darkness Archives — Center for Action and Contemplation
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Tag Archives: darkness

Learning in the Shadows

Shadow Work Learning in the Shadows Thursday, June 17, 2021 Usually sometime around midlife, we come to a point where we’ve seen enough of our own tricks and we come to feel that my shadow self is who I am. We face ourselves in our raw, unvarnished, and uncivilized state. This is the shadowland where… Continue Reading Learning in the Shadows

The Shadow in Christianity

Shadow Work The Shadow in Christianity Wednesday, June 16, 2021 We can patiently accept not being good. What we cannot bear is not being considered good, not appearing good.—St. Francis of Assisi If you are willing to bear serenely the trial of being displeasing to yourself, you will be for Jesus a pleasant place of… Continue Reading The Shadow in Christianity

The Way of Unknowing

Unknowing The Way of Unknowing Friday, February 5, 2021 Descriptions of the “dark night of the soul” from the Spanish mystic John of the Cross (1542–1591) have become the marker by which many Christians measure their own experience of unknowing. He fits an entire life spent exploring God’s mystery into memorable poetry, and even dares… Continue Reading The Way of Unknowing

Lean Not on Your Own Understanding

Unknowing Lean Not on Your Own Understanding Thursday, February 4, 2021 If you understand it, it is not God. —St. Augustine, Sermon 117 on John 1:1 God is Mystery and not any “thing” we can wrap our little brains around. Brian McLaren shares how he realized this during a time of deep doubt and perplexity… Continue Reading Lean Not on Your Own Understanding

The Dark Nights

Thomas Keating: The Secret Embrace, Part One The Dark Nights Thursday, October 22, 2020 His silence is a kiss, His presence an embrace. But now he is fading, fading. And I am alone . . . —Thomas Keating, “Loneliness in the Night” I don’t think anyone can get to my (Richard’s) age without deeply empathizing… Continue Reading The Dark Nights

Dark Liminality

Liminal Space Dark Liminality Tuesday, April 28, 2020 When I am in that darkness, I do not remember anything about anything human. —Angela of Foligno (1248–1309) After working as a physician and bioethicist for decades, Living School alumna and chair of the CAC Board LaVera Crawley became a hospital chaplain and spiritual companion for patients… Continue Reading Dark Liminality

John of the Cross: Poet, Pastor, Mystic

Teresa of Ávila and John of the Cross John of the Cross: Poet, Pastor, Mystic Friday, April 24, 2020 Father Iain Matthew is a contemporary Carmelite priest from England and author of The Impact of God: Soundings from St John of The Cross. My copy is all marked up, so brilliant are his insights on… Continue Reading John of the Cross: Poet, Pastor, Mystic

Made for Infinite Love

Teresa of Ávila and John of the Cross Made for Infinite Love Thursday, April 23, 2020 Jim Finley, my friend and fellow teacher at the CAC, began studying the mystics at the Abbey of Gethsemani at age eighteen, with Thomas Merton as his novice master. He remembers when he first read this excerpt from the… Continue Reading Made for Infinite Love

Prayer in Captivity

Teresa of Ávila and John of the Cross Prayer in Captivity Wednesday, April 22, 2020 In 1567, when Teresa of Ávila was 52 and deeply involved in her attempts to reform the Carmelite Order and create the Discalced (or “barefoot”) Carmelites, she met the newly ordained John of the Cross. Though he was only 25… Continue Reading Prayer in Captivity

The Dark Emotions

The Path of Descent The Dark Emotions Thursday, March 26, 2020 Author and Episcopal priest Barbara Brown Taylor invites us to consider the lessons that suffering has to teach us and reminds us that we can only learn when we are willing to stay put instead of turning away. [Psychotherapist Miriam] Greenspan says that painful… Continue Reading The Dark Emotions