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The RoundTable


Summer 1995


Major Articles

  • Enjoying Prayer from A to C – Mary Dutcher
  • Dorothy Day’s Spirituality: A Mystic at Work – Mary and Jerry Wuller
  • Guests’ Reflections on Prayer – Edited by Ellen Rehg
  • Seasons of Prayer – Diana Oleskevich

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Regular Features

  • Cover – Artwork Jeff Finnegan
  • Why This Issue – Mark Scheu
  • Poetry – Christine Kimble
  • Centerfold –  Artwork Jeff Finnegan, Poetry: Gerard Manley Hopkins
  • From Abroad – Chiapas Base Community
  • Book Review – Judy Cagney, RSCJ
  • From Karen House – Tim Pekarek
  • From Little House - Mary Ann McGivern, SL
  • RoundTable Talk – Mary Ann McGivern, SL

Why This Issue:

This summer we bring you a long overdue issue on prayer. Long overdue not because (as is sometimes the case) our issue is late, but because prayer is so central to our lives that it has been too long that we have not reflected on it. Prayer is our spiritual food, as necessary to sustain us as bread.

I am struck by a theme that emerges from these articles, which is that prayer is paradoxically both an act of great intimacy with God yet also a social act. It is both private and public. It is intimate because in no other activity are we more ourselves, and more known by an Other, than when we pray. Our prayer comes from our being, from where we are at that particular moment. Even if our prayer is coming from a "false self," as Thomas Merton warns in Mary Dutcher's article, it is still who we are at that moment.

But prayer is not just a private act. Except for liturgy, most of my praying has been solitary. Until I read this issue, I didn't realize what I was missing by not praying more with others. How much richer our lives in the spirit can be when we hear the prayers in the hearts of other people! The dimensions of the human heart are intimate, unique and beautiful, and in prayer we reveal these not only to God but to each other.

Mary Dutcher writes about types of prayer, noting that the "most important" type may be the one we enjoy the most. Jerry and Mary Wuller tell us about the role of prayer in Dorothy Day's life -how she prayed and how it sustained her. Diana Oleskevich offers us her reflections on how her prayer life has developed over the years through different times in her life. Judy Cagney, RSCJ reviews Jesuit Philip Sheldrake's book. Spirituality and Riston'.

We include, of course, our house articles and regular features, including a jointly written Round Table Talk by Scott Stauffer and Teka Childress, in which they invite us to reflect with them on ways that we can more fully live out the Catholic Worker vision and create economic alternatives for the poor. This has been an ongoing concern voiced in these pages over the last few issues. In our From Abroad feature we are fortunate to be able to bring you a reflection from a base community member in Chiapas, Mexico.

Finally, we have an interview with two guests on prayer and a prayer written by a former guest and friend, Christine Kimble. I have been especially moved by the depth of faith expressed in these offerings of our guests. Their faith has prompted me to want to say to them, as the disciples said to Jesus, "Teach us how to pray:'

-Ellen Rehg



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