OTHER SIDE OF CHAOS . . . BREAKING THROUGH WHEN LIFE IS
In the bigger human story,
history shows that it is often in times of crisis that humanity
discovers itself. War, though it is an indictment of our failure to be
decent and mature human beings, can also bring out the best in us, as
we care for one another and work together in new ways to deal with the
situations that war causes. . . Evolution moved forward most rapidly
when conditions on the earth were hostile, such as during the Ice
Ages, when human beings had to invent new ways of surviving. We learn
more from our failures than from our successes. . . .It is said with
some truth that we are often at our best when life deals us its worst.
"EVERYTHING BELONGS . . . THE
GIFT OF CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER"
I believe that we have no
real access to who we really are except in God. Only when we rest in
God can we find the safety, the spaciousness, and the scary freedom to
be who we are, all that we are, more than we are, and less than we
are. Only when we live and see through God can “everything belong.”
GRACE . . . HAVING HOPE, FINDING FORGIVENESS, AND
Spiritual mastery lies not
just in understanding the wands, but in using them. It’s like the
difference between Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother explaining how the
light works and her actually taking out her wand and waving it around
a few times. One describes the transformation of a pumpkin into a
coach, while the other actually makes it happen. It’s time for us to
take out our own wands now and transform a few pumpkins of our own.”
"AGAINST AN INFINITE HORIZON . .
. THE FINGER OF GOD IN OUR EVERYDAY
Many ancient peoples
believed that the human soul was a piece of the divine fire that had
somehow become disconnected from God, and it was this divine fire
blazing within us, trying to return home, that made us restless. For
them, we were on fire because our immortal soul was trying to escape
from a mortal body. . . . The fire, the relentless pressure is not
only in the soul, it is in everything else as well. The cosmos is all
of a piece.
"INNER COMPASS . . . AN
INVITATION TO IGNATIAN SPIRITUALITY”
The Invitation is made out
in your name. But who are you? Who is this person who feels drawn to
explore the spiritual treasures that lie within you? Yes, with you . .
. Not in some closet in the sky or the bishop’s office. Not in some
divine database, to which only the elect hold the password. But in
you. Jesus said it himself: “The Kingdom is very close to you. It is
in your heart.”
"THOMAS MERTON IN SEARCH OF HIS SOUL. . . A JUNGIAN PERSPECTIVE"
Robert G. Waldron
Ave Maria Press
From the beginning of his
conversion, Merton. . . took Christ’s command to be perfect quite
literally. This created frustration for him, compounded by his taking
to heart his friend Robert Lax’s suggestion that the only worthwhile
ambition in life was sainthood, a dangerous ambition because it was
prideful. Merton’s journey, then, created for itself unrealistic
hurdles resulting in wasted years and energy before he realized what
was important in the pursuit of wholeness. In the end, he settled for
being ordinary and fully human, or to put it more simply, he learned
to be himself.
"LIVING IN THE TRUTH. . . ST. BENEDICT'S TEACHING ON HUMILITY"
Spiritual life is not a
hobby or a part-time occupation. It is nothing if it does not find
expression in everything we do. There is no possibility of
moonlighting: using some of our energies for other goals or for
ourselves. Taking the spiritual life seriously means that it is not
compartmentalized. It is a total obsession.
"TOOLS MATTER FOR PRACTICING THE SPIRITUAL LIFE"
Mary Margaret Funk
God doesn’t want us to be
angry. The problem with being angry is that we can’t pray when we are
angry. We can’t think and make good judgments when we are angry. Anger
disqualifies us from spiritual work. . . The good news is that anger
can be entirely rooted out. The better news is that there are tools to
do that that have been tested and found effective against the most
stubborn, seemingly irreversible traumas. The best news is that anger
passes quickly even if it rises again and again because of life’s
vicissitudes; however, we can learn to see it and resist its power.
Eventually our response will be from our center of truth.
"THE SONG OF SONGS . . . A SPIRITUAL COMMENTARY"
M. Basil Pennington, OCSO
This is not a scholarly
commentary or in fact any kind of commentary on the Sacred Text. It is
rather a rumination. The Fathers like to speak of our being nourished
by Sacred Scripture like a “clean animal.” The cow or some other such
animal first goes out and eats of the rich pasture. Then it settles
under a tree and regurgitates what it has eaten to further chew the
cud – a process that will eventually produce the milk of prayer and
the cream of contemplation. Here we offer our rumination in image and
word, hoping that it will enable you to share it and enjoy the milk
and cream, prayer and contemplative delight.
"FROM BROKENNESS TO COMMUNITY"
I do not believe we can
truly enter into our own inner pain and wounds and open our hearts to
others unless we have had an experience of God, unless we have been
touched by God.
"JESUS AND MARY...FINDING OUR SACRED CENTER"
Henri J. M. Nouwen
St. Anthony Messenger
When Jesus said to his
beloved disciple: “Behold, your mother” (John 19:27), he gave Mary to
us. He wants us to have a mother who can guide us toward our true
childhood, not the childhood of an infant that does not yet know its
own wounds, but the childhood of the disciple who has come to see
that, underneath all his personal woundedness, there is a first love
untainted by the ambiguities and ambivalences of human affection. We
need Mary to find our way to the joy and peace of the children of God.
"THE HUMAN CONDITION...CONTEMPLATION AND TRANSFORMATION"
God is existence. In
everything that exists, God is present. The greatest reality is God’s
presence. The problem is that we only access that presence to the
degree that our interior life is attuned to it. Hence the importance
in the Christian tradition of listening to sacred scripture, which is
much more than just listening to its literal meaning.
"REDISCOVERING LECTIO DIVINA"
Thelma Hall, r.c.
St. Paul Publications
In his humanity, Jesus
experienced the contemplation of his Father, and invites us, through
the gift of his Spirit, to enter into that experience. It is available
to us in the measure of our faith and love, which are the proximate
means, in this life, of “seeing” God, of touching and being touched by
him – i.e., of “experiencing” him.
"THE EUCHARIST YESTERDAY AND TODAY"
M. Basil Pennington
St. Paul Publications
When we are deeply in
touch with ourselves we know that we are part of a whole. Our humanity
is part of the whole fabric of the created human family, and baptism
has given us an even deeper and more significant oneness with others
"THE HEART OF CREATION...THE MEDITATIVE WAY"
St. Paul Publications
I do not In meditation we
seek to disassemble the barriers that we have set up around ourselves
and that cut us off from the consciousness of the presence of Jesus
within our own heart. In meditating we start the process of
dismantling the ego and its persistent attempt to place ourselves at
the center. We begin to understand that God is at the center and so
our whole perspective and orientation changes.
"THE THOMAS KEATING READER"
from the Contemplative Outreach Newsletter
The ultimate purpose of
every kind of prayer is to give ourselves to God, and to make it
possible for God to do what he always wanted to do in the first place,
which is to give us the divine life. Deep prayer is the condition that
God is waiting for in order to communicate his divine life, and
holiness to us. Such is the purpose of our creation in the first
"PRAYING OUR GOODBYES"
Joyce Rupp, OSM
What does the life and
message of Jesus tell us about the goodbyes in our lives? It tells us
that he knew what it was like to go through those painful times. He,
too, had many moments when he felt pulled apart, knew the hurt of
leaving behind, felt the emptiness that comes with deep loss.
"SACRED BREATH...FORTY DAYS OF CENTERING PRAYER"
Upper Room Books
Why be attentive to God?
Because it will give you a spiritual high? Because you will have a
wonderful experience? To get something for yourself? No. Because you
are loved. Give yourself in gratitude for that love. The love God
gives to you calls for your love in response.
"THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST...THE LITURGY AS SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE"
All creation is ours on
the condition that we do not try to possess it. The innate desire to
feel secure is an obstacle to enjoying all that exists. This does not
mean that we are not to have possessions at all, but that we need to
be detached from whatever we have.