Poustinia: Encountering God in Silence, Solitude and Prayer (Madonna House Classics Vol.1)

Poustinia: Encountering God in Silence, Solitude and Prayer (Madonna House Classics Vol.1)

by Catherine de Hueck Doherty

Catherine Doherty brings readers the profound traditions of Christian spirituality surrounding the Russian word poustinia, which means desert.

Catherine combines her insights into the great spiritual traditions of the Russian Church with her very personal experience of life with Christ.

Written by one who knows by experience, Poustinia brings consolation with its vision of a personal desert that can bloom in simple, profound prayer.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Prayer
  • Rating: 4.24
  • Pages: 199
  • Publish Date: January 1st 2000 by Madonna House Publications
  • Isbn10: 0921440545
  • Isbn13: 9780921440543

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(page 184) This book is or can be a beautiful, prayerful read. The book is a collection of explanations, meditations, talks and a brief history of the Madonna House which Doherty has assembled to give the reader the fullest possible experience of the contemplative life short of a full-fledged pilgrimage. Poustinia is about going within and finding God in the heart of our prayer and sharing all we have and are with whoever is in need. Thanks ever so much for the recommendation Jennifer! Well that's what I shall call them for short, because she is taking an entire book to describe the lifestyle of 'poustinia', a selfless, self-giving life devoted to prayer, service and sacrifice.

The other is that I fundamentally disagree with her repeated assertions that the Russian notion of contemplation is so very different than (and superior to?) the Western one. This is all well and good, but of course this is not so different from the Western notion of contemplation.

For the last few years I have been talking and writing a great deal about silence, solitude, and deserts, and I will continue to write about them because I think they are vitally important to our growing, changing, technological, urban civilization. Location: 49 It is obvious that humanity is facing many problems, will have to face many more, and that these problems are deeply disturbing the souls of all men. Especially we Christians cannot do this, because Christ has inserted himself into this world and we are his people, his body; and so we belong as he does to this world of computers, to this world of cybernetics, that daily brings vaster problems before our minds, hearts and souls. Especially we Christians cannot do this, because Christ has inserted himself into this world and we are his people, his body; and so we belong as he does to this world of computers, to this world of cybernetics, that daily brings vaster problems before our minds, hearts and souls. Location: 69 If we are to witness to Christ in todays marketplaces where there are constant demands on our whole person we need silence. Location: 69 If we are to witness to Christ in todays marketplaces where there are constant demands on our whole person we need silence. To be able to give joyous, unflagging hospitality, not only of house and food, but of mind, heart, body and soul, we need silence. To be able to give joyous, unflagging hospitality, not only of house and food, but of mind, heart, body and soul, we need silence. This too can be a point of departure to a desert, silence, solitude. This too can be a point of departure to a desert, silence, solitude. Location: 96 But our hearts, minds, and souls must be attuned, desirous, aware of these moments of solitude that God gives us. God laughs at time, for if our souls are open to him and available to him, he can invite them in, change them, lift them, transform them, in one instant! Location: 101 But how, really, can one achieve such solitude? That restlessness was once considered the magic carpet to tomorrow, but now we see it for what it really is: a running away from oneself, a turning from the journey inward that all men must undertake to meet God dwelling within the depths of their souls. Location: 114 Stand still, and lifting your hearts and hands to God, pray that the mighty wind of his Holy Spirit may clear all the cobwebs of fears, selfishness, greed, and narrowheartedness away from your soul. Location: 177 Hospitality means, above all, that the poustinik is just passing on whatever God has put into his empty hands. Location: 499 I believe that God is even now raising up these men and women because there is so little silence of heart in the world. There is so much noise in the souls, minds, and hearts of men that Gods voice cannot be heard. Location: 679 With the poustinik, too, there is an inability to realize that the presence of a person who is in love with God is enough; that nothing else is needed. Location: 1932 Is the word transparency your answer, Lord, to our polluted world, our polluted minds, hearts and souls?