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Father Caffarel and Contemplation
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Contemplation: the privileged time of encounter with Christ

“It is all a question of knowing whether eating is vital,

 it is  all a question of knowing whether praying is vital.”

 

For Father Caffarel, prayer is a very special time of encounter with God, particularly in the form of contemplative prayer. Not only was his daily life filled with this presence of God, but he never ceased to teach others to pray and to pass on to them what he experienced himself. His teaching method is based on the fundamental requirement of putting prayer at the heart of every person’s life. He transmitted it through many of his writings: the Teams’ newsletter, the Anneau d’Or and, his series of booklets on prayer. It was especially in the second part of his life that his teaching developed, addressed especially to lay people active in the world. At the House of Prayer at Troussures, which he made into an international centre for prayer, he led weeks of prayer, correspondence courses on prayer and evenings of formation. He founded the movement of Intercessors. He did not omit to study the new charismatic currents arising in the Church. Various books, based on his experience as a spiritual prayer counsellor, bear witness to that period. Father Caffarel practised his prayer life in a demanding way; he wished and earnestly urged others to do the same.       

   

           And when you pray, do not imitate the hypocrites: they love to say their prayers standing up in the synagogues and at the street corners for people to see them. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward. But, when you pray, go to your private room, shut yourself in and so pray to your Father who is in that secret place, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you. In your prayers do not babble as the gentiles do, for they think that by using many words, they will make themselves heard. Do not be like them; your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Mt 6: 5-8)           

 

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