-sky fluff. Keating's explorations concerning the unconscious and his paradigm of Centering Prayer as Divine Therapy are critical to an understanding of our spiritual and worldly proclivities. How many of us have pondered, along with St. Paul in one of his epistles, why we continue to do those things we wish we didn't, and why we find it so difficult at times to do the things we know we should? Father Keating's expert melding of spiritual and psychological wisdom has updated a centuries-old practice to appeal to our modern era. I owe Father Keating a debt of gratitude for his excellent writings and his tireless work on behalf of Contemplative Outreach. I sincerely hope that you get as much from reading his works as I have.
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Enlightening book for a formerly practicing Catholic 11 Nov 2005
By Scott - Published on Amazon.com
I was one of those kids who was forced to go to church every Sunday morning whether I wanted to or not. So I'd sit in the pew, kneel, read, listen, etc... for the hour that I had to and then rejoice when I was finally able to leave that place. For me there was no meaning to what I was doing. This book actually brings spirituality to the Catholic Church, something I've long thought impossible.

Father Keating, who is one of the most spiritual people I've had the pleasure of meeting, examines the early Christian practices of Contemplative Meditation and how it can help us become connected to God once again. His research goes back to books from the first millenium of the very early Christians, as well as relies on some of the declarations made by the Second Vatican Council.

The similiarities to meditiations practiced in some of the eastern religions is pretty remarkable and these are pointed out. I have some experience with meditating and it struck me as very similiar to Mindful Meditation but there a distinct difference in that there is intent with Contemplative Meditation.
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