Prayer and Intelligence & Selected Essays
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By Jacques and Raissa Maritain
Prayer and Intelligence is a practical book about mental prayer and how to pray. It is also a book about the intellectual life. How does our intellectual search for God influence our life of prayer and how does the discipline of a life of prayer act as the necessary grounding for a profound and sustained search for the truth?
In the pages of this book, philosophy and the spiritual life intertwine and are seen to strengthen each other. Accompanying Prayer and Intelligence are two essays, Liturgy and Contemplation, also written by Jacques and Raïssa together, 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.”
All three of the works contained in this volume are written by friends, for friends, seeking to know and love God. If we wish to grow in our spiritual life, this book serves as a great guide.
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.