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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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The Story of the Cloak: A legend Attributed to St. Bridget, Patroness of Ireland, circa 452 – 525
Fionnuala Quinn, OP
Voices of Community

As the story is told, Brigid went to the King of Leinster to tell him she needed land upon which to build a monastery.

"You do, you do," replied the king. "How much do you need?"

"We need only the land my cloak will cover – no more," she answered.

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality, Father Thomas Keating
The Time of Lent
Kathleen Stevenson
Voices of Community

Lent a time to start over
      a time to take stock
         a time to see the truth
            a time to lay it all down 

Kathleen Stevenson,  Murrells Inlet, SC

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The Welcoming Prayer: Deepening Our Practice of Letting Go and Letting
Michael Erwin
Voices of Community

My name is Michael Erwin. I have been doing Centering Prayer on a daily basis for several years during my incarceration at San Quentin State Prison. I have found that Centering Prayer goes beyond all other forms of meditation that I have done in my life.

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Welcoming Prayer, Prison Ministry
The Wind
Laurie Basile
Voices of Community

fierce wind blowing
widely splitting
high white blue sky
ever opening

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Centering Prayer
The Witness to “Is”
Sydney S. Orr
Voices of Community

There is

just this witness to


both inside and outside

the body-mind.

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Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
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
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
Waking Up and Growing Up
Leslee Terpay
Voices of Community

Fr. Thomas has asked the Centering Prayer community to spend the next year going back to basics. For much of the past 12 years I have been revisiting Thomas’ teachings on Centering Prayer and the Christian spiritual journey by serving at least one long Centering Prayer intensive retreat a year in which I prepare by reading both Open Mind, Open Heart and Invitation to Love. This may seem a little over board in terms of preparation but I find each yearly reading brings me closer to absorbing the materials with my heart rather than my head.

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Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, Contemplative Spirituality, Father Thomas Keating
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
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
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 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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
“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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Welcoming Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality