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.
Contemplate This explores the deepening dimensions of silence and contemplation.
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.
Contemplate This - These past weeks, a number of things have happened in the United States that signal to me we are entering a critical soul-searching time as a nation. Can this be the moment to pause as a nation and enter the "space" that seems to divide us and converse with each other in new ways? Can we ask what our common humanity is trying to call forth in us? Can we reclaim the best of who we are as Americans and who we want to be in the future?
Standing in the national parks of Utah, surrounded by the work of billions of years, I was humbled by how short my life span is in comparison. I found evolution's artistry provided a perspective for me. What seems catastrophic during one epoch transforms into something beautiful entering the next phase of evolution.
As members of a contemplative community people often ask us, "What is contemplative prayer?" They say things like, "I have tried doing centering prayer, but it's not for me." Perhaps it will be helpful if I tell you about the practice I do.
Taking time to welcome spring awakens us to new possibilities and prepares us to embrace the difficult times we are living in.
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