by BCBP Editor

Thomas H. Green, S.J., in the Introduction to one of his many books on prayer believes that although his books are on the Christian prayer life, they tackle different aspects of prayer and action and can be grouped under three headings. The first group focuses on the dynamics of formal prayer, the second grouping on discernment, and the third grouping discusses the link between formal prayer and discernment in specific life-situations that he has personally encountered in his ministry.

We share with you brief summaries of his first grouping of three books. Then the contents of the other groupings follow.

green opening to god
OPENING TO GOD, A Guide To Prayer, Updated Edition 2006. St. Pauls Philippines, c2006.

In this book, first printed in 1977 and updated in 2006, Fr. Green treats the beginnings of a good prayer life. This is a reader-friendly and inviting book that explains what prayer is all about and why it is relevant to our lives, then turns to techniques that ready the soul to encounter God. Mining his rich experience as a Jesuit missionary and spiritual director, Fr. Green shakes away the cobwebs and banishes stodgy assumptions about a spiritual life.

green the well runs dry
WHEN THE WELL RUNS DRY, Prayer Beyond the Beginnings, Revised Edition 2000. St. Pauls Philippines, c2000.

If you are struggling with prayer beyond the beginnings and are seeking a reliable source of wisdom, this book is for you. Fr. Green draws on his personal experiences of dryness and darkness in prayer as well as citing some of the great masters of prayer, such as Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, and others. Part One takes the reader from Knowing to Loving, while Part Two continues the prayer journey from Loving to Truly Loving. He believes that even when God seems absent, it is precisely because God wants us to know and love Him, and not just consolations, not just ideas about Him.

green drinking from a dry well
DRINKING FROM A DRY WELL, A Sequel to When the Well Runs Dry. St. Pauls Philippines, c1991.

Fr. Thomas Green returns to the “dry well” to share what the years have shown him. He explores the dryness and finds there a spot where both mature pray-ers and contemplatives “can be at home” and learn to live gracefully “drinking from the dry well of prayer.”


A second grouping includes two books by Fr. Green which deal explicitly with prayer and discernment. These books are: WEEDS AMONG THE WHEAT (1984) and DARKNESS IN THE MARKETPLACE (1981).

The third grouping of Fr. Green’s books includes: A VACATION WITH THE LORD (1986), COME DOWN ZACHAEUS (1988), and PRAYER AND COMMON SENSE (1996).

Still another interesting and valuable book by Fr. Green that explains spiritual direction, from standpoints of both the director and the directee, is THE FRIEND OF THE BRIDEGROOM, Spiritual Direction and the Encounter with Christ. St. Pauls Philippines, c2000.

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