Tag Archives: Contemplation

The Wisdom of Contemplation

Mind, Body, Heart The Wisdom of Contemplation Wednesday, February 19, 2020 We may think of prayer as thoughts or feelings expressed in words. But this is only one expression. . . . Prayer is the opening of mind and heart—our whole being—to God, the Ultimate Mystery, beyond thoughts, words, and emotions. Through grace we open our… Continue Reading The Wisdom of Contemplation

Ways of Knowing: Weekly Summary

Ways of Knowing Sunday, February 9–Friday, February 14, 2020 God calls us to “not conform to the pattern of the world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds” through relationship with those who see differently than we do (see Romans 12:2). (Sunday) The vast majority of people throughout history have been poor, disabled,… Continue Reading Ways of Knowing: Weekly Summary

The Cloud of Unknowing

Knowing and Not Knowing The Cloud of Unknowing Wednesday, January 29, 2020 God, it seems, cannot really be known, but only related to. Or, as the mystics would assert, we know God by loving God, by trusting God, by placing our hope in God. It is a non-possessive, non-objectified way of knowing. It is always… Continue Reading The Cloud of Unknowing

Soul Knowledge

Knowing and Not Knowing Soul Knowledge
 Tuesday, January 28, 2020 When Western civilization set out on its many paths of winning, accomplishment, and conquest, the contemplative mind seemed uninteresting and even counterproductive to our egoic purposes. The contemplative mind got in the way of definable goals for progress, science, and development, which were very good… Continue Reading Soul Knowledge

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

FacebookTwitterEmailPrint