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Center for Action and Contemplation

Contemplation, Community, and Commitment

May 13th, 2024
Contemplation, Community, and Commitment

Cheri Crockett is a retired CPA living in St. Charles, Missouri. She is actively involved in volunteer work for a nonprofit organization that promotes voting, voter education, and civic engagement. She and her husband also coordinate their church’s self-service pantry. Cheri enjoys reading, yoga, hanging out with friends and family, walks, and (usually!) their lovable dog Odin, who can be a bit of a pill. 

By Cheri Crockett

I do not remember when I first heard Fr. Richard Rohr speak, but I do remember how it felt—as if he were speaking truth that my inmost being craved, and I wanted and needed to hear more of it. The issue was not that I was unchurched. It was, I realized, that I had been badly churched, that there was so much more meaning and love in the scriptures than I ever knew.  

Through reading Fr. Richard’s books and listening to his talks, I found my way to the CAC and the Daily Meditations, which introduced me to an ever-widening circle of writers, many of whom have become favorites, whose words also spoke to that innermost place within. Over time, with their spiritual guidance, I have developed a regular—at this point, I would say, essential—daily contemplative practice.  

This practice has been further bolstered by the wisdom conveyed through the Turning to the Mystics podcast. My contemplative practice has led me through the journey of order, disorder, reorder over and over again. I have no doubt that I would have fallen away when the process became painful had these wise teachers not encouraged me to learn to trust and allow it to change me.  

The path of contemplation, fed by my morning encounters with the Daily Meditations, leads me deeper within and expands me outward so that I feel my connection to the whole creation. This allows me to see the divine spark within the people I encounter. It feeds the fire for the volunteer work I do and restores me to go out and do it again. It provides a grounding place that can withstand setbacks and heartache. It also creates such an intimacy with the Divine that I know, with absolutely certainty, that God loves me and all creation infinitely.  

Contemplation has changed my perception. I now see through a larger lens of hope and trust that God is at work in the world and that communities like the CAC are participating with God in this work. The spiritual guidance I receive through the offerings of the CAC is transforming me daily. I continue to attend church, but it is the contemplative path that the CAC teaches and nurtures that truly feeds and sustains me.  

For these reasons, I support the work of the CAC with my monthly donation as part of the Bonaventure Circle of Support. Based on the postings of members of the Daily Meditations Facebook group, the listeners who send in questions to the Turning to the Mystics podcast, and the participants in the online classes, I know that mine is by far not the only fire that has been lit by these teachings. It is a worldwide community of little fires that welcomes those of all faiths and no faith, just as God does.

This reflection appears in the Spring 2024 issue of the Mendicant, our quarterly donor newsletter.

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