"Contemplative prayer is, in a way, simply the preference for the desert, for emptiness, for poverty... The contemplative is one who would rather not know than know... Only when we are able to 'let go' of everything within us, all desire to see, to know, to taste, and to experience the presence of God, do we truly become able to experience that presence with the overwhelming conviction and reality that revolutionize our entire inner life."
—Thomas Merton, "Contemplative Prayer"
This course will introduce students to the world of contemplative prayer within the context of Catholic theology and lived experience. Three online classes focusing on the experiences of prayer in the lives of the saints will serve as preparation for the five-day retreat at the Abbey of the Genesee. During the retreat, students will be invited to the experience of contemplation within a monastic environment that fosters silence, presence, stillness, and spaciousness.