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Paying Attention to God: Discernment in Prayer Paperback – January 1, 1990

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

William A. Barry, S.J., & William J. Connolly, S.J., were two of the six co-founders of the Center for Religious Development in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1971. The center was one of the first to offer year-long specialized training in spiritual direction. Both authors now reside at Campion Center, Weston, Massachusetts.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Ave Maria Press (January 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877934134
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877934134
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on July 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
Father Barry succintly describes prayer as a personal relationship with God. This in fact is the focus of Part I of "Paying Attention to God."
As we progress through the chapters, we discover the various aspects involved in developing our own relationship with our Creator. It is an eye opening experience.
Upon completion of his explaination of the variuos stages, he proceeds to correlate prayer with personal descernmnet, then deals with issues of communal discernment and finally death and ressurection.
At each of the stages there are explainations, which can be applied to our own prayer lives.
Father Barry assists us as we learn more about the centralitly of God in our prayer and how it applies to our lives.
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Format: Paperback
William Barry's PAYING ATTENTION TO GOD was first published in 1990 and over the years has become a popular and respected work. It contains Barry's insights about discernment based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. It follows the basic principal of Ignatian discernment (consolation/desolation) and discusses ways in which discernment is not a once in a lifetime experience but something we do just about every time we pray. Since discernment presupposes a relationship with God based on prayer, Barry begins with prayer then leads the reader into the wider arena of discernment, helping the readers see that God does in fact have a plan for each one of us and when we choose to live according to God's desire for each of us to have life and to love, we are participating in God's plan of creation. The book also discusses some of the pitfalls and challenges of discernment and concludes with two chapters that are reflections on death and resurrection. As is the case in many of Barry's writings, he is aware that he has readers who are at varying levels of the spiritual life so people new to his writings and people familiar with Ignatian prayer methods alike will find this book has much to offer. Barry also provides plenty of examples and stories which make the book inviting.

PAYING ATTENTION TO GOD is a readable book that is a wonderful introduction for a person who wishes to take prayer more seriously and is looking for insight into God's will. It has the potential to lead a person to deeper prayer and helps people see the ways in which God's works in our lives and in the world on a continual basis.
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Format: Paperback
William Barry, S.J., has written on the spiritual life for over thirty years. He is the author or co-author of 15 books, including The Practice of Spiritual Direction, God and You, Finding God in All Things, Spiritual Direction and the Encounter with God, Who Do You Say I Am?, With An Everlasting Love, and Contemplatives in Action with Fr. Robert Doherty. This little book is a great guide as the discerner begins her/his journey. He describes the building of a relationship with God, and then describes the connection between prayer and discerning God's will.
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A profound set of reflections on Barry's experience of St.Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises, both as retreatant and as spiritual director, Deeply wise and honest, the book will be helpful for any who want to make life decisions in a context of prayer, or are simply trying to become closer to God by experiencing God's presence in prayer.
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