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We embrace the process of transformation in Christ, both in ourselves and in others, through the practice of Centering Prayer.

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“Living Wisdom” – An Appreciation
Jack Lloyd
Voices of Community

Contemplative Outreach of Chicago recently launched a new program known as Living Wisdom, to give interested members an opportunity to explore “the wisdom tradition.”  So far, the program has offered four all-day Saturday workshops, one per month, January through April 2017.  After participating in the four workshops, I am starting to form an idea of what the wisdom tradition has to offer, and I have a strong interest in learning more.

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Your Table
Dian Gillmar
Voices of Community

I miss Your words in the stained glass

above the altar, “My peace I give you.”

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Yet Still
Bridget Robinson
Voices of Community

And what do I know through all of this?

Is God truly to be trusted?

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Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
Yahuwah’s Love
Mark Lybarger-Monson
Voices of Community

Yahuwah, as a child in your Garden offering You your flowers,
You smile tenderly and hold me in your arms for hours.
Yahuwah, I live in your Heart, offering You your Love…

 

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Heartfulness, The Living Flame
Words of Power
Robert F. Tredray
Voices of Community

God brought the beasts before Adam
and he gave to each a name:
bull, pig, goat, sheep, dog.
His children called them by their names,
and lo! they came when called...

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Why Do I Sit in Silence?
Rich Lewis
Voices of Community

Why do I sit in silence?
I sit in silence to be with God.
 

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
When you are in pain...
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

When you are in pain, can you still practice the Welcoming Prayer if you take pain pills and/or tranquilizers?

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Welcoming Prayer
When I am Among the Trees
Carolyn Goddard
Voices of Community

When I am among the trees,


especially the willows and the honey locust,


equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,


they give off such hints of gladness. . .

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Centering Prayer, The Practice of Contemplative Living
What Texts to Use With Lectio Divina
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I've been listening to The Spiritual Journey on CD's and watching DVD's to become thoroughly familiar with Centering Prayer.  I am praying Lectio Divina, per Fr. Keating's guidelines of the 4 R's (Read, Reflect, Respond, and Rest).  Is Lectio [used with] only the four Gospels, or does it include all of Sacred Scripture?  Sometimes I am greatly attracted to an Old Testament reading or one of the writings of St. Paul and wondered if those texts are part of Lectio.

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What is Being “Welcomed” in the Practice of the Welcoming Prayer?
Cherry Haisten
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  What is being welcomed?  What if I don't feel "welcoming" … it seems like I can't even "feel and sink into" the sensation if I'm not able to welcome? 

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Centering Prayer, Welcoming Prayer
What is "My Shadow Self"
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q. I am quite new to practicing Centering Prayer and entering into the contemplative life, and I am craving it more and more. I am an avid reader and have been enjoying Father Keating's books and meditations. I come from a non-denominational background, so everything is new to me. Could you please explain what "my shadow self" is? I have heard this term several times. Or is there a different place I could get the information?

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey, Father Thomas Keating
What Happens When
Jacqui Leiba
Voices of Community

What happens when
The ground on which one stands
ecomes a mighty chasm
And earth a distant land?

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Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
What Centering Prayer Means To Me
Alegria Kent
Voices of Community

In retirement, I found myself lost and without an identity. It was a great loss to find that all of a sudden so many of the props that held my identity upright were gone.

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
What are you doing here? A Centering Prayer Reflection
Neil Foley
Voices of Community

... Like so many before, I started by first seeking happiness – that illusive entity which is so physical and sensory when young. Happiness seemed to equate to pleasure, but pleasure is a fickle and fleeting ally. No sooner was I satisfied when I would desire again. Like the wind, it could be felt but not grasped. God was not in such pleasure. ...

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Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, Spiritual Journey
What a Difference a Word Makes
Reva Freeman
Voices of Community

"Consent" or "surrender-accept."

“Consent to God’s presence and action within.”

Sometimes I hear something so often that I cease to actually hear what it says.

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
Welcoming & Security Issues
Pamela Begeman
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I need help. Every day I pray the Welcoming Prayer. I trip up at "I let go my desire for security and survival." I'm a mother. How can I "let go" of something so imbued in my mothering DNA?

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Welcoming Prayer
Walking Into the Dawn
Ed Speedling
Voices of Community

Before setting out for morning services, John and I stood outside of our hermitage, which overlooked the valley and the monastery below, and gazed into the pre-dawn sky; the same sky we examined the previous evening after returning from Vespers, when John pointed out to me the mighty Orion. Now, as then, the moon and stars enchanted us...

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Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey, Retreats
Visiting San Quentin
Cherry Haisten
Voices of Community

The purpose of my visit was to introduce some of the “men in blue,” inmates in for the long haul, to the Welcoming Prayer. For ten years, George has been leading a Centering Prayer ministry begun at San Quentin by two Mercy sisters 25 years ago. George felt that the men with an established prayer practice were ready for Welcoming Prayer, an active practice that complements the other 23 hours of the day.

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Welcoming Prayer
Using a Vision in Centering Prayer Instead of a Sacred Word
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  In the last couple of weeks I find that a certain vision of a person with her/his back to me and arms stretched out toward a representation of me is an effective way to stay focused or to refocus [during Centering Prayer]. ...The sacred word was not doing what it was supposed to do...   I wonder two things: what is your response to this and do you know of anyone else with the same experience?

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Centering Prayer
Unsure of the Outcomes of Prayer
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I always try contemplative prayer, and it seems to be working. How can one be sure that the outcome (even though negative at times) is working for the right? And what is the possible outcome?
 

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Unloading and Evacuation of Emotions
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

There is a female inmate in a weekly Centering Prayer group I facilitate who is afraid of doing Centering Prayer on a daily basis because she believes she would be stuffing all her feelings again. She has been there for almost two years and is present every week! I promised her I would clarify this with you. It will mean so much for her - and for me!

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
Union
Chris Plunkett
Voices of Community

I sometimes wonder
as I see the early morning frost.
Could it be that the blanket of white that covers everything Is compassion?
And the sky's soft glow after sunset is empathy?

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Contemplative Spirituality
Thomas Keating Archive to be Housed at Emory University Other

On September 22, 2010, Contemplative Outreach, Ltd. and Emory University signed an agreement to house the works of Fr. Thomas Keating at the Pitts Theological Library of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Father Thomas Keating
Thomas Keating & The Three Biological Needs
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: Thomas Keating identifies three essential biological needs for human beings: (1) Security & Survival, (2) Power & Control, and (3) Affection & Esteem.  Can you please tell me if these biological needs are Fr. Keating's own creation or did he borrow them from another source?

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These Annoying Humans!
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:   What the heck is one supposed to do if one just doesn't like people and humanity? Seemingly making some progress in my practice, desire closer relationship with God, but can't get past the stupidity, smallness, greed, ignorance of most people, or the self-destructiveness of the race? How can anyone love this sorry lot?

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Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey

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