The cathedrals represented the space where God became present — mediated by the clergy through the sacraments. The clergy were the teachers of the faith, using stained glass windows and other iconography to tell salvation history. The architecture made order and geometric design a priority as well as conveying a sense of stability and permanence.
Contemplate This explores the deepening dimensions of silence and contemplation.
Contemplate This - Listen to Jesus' life. Listen to the words of Jesus on the cross. Listen to what is happening in our world and on our planet.
Contemplate This - We compare and contrast; we see things as either/or; we operate out of a sense of scarcity rather than abundance. This consciousness will not bring us into a new future.
Contemplate This - How many of us have felt that to really fit in, we had to be someone we are not? How do we begin to accept people for who they really are in order to belong?
Contemplate This - I offer this meditation adapted from this Franciscan expression of the Beatitudes written by Capuchin Br. John Francis Samsa, "The Beatitudes of Christ: Embrace the Challenge." I encourage you to take some time as the old year ends and reflect on these lives as well as others for whom you are grateful. Reflect on those people or situations that gratuitously offer you hope and whose lives made our world a better place.
When and how can we carve out that silence, attentiveness to and awareness of life that is not tethered to our electronics? When we are able to do this, we reconnect with our own heart, spirit, soul.
We are face-to-face with who we are as a nation and the issues that concern us. We are seeing at least two different pictures. And each picture has its own set of reactions, responses and solutions.
Contemplate This - Even in the face of such an alarming forecast based on factual data, there are still people who do not accept the reality of climate change. We must acknowledge that we are in service to the future generations of all species and to the planet. These realizations do not come from data alone.
Contemplate This - There is much frustration, anger and deep sadness. All of this fills our hearts and our minds. And I believe it will continue. In light of this, I was drawn to write this reflection as a "Back to School Review" — a review of the basics of contemplation.
Contemplate This - Breathe in the pain. Breathe out the gifts. I brought this contemplative practice to my prayer for sexual abuse victims — and then for the male clerical hierarchy as well.
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