A few months ago now, Contemplative Outreach received a generous donation requesting that the funds be used to honor Father Thomas’ teaching embodied in the 12th Theological Principle of Contemplative Outreach’s Vision. For those who do not read it frequently, here is what it says:
12. The practice of Centering Prayer deepens our awareness of the oneness of all creation and our compassion for the whole human family.
Centering Prayer inspires ever-increasing regard for others, especially for the poor and those abandoned or exploited in the various throw-away cultures of our time. We are invited to make available the gift of Centering Prayer to everyone, particularly to the needy and the marginalized. Centering Prayer also enables us to respond to the Divine presence in the whole human family, and in all of creation.
It is the desire of our donor that funds be readily available to offer Centering Prayer to the needy in the United States and in countries served by Extensión Contemplativa, our Spanish and Portuguese-speaking branch. An administrator of the 12th Principle fund was requested and has been chosen.
We were immediately challenged by the realization of the difficulties involved in living this principle. It will not be a matter of just throwing some kind of event together and fulfilling a simple request. This gift brings with it a call, deep soul searching and intentional prayer for guidance and inspiration. How shall we bring Centering Prayer to the disenfranchised, needy and marginalized when their cries for survival and security are so deafening? Basic needs must be attended first before we can meet their spiritual hunger. This will mean identifying individuals or groups whose skill set and mission is to serve the survival and primary needs of the destitute, and then, finding ways to synergize with them and offer what we are uniquely equipped and called to share.
We are grateful that members of our communities are called in many different ways to embody Spirit and that there are many among us deeply committed to prayer and transformation who are already contemplative activists in various dimensions of life and service.
Thanks to the generosity and vision of one donor, this fund has now been established and is open for further donations to sustain and grow this work. We are inviting your prayerful participation in this initiative by sharing your inspiration and collective wisdom on how the 12th Theological Principle of the Vision can be lived and encouraged in our chapters and regions.
We look forward to hearing from you. Please feel free to call or email ideas, suggestions, or requests to participate in this endeavor.
Maru L de Guevara
Serving and loving our common Vision,
Maru Ladrón de Guevara
on behalf of The Governing Board of Contemplative Outreach
“The love of God is so powerful that no one can just sit on it. It is bound to express itself. We have to think not just of praying together but how we can reach out and support each other in helping those in prison, the homeless, the hungry, the oppressed, everyone in need. Above all, direct attention to the most unbearable problem in the world today, which is the destitution of the poor…The Spirit may be asking the Christian denominations to join forces with each other and with other world religions in addressing human needs and social issues. The God in us is calling us to serve the God in others.”
- Thomas Keating, The Better Part