Tag Archives: Action

Action and Contemplation: Part Three: Weekly Summary

Action and Contemplation: Part Three Summary: Sunday, January 19—Friday, January 25, 2020 The desert mystics’ primary quest was for God, for Love; everything else was secondary. (Sunday)  This describes many Desert Fathers and Mothers: high states of union but low levels of cultural, historic, or intellectual exposure to coherent thinking. (Monday)  The desert mystics saw solitude, in… Continue Reading Action and Contemplation: Part Three: Weekly Summary

The Peasant’s Alphabet

Action and Contemplation: Part Three The Peasant’s Alphabet Friday, January 24, 2020 Abba Poemen (340–450) taught that the right question in all circumstances was “Who am I?” [1] St. Francis of Assisi (1182–1226) would spend whole nights praying “Who are you, my most dear God, and who am I . . . ?” [2] It is through encountering the absolute safety of God that we discover… Continue Reading The Peasant’s Alphabet

The World Carried Inside

Action and Contemplation: Part Three The World Carried Inside Thursday, January 23, 2020  When so much of our world is focused on making us feel like human “doings” instead of human beings, moving into solitude and silence is both a gift and a burden. Once we have overcome the external pressure to perform, we are left with… Continue Reading The World Carried Inside

A Practical Twofold Process

Action and Contemplation: Part Three A Practical Twofold Process Wednesday, January 22, 2020 As in the early church, the desert Christians were deeply committed to Jesus’ teachings and lived practice. Their chosen solitude and silence were not anti-social but a way to become better at seeing clearly and at loving deeply. Withdrawal was for the sake of deeper… Continue Reading A Practical Twofold Process

The Prayer of Quiet

Action and Contemplation: Part Three The Prayer of Quiet Tuesday, January 21, 2020 The Desert Fathers and Mothers withdrew from cities to the desert to live freely, apart from the economic, cultural, and political structure of the Roman Empire. At first, the empire persecuted the church, but in 313 CE, Constantine gave Christianity a privileged status, not out of enlightenment or goodwill but in service of uniformity and… Continue Reading The Prayer of Quiet

The Desert Mystics

Action and Contemplation: Part Three The Desert Mystics Monday, January 20, 2020 Though I deeply admire the Desert Fathers and Mothers, I must be completely honest with you. There is much about them that I do not find attractive or helpful. And it is important to share that here, or you might pick up one of the collections of their “sayings” and… Continue Reading The Desert Mystics

Contemplative Consciousness

Action and Contemplation: Part 3 Contemplative Consciousness Sunday, January 19, 2020 I’ve heard some concerns over the years that contemplation is a practice of “Eastern” meditation wrapped in a Christian disguise. Some Christians have even been taught that seeking union with God through silence makes room for the “devil” to get in. While understandable, these apprehensions are based on a… Continue Reading Contemplative Consciousness

Action and Contemplation: Part Two: Weekly Summary

Action and Contemplation: Part Two Summary: Sunday, January 12—Friday, January 17, 2020 In order to become truly prophetic people who go beyond the categories of liberal and conservative, we have to teach and learn ways to integrate needed engagement with a truly contemplative mind and heart. (Sunday) The job of religion is to help people… Continue Reading Action and Contemplation: Part Two: Weekly Summary

Love at the Center

Action and Contemplation: Part Two Love at the Center Friday, January 17, 2020 When we named the Center for Action and Contemplation, I hoped our rather long name would itself keep us honest and force us toward balance and ongoing integration beyond the first generation. However, over the last thirty-five years, I have witnessed how… Continue Reading Love at the Center

A Quiet Refusal

Action and Contemplation: Part One A Quiet Refusal Thursday, January 16, 2020 Because Jesus did not directly attack the religious and institutional systems of his time until his final action against the money changers in the temple [1], his primary social justice critique and action are a disappointment to most radicals and social activists. Jesus’… Continue Reading A Quiet Refusal

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