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Dean’s Forum with the Very Reverend Richard Lawson

The Human Body as Sacrament: Praying in Solitude with Emotions

The Episcopalian and psychologist Ann Ulanov writes, “Everybody prays. People pray whether or not they call it prayer. We pray every time we ask for help, understanding, or strength, in or out of religion.” Using these words as a starting point, Dean Richard will illustrate that we are in fact praying more than we realize, with and without words. He will also share stories about how human emotions are an essential part of prayer. Being alone with oneself and with God, then, is essential. Just as Jesus prayed in solitude and with his own emotions, so can we, and praying in solitude complements praying in the cathedral. This class will end with an invitation to imagine one’s own human body as a sacrament, that is, an outward and visible sign of inward and spiritual grace. If you are interested in preparing for this class, Richard suggests reading the first two chapters of Ann Ulanov’s Primary Speech: A Psychology of Prayer.

This is the third and final part of a three week series on the sacramental life.