Prayer and Intelligence & Selected Essays
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By Jacques and Raïssa Maritain
Prayer and Intelligence is a practical book about mental prayer and how to pray and a profoundly speculative book about the intellectual life. Addressing the topics of how the intellectual search for God influences the life of prayer and how the discipline of a life of prayer acts as the necessary grounding for a sustained search for the truth, the Maritains reveal how philosophy and the spiritual life intertwine and strengthen each other. Accompanying Prayer and Intelligence are two other essays: Liturgy and Contemplation (written by Jacques and Raïssa), and Notes on the Lord’s Prayer (written by Raïssa). The former is a study of how the Church’s liturgy prepares for our union with God by contemplation of love. The latter is a powerful meditation on the great gift of the prayer of Christ himself, “the prayer that is universally true and needed.”
Marrying insight and inspiration, the three works from Jacques and Raïssa contained in this volume are lovingly written by friends, for friends, seeking to know and love God.
Jacques Maritain (1882–1973), perhaps the greatest Catholic philosopher of the twentieth century, and his wife Raïssa (1883–1960), a renowned poet and mystic, were key figures in the revival of Thomistic thought in the modern era. Through their friends Léon Bloy and Humbert Clerissac, O.P., the Maritains were introduced to the writings of Thomas Aquinas, and spent their lives reading and writing on the Thomistic tradition.