Contemplative spirituality can be defined as a life of faith in interior submission to God and pervading all one's motivations and behavior; a life of prayer and action prompted by the inspirations of the Holy Spirit; a disposition not limited to devotional practices, rituals, liturgy, or other particular acts of piety or service to others, but rather the catalyst that integrates, unifies and directs all one's activities. Gerald May, M.D., expresses it this way: "The Christian expression is in the two great commandments: to love God with one’s whole self and to love one’s neighbor as oneself. Theologically, spirituality is our desire for love’s fulfillment which, in turn, is our response to God’s loving us first (1 Jn 4:19). We participate in the divine love that created us "so that we might seek God" (Acts 17:27). Further, the Christian contemplative tradition views God as always active in our lives, inviting, drawing and empowering us towards deepening love. ... In a Christian context, because we "live and move and have our being" in God (Acts 17:28), being present to things as they are involves encountering the Christ who "fills the whole creation" (Eph. 1:23). In other words, Christian contemplation means finding God in all things and all things in God. Brother Lawrence, the 17th century Carmelite friar, called it "the loving gaze which finds God everywhere.""
The Universal Christ: Another Name for Every Thing
Saturday, June 15, 2019
What if Christ is a name for the transcendent within of every “thing” in the universe?
What if Christ is a name for the immense spaciousness of all true Love?
What if Christ refers to an infinite horizon that pulls us both from within and pulls us forward, too?
What if Christ is another name for every thing—in its fullness?
Q: I did Centering Prayer for some years but with family (care-giving) responsibilities, I stopped because my head was always spinning and I couldn't get centered. So, I will soon go on a Centering Prayer retreat to get going again, but would you consider other generic types of meditation as having the same effect/value as Centering Prayer (even non-religious meditation, i.e., just focusing on breath)?
In our lives and in our prayer practice, we often unconsciously live out two different types of spirituality: