The Gifts of Contemplative Practice

Within each one of us are powerful strengths, abilities and skills.  Some of us are blessed with gifts of writing, teaching, listening, drawing, painting.

Others are blessed with gifts of speaking, leading, analyzing, organizing, patience.

Within each one of us is God.  At our deepest core is God.  This is the essence of who we are.

God is our inner love that yearns for compassionate action in our outer world.

Once you discover your sometimes hidden gifts, you must place them in action! However, you must temper the power of your actions with love.

The two must work together.  Power without love is selfish.  Our power is best used when the root of it is love.

Our actions when rooted in love are powerful!

How do we root our actions in love?

Contemplative practices can assist us with this process.

My contemplative practice is centering prayer.  It slows me down and connects me to God.

I let go and let God act in me.

God’s actions are always rooted in love.

I encourage you to find the contemplative practice that will slow you down and let you connect to God.

 

P.S. Need some help finding a contemplative practice? Contact me. I can help you.

 

Go Further:

Mindful Silence: The Heart of Christian Contemplation by Phileena Heuertz

Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation by Martin Laird

Living In God:  Contemplative Prayer and Contemplative Action by Nicholas Amato

Open Mind, Open Heart 20th Anniversary Edition  by Thomas Keating and Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening were the first two books I read as I began my Centering Prayer practice.

 

As It Is: Spiritual Journaling by Judith Favor: “As it is.” These three little words embedded in the lines of a prayer taught by Jesus remind us to seek the workings of the divine “on earth as it is in heaven” — that is, to approach our many challenges in union with Sacred Presence. But how? One profound and reassuringly helpful tool to foster this sense of unity is spiritual journaling. Through contemplative writing, we get practice in recognizing and responding to our relationship with God, self, others, nature, work, and society just “as it is.”

Drawing from the wisdom of monastic life, modern psychology and best practices in personal productivity, the Monk Manual provides a daily system that will help you find clarity, purpose, wisdom, and peace in the moments that make up your life.

David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer re-energized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. This 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, and then guides us experientially through core prayers and meditations.

On Encountering the Wisdom Jesus, this brilliant author and dynamic Episcopalian priest presents her first full-length audio course about rediscovering the Master of Wisdom. Twelve immersive sessions cover: the parables as wisdom tools; Jesus’s teachings about kenosis (or self-emptying: a path as radical today as it was 2,000 years ago); Jesus as tantric master; Centering Prayer, an approach to meditation as Jesus lived it, and much more. The early Christians, teaches the Reverend Cynthia Bourgeault, were afire with the spirit of Jesus, inspired fully by his teaching of a total transformation of consciousness. How do we reclaim that fire today?

Thomas Merton’s Path to the Palace of Nowhere:  The Essential Guide to the Contemplative Teachings of Thomas Merton – Now James Finley, who for six years lived, prayed, and studied with Brother Louis, as Merton was known at the Abbey of Gethsemani, shares with us the gifts passed on to him by this towering figure.

The Teachings of Meister Eckhart: An Invitation to Experience God in Every Moment:  The 13th-century mystic Meister Eckhart was the most brilliant Christian scholar of his day, but he was also legendary for the way that he opened listeners to the direct experience of God during his public talks. Today, his written wisdom remains alive as ever, ready to illuminate us. James Finley, one of today’s best-known teachers of the Christian contemplative tradition, invites us into Eckhart’s insights in the same way that this luminary teacher delighted in sharing them—through the spoken word.

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.

Prayer-Bracelet: Authentic Orthodox prayer ropes and bracelets are handmade by monks in the Orthodox monastaries reciting a prayer for every knot they tie. Peruse their prayer ropes and bracelets that are all handmade, provided by several orthodox churches around the globe.

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