Tag: Contemplation

Action and Contemplation: A Celtic Perspective

Ever since Richard Rohr brought the term “action and contemplation” back into the public’s eye people have been hungry to find the balance between the two. How can we seek stillness and solitude while also addressing the pressing concerns of the world we live in? How can we deny the world while also loving our neighbor and enemy? At first glance the two seem diametrically opposed.

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To People Who Want to Be Contemplatives But Are Afraid to Get Started

Have you felt a longing for something deeper but don’t know what to do about it? Have you read about contemplation but feel like you don’t really know how to get started? You’re not alone. Even though contemplation is one of the simplest forms of prayer, it is so different from everything we’ve been taught in school, and in the media, and even in church that it can feel daunting and far out of reach.

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A Spiritual Retreat In Book Form

The book traces the Jungian idea of the archetype as manifested in different Christian saints and mystics over the centuries with exercises for personal reflection and transformation. Each chapter provides a brief overview of the particular figure and archetype, such as Catholic social worker and activist Dorothy Day as The Orphan, Mary as The Mother, and St. Francis as The Fool.

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The Kingdom Of God Is Within You

The Kingdom Of God Is Within You by Leo Tolstoy articulated a simple way of life, and the book served as a principle in the mission of Mahatma Gandhi.  Originally, the phrase was taken from The Gospel Of Luke, a direct quote of Jesus, “The Kingdom Of God cometh not with outward show, nor shall ye say lo here or lo there, for behold: The Kingdom Of God Is Within You.”  Versions of this appear sometimes translate it as “The Kingdom Of God is in the midst of you,” or even, “all around you.” 

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A Contemplative Lie?

The mystic Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee writes that we go through different stages in the contemplative life, through times of expansion and contraction. There are times when we experience God’s feminine side, of grace, forgiveness, and mercy, and there are times we experience his masculine side, his power and magnificence, and stand in awe.Part of our task on this journey is to integrate these two aspects of our spirituality into a unified whole. Part of that is learning to become alert and responsive to the moment we find ourselves in.

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4 Movements Of Divine Love

One definition of contemplation is simply resting in the presence of God. One of the first steps in the contemplative life is learning to cultivate the inner witness, the neutral, non-judgmental observational awareness of our inner state.The affect this process has on us is an awareness of the way in which we (and everything else around us) is held in this kind of loving gaze. It’s as if, magically, detaching from the judgmental, evaluative tapes we usually have running allows a wellspring of gracious acceptance to bubble up.

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A Simple Practice To Grow Lovingkindness

As a child growing up in an Evangelical context, Catholic depictions of Jesus fascinated me. One especially striking image was that of the Sacred Heart in which Christ touches his chest with his heart aglow.Maybe it seemed archaic or too formal or stoic on the one hand or too simplistic or too melodramatic. Maybe it seemed too obviously metaphorical and therefore a little bit dangerous. But maybe the most striking aspect of it was it seemed too vulnerable.

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A Contemplative Response To Election Week

About twenty years ago I was sitting at a dinner table in in Adelaide, Australia. Shortly after another election in which Bill Clinton had been elected for a second term, the conversation soon turned to America, its politics, and its influence in the world. As was not uncommon in such conversations, much of the conversation circled around our combination of arrogance and ignorance.Someone at the table pointed out, “Well, they’re the biggest. They’re the most diverse, ethnically and ideologically. They’ve got the best, and they’ve got the worst.” In this political season, it’s been pretty easy to situate oneself on one end of that spectrum and one’s political enemies on the other.

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