Recognize what is in your sight, and what is hidden will become clear to you.
– Jesus, the Gospel of Thomas
I will admit. Sometimes I just do not get what Jesus says.
But what I do get is that he challenges us to see things in a new way. A new way which is beautiful. A new way that we never considered before. A new way that might turn our current world upside down but for the better.
If I recognize what is in my sight, what is hidden will now be clear to me. Perhaps Jesus wishes to challenge me to be more present to what is right in front of me.
If I am in a room with my kids and I watch tv or read my book, perhaps Jesus invites me to take some time to stop my focus on the tv show or my book and focus on them. Talk to them. Ask them questions. Joke around with them. Play a game with them. Listen to them. Hug them. Love them. What will they teach me? What will it teach them?
I am at work. I am in a meeting with my boss and her staff. She asks for a volunteer for an assignment. We are all very busy and remain silent. She can hear birds chirp. Perhaps Jesus wants me to volunteer. When I volunteer, something new will become clear to me. I will gain a new experience. A new door will open for me. A potential new job opportunity might become available. I will learn new skill sets. I will never know until I volunteer.
What is it that you fear? Perhaps Jesus invites you to try it. When you try it, a new world will open up to you. It will no longer be hidden.
Perhaps Jesus challenges us to simply love others. Take a chance. Talk to a stranger. Help a stranger. It will open up a new world for both you and the stranger.
Jesus, I pray that each day that as I perform my different tasks – work, family, community, personal, volunteer, and so on, that I am present to what it is that you want me to do. I have an agenda but perhaps you have a better one. Help me be more present and open to what it is that you wish for me so that it is no longer hidden.
Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas by Elaine Pagels
The Gospel of Thomas: The Gnostic Wisdom of Jesus by Jean-Yves Leloup
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The Power of the Jesus Prayer: Learn a method practiced by Christian mystics for centuries to consent to the action and presence of God within.
Our friends at Contemplative Light are offering Contemplative Practices. This course examines in-depth traditional practices of the Christian mystics, including: The Examen, Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, The Jesus Prayer and Christian Meditation.
Contemplative Perspectives: Frameworks for the Divine: With the historic practice of The Jesus Prayer as a jumping off point, we explore the experiential aspects of the Purgation/Illumination/Union path of Christian Mysticism.
I am currently reading The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus’s Crucifixion by N. T. Wright. I plan on reading Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks by Diana Butler Bass.
Christian Prayer Methods: Prayer is a core Christian practice, but for many, this means “saying prayers” or asking God for various favors. In this course, we will review a variety of methods of prayer that have been used for centuries in Christianity. Whether you’re a beginner who is just learning how to pray, or a more mature Christian who has been at it awhile, this course will offer specific guidance, encouragement and support for practicing several time-tested methods of prayer.
The Way of the Wisdom Jesus: Going Beyond the Mind to the Heart of His Teaching – If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. In this online course, Episcopal priest, teacher, and retreat and conference leader Cynthia Bourgeault serves as a masterful guide to Jesus’s vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teaching for yourself. It is based upon her book, The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind – a New Perspective on Christ and His Message .
Prepare to be immersed in the 1st Century A.D. context of the life, work, teachings, and actions of Jesus. Check out Simply Jesus by N. T. Wright. It is based on his book Simply Jesus. Enjoy an article I wrote about one of the lectures on the Beatitudes.
This course is a short course based on Prof. N.T. Wright’s latest book, Simply Good News. Tom Wright will guide you through the chapters of his book through videos that suggest what some of the main points are. You will instantly get into the heart of the idea of ‘good news’ as it was understood by the 1st Century writers of the New Testament. You will be brought into their world in order to make more sense of what ‘good news’ means in our world.
Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks – This is a great way to listen to books with your cell phone while you drive, walk or relax at home. I frequently listen in my car during my commute to and from work. I’m a proud affiliate.
David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer reenergized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. Centering Prayer Meditations: Effortless Contemplation to Deepen Your Experience of God is a wonderful companion audio program created to be equally rewarding as a stand-alone guide – gives listeners an immersive resource to learn contemplative prayer, step by step and in the moment. With clarity and compassionate presence, Frenette explains the essential principles of this contemplative practice for both new and seasoned practitioners.
Centering Prayer is a silent prayer practice that can move you toward a profound relationship with the Spirit of God within. It is a way of praying that opens the door to the Divine Indwelling—the ground of our being. With Centering Prayer, Father Thomas Keating and his colleagues Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler and Father Carl Arico present the first online course in this method for deepening your intimacy with God and ultimately consenting to the presence and action of the Divine in all aspects of your life.
Since the time of the Desert Fathers in the third century, Finley begins, Christian mystics have practiced meditation as a way of opening to the direct presence of God in daily life. Legendary seekers such as Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa of Avila, and Meister Eckhart explored how meditation can lead us beyond the closed horizon of the ego, to an interior and holy refuge that is always available to us. On Christian Meditation, James Finley offers a gentle introduction to this all-transforming way of life, and the ever-deepening realization of oneness with Christ it leads us to. (Based upon his book, Christian Meditation.)