CAC Staff, Author at Center for Action and Contemplation

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See the schedule and event session details for the final CONSPIRE conference (Sep. 24 – 26)

the Mendicant, Summer 2021, Vol. 11, No. 3

Click here to read the Summer 2021 Mendicant. This issue features:

  • “CAC’s Financial Philosophy: How you do anything is how you do everything” by Michael Poffenberger
  • “A Generosity of Spirit” by Barbara C. Otero-López
  • “Extravagant Love and Money” by Rose Feerick
  • “An Alternative Orthodoxy of Money” by Elizabeth Garlow
  • “Pigeon Economics” by Drew Jackson
  • Including a special insert by Ben Keesey, “Effective Generosity: Giving and Receiving Differently!”

What the Pandemic is Saying to the World

By Richard Rohr | ONEING Vol. 9 No. 1 | Trauma

You are one.
You are one global sickness.
There are no higher and lower in this world. There are only servants and served.
All the rest is posturing.

Those whom you have looked to for leadership have empty hands, minds, and hearts.
Do not look for explanations, answers, diversions, heroes or victims.

Never play the victim yourself. Never.
It is always a waste of time— God’s and yours. Just be ready to change places
so servants can also be served, and the served can

also be servants.

Oneing: Trauma is available now in print or as a downloadable PDF.

Sitting on a Hill with My Heart in My Hands

By Sara Palmer | ONEING Vol. 9 No. 1 | Trauma

Some wounds can’t be healed with bandages, only time and effort—
a lifetime of effort to stitch a patchwork heart.

Hide the hurts: Learn from the pictures lining the hallway that cover the holes in the walls.

Behind family vacations and forced picture-day smiles— generations of covering.

Did everyone see?
The what-ifs are always harder than the what-weres.

Happiness reflected in fragmented mirrors. Is this my mouth? Lift the corners,
shaky, shaky.
Is this my voice? Disembodied.

Practice, practice, practice.
There. That’ll do.

But you can’t feel anything in the uncanny valley. Can a patchwork person ever be real?
We can never remember
our dreams.

After he died, I sat on a hill,
rows of pine behind me,
rows of self in front.
I thought, How do I measure existence?

In breaths? In laughter? In moments of clarity? Unconsciously picking at the scabs of old wounds, the blood pumping around scars, smooth and raised, the patchwork seams
slowly fracturing, flowing, flooding.
Life begins at the cracks.

Oneing: Trauma is available now in print or as a downloadable PDF.


By Felicia Murrell | ONEING Vol. 9 No. 1 | Trauma

If you’re silent,
you can hear the forest breathe, the holy hush of the tree’s limb.

“Silence,” said Thomas Merton, “is God’s first language”: the way it soaks into your skin,
surrounds you,
blanketing you like the forest’s breath.

The cadence of the land at rest, the body asleep,
the heart awake.

The deep rhythmic breathing of a mind slowed down, an ocean still,
wet dew clinging to grass blade.

The sacred song trapped in a bird’s breast before its first

the still of night across a desert landscape

wrapped in a bone-aching chill
before the sun rises to scorch its parched earth.

The lusty gaze of onlookers staring at the negro on the

lynching tree, neck snapped,

life ended,
feet dangling, back and forth, back and forth.

Hands up, don’t shoot!
Body thrumming with a heady sense of power. Hands in pocket,
resting pose, knees embedded into a man’s neck.

Silence, please. I. Can’t. Breathe.


Oneing: Trauma is available now in print or as a downloadable PDF.

New Issue: Trauma

The theme of the Spring 2021 edition is timely, considering the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives due to a complex global pandemic, political upheaval, armed conflicts, and squalid migrant camps cropping up in many parts of the world, not to mention the suffering of countless kinds of animal and plant life due to global warming.

Oneing: Trauma (Spring 2021)

  • “Silence” by Felicia Murrell
  • “Secure Dwelling and Positive Meaning in the Face of Trauma” by Sally A. Howard
  • “Medicine for Trauma” by Matthew Fox
  • “Red Threads” by Leigh Shickendantz
  • “The Gift of Empathy and Compassion in Trauma-Informed Care” by Trina A. Armstrong
  • “Rejoicing in Apocalypse: The Art Born of Plague” by Elizabeth Lev
  • “On the Path of the Soul Wound” by Donna L. Schindler
  • “Trauma as a Journeying Partner” by Kaitlin Curtice
  • “Landscape Architecture: Trauma, Healing, and the Meaning of Monuments and Memorials” by Lisa Powell
  • “Trauma and Awakening” by David G. Benner
  • “Sitting on a Hill with My Heart in My Hands” by Sara Palmer
  • “Altruism and Trauma” by Joan Halifax
  • “The Spiritual Dimensions of Healing during Traumatizing Times” by James Finley
  • “What the Pandemic is Saying to the World” by Richard Rohr
  • “Just Mercy” A Film Review by Byron McMillan
  • “My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies” A Book Review by Lee Staman

Purchase Oneing: Trauma

the Mendicant, Spring 2021, Vol. 11, No. 2

Click here to read the Spring 2021 Mendicant. This issue features:

  • “Karma” by Richard Rohr
  • “Radical Gratitude” by Vanessa Guerin
  • “A Community of Shared Conviction, Partnership, and Generosity” by Ben Keesey
  • “CAC’s Financial Philosophy” by Cindy Kroll

the Mendicant, Winter 2021, Vol. 11, No. 1

Click here to read Winter 2021 Mendicant. This issue features:

  • “Order, Disorder, Reorder: A Time of Unveiling” by Mark Longhurst
  • “Order, Disorder, Reorder: Embracing Disorder” by Tisha Ford
  • “Order, Disorder, Reorder—and Resolution” by Doug Murrell

the Mendicant, Fall 2020, Vol. 10, No. 3

Click here to read Fall 2020 Mendicant. This issue features:

  • “Building from a Strong Foundation” by Ben Keesey
  • 2019 Annual Report
  • Cindy Kroll—CAC’s new Managing Director of Finance and Business Analytics
  • “During a Time of Historic Disruption” by Richard Rohr

New Issue: Order, Disorder, Reorder

Explore the transformational journey of order, disorder, and reorder with the five faculty members of the Center for Action and Contemplation — Richard Rohr, Cynthia Bourgeault, James Finley, Barbara Holmes, and Brian McLaren — within the context of their unique ways of teaching and their own “vocabularies, symbols, and metaphors.”

Oneing: Order, Disorder, Reorder (Fall 2020)

  • “Include and Transcend” by Richard Rohr
  • “The Law of Three” by Cynthia Bourgeault
  • “Order, Disorder, Reorder: A Contemplative Aphorism of Spiritual Wisdom” by James Finley
  • “Growth and Transformation” by Kirsten Oates
  • “Emerging Wisdom Patterns in the Black Lives Matter Movement” by Barbara Holmes
  • “Looking Back to Look Ahead” by Brian McLaren

Purchase Oneing: Order, Disorder, Reorder

the Mendicant, Spring 2020, Vol. 10, No. 2

Click here to read Spring 2020 Mendicant. This issue features:

  • “A Liminal Time” by Richard Rohr, OFM
  • “A Liminal Place” by Kirsten Oates
  • “A Reflection” by James Finley
  • “A Legacy of Generosity”
  • “Voices from Our Community on the Front Lines of the COVID-19 Pandemic”
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