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Contemplative Prayer and Meditation Resources

November 1, 2023

Contemplative Prayer and Meditation Bibliography


  • “Silence: A Christian History” by Diarmaid MacCulloch A groundbreaking book by one of our greatest historians, Silence challenges our fundamental views of spirituality and illuminates the deepest mysteries of faith.
  • Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer” by Richard Rohr Only when we rest in God can we find the safety, the spaciousness, and the scary freedom to be who we are, all that we are, more than we are, and less than we are. Only when we live and see through God can “everything belong.”
  • “Contemplative Prayer” by Thomas Merton In this classic text, Thomas Merton offers valuable guidance for prayer. He brings together a wealth of meditative and mystical influences–from John of the Cross to Eastern desert monasticism–to create a spiritual path for today.
  • “Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life” by Marjorie J. Thompson” “Marjorie Thompson offers a framework for understanding the spiritual disciplines and provides instruction for developing and nurturing those practices.”
  • “Learning to Pray: A Guide for Everyone” by James Martin, SJ “A trusted guide walking beside us as we navigate our unique spiritual paths, Martin lays out the different styles and traditions of prayer throughout Christian history and invites us to experiment and discover which works best to feed our soul and build intimacy with our Creator.”
  • “Wrestling with Rest” by Nate Stucky “With all that’s going on in our lives and in the world, who has time to rest? In this winsome and wise book, Stucky offers a gentle, moving corrective to that pervasive modern mindset… [This book is] about all of us—all who are burdened by ceaseless activity, all with endless to-do lists. Stucky reminds us that Sabbath is a beautiful thing for us.” —Jeff Chu
  • “The Inner Voice of Love” by Henri Nouwen “This was written during the most difficult period of [Henri Nouwen’s] life… Although he experienced excruciating anguish and despair, he was still able to keep a journal in which he wrote a spiritual imperative to himself each day that emerged from his conversations with friends and supporters.”

Programs and Retreats

  • Oasis Ministries for Spiritual Development (OMSD) OMSD is a non-profit organization that offers ecumenical training in spiritual direction and contemplative prayer practices. The organization has close ties to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and Princeton Theological Seminary and maintains a searchable directory of spiritual directors.
  • Embodied Faith Embodied Faith is a project by Annalise Hume, a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary who worked as a professional dancer prior to her theological education. Embodied Faith is a form of group spiritual direction that incorporates movement, dance, and the physical body. Through retreats and virtual sessions, Annalise hopes to draw others into holistic, embodied spiritual practices.
  • Bon Secours Retreat and Conference Center Besides offering rooms for private retreats and quiet getaways, Bon Secours has an active schedule of programming, group retreats, and events.
  • Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation Since 1973, the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation has fostered contemplative living and leadership through programs and other resources. Shalem provides a range of offerings that are both online and in-person.

Websites and Apps

  • Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) Founded by Fr. Richard Rohr, The Center for Action and Contemplation is an educational nonprofit introducing seekers to the contemplative Christian path of transformation. CAC publishes podcasts, daily meditations, online education, events, and books.
  • The Center for Contemplative Leadership (CCL) at Princeton Theological Seminary The CCL trains leaders in contemplative listening, spiritual peer mentoring, and the importance of contemplation for social and racial justice. They publish resource lists in addition to their training programs, and programming is tailored to a wide range of audiences.
  • Headspace App Headspace creates science-backed meditation/mindfulness tools that promote mental and emotional wellbeing. With over 70 million members using the app in 190 countries, the app is an excellent tool to develop habits of meditation and understand the foundations of mindfulness.

Music and Podcasts

  • Taizé Music The Taizé community publishes a range of meditations, reflections, music albums, and resources that are rooted in contemplation. Their website includes a sign up list for email updates, news, and resources.
  • Contemplating Now Contemplating Now is a podcast by The Christian Century, born from the research and experiences of Cassidy Hall. The podcasts explores the intersections of contemplation and social justice by centering the voice of scholars, mystics, and activists of color.