The Silent Reader: Prayer as the Source of the Moral Life
Rev. Dennis J. Billy, C.Ss.R.
Prayer is essentially dialogical. Whether words are used (or not used), at its very heart it is nothing more than simply “talking with” or, better yet, “communing with” God. In the spiritual life, reading, talking, and praying were once all intimately connected. Today, they have become fragmented, separated from one another and desperately need to be brought back together. In this lecture, we will discover how prayer, when viewed as talking to God, reading his Word as it is inscribed in our hearts, written in the pages of Scripture, and embodied in the Person of Jesus Christ, the Word-made-flesh, can be viewed as the source of many things: communion with God, with others, with ourselves, and in a special and very particular way, the source of the moral life.
Dennis J. Billy, C.Ss.R., an American Redemptorist priest of the Baltimore Province, taught the history of moral theology and Christian spirituality for more than 20 years at the Alphonsian Academy of Rome’s Pontifical Lateran University. From 2008-2016 he was scholar-in-residence, professor, and holder of The John Cardinal Krol Chair of Moral Theology at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. The author of more than 30 books and over 300 articles in a number of scholarly and popular journals, he is currently enjoying a sabbatical year at Notre Dame Retreat House in Canandaigua, New York.