Spiritual Journey

One is on a spiritual journey when one’s primary life intention is to deepen relationship with God through prayer practice, devotion and service. This is represented by consent to, and participation with, God’s unfolding presence and action within and without, in the ordinary circumstances of our life.

On the 30th Anniversary of Contemplative Outreach

Series: 
Voices of Community

Dear Fr. Thomas and Contemplative Outreach associates,

I’m grateful to God for Fr. Thomas’ inspired vision in founding Contemplative Outreach 30 years ago, and for the many following years of his careful, wise oversight, and the offerings of his wisdom through his many writings and workshops. I’m also grateful for all the volunteers who have been moved to become leaders of Contemplative Outreach’s groups and coordination, without whom so much less could have been accomplished.

The Relevance of a Contemplative Practice Today

Series: 
Voices of Community

What is the relevance of a contemplative practice today? What fruits have you noticed in your life and what do you understand by the purification process?

What is the relevance of a contemplative practice today? What fruits have you noticed in your life and what do you understand by the purification process?

Intention and Centering Prayer

Series: 
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I have tried to practice Centering Prayer for a while. I have been wondering if my intent of receiving the inner peace and silence from practicing is a "legitimate" reason, or if I'm looking for personal gains only, and this may not be a good reason to pursue practice? What do you advise anybody interested in Centering Prayer to think or do about motivations and intentions when considering this path of spirituality?

Q:  I have tried to practice Centering Prayer for a while. I have been wondering if my intent of receiving the inner peace and silence from practicing is a "legitimate" reason, or if I'm looking for personal gains only, and this may not be a good reason to pursue practice? What do you advise anybody interested in Centering Prayer to think or do about motivations and intentions when considering this path of spirituality?

Celebrating 30 Years of Grace & Gratitude: Free Videos

Contemplative Outreach offers these free online videos for your enjoyment and spiritual enrichment.  The videos are all available for free download.

Sharing about the Prayer

Series: 
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I have joined a Centering Prayer group in which the leader asks people to share their prayer experience with the person next to them. This does not seem to fit with Father Keating’s message. What do you think?

Q:  I have joined a Centering Prayer group in which the leader asks people to share their prayer experience with the person next to them. This does not seem to fit with Father Keating’s message. What do you think?

Sometimes I Am Goodness, Truth & Beauty

Series: 
Voices of Community

Sometimes, I am goodness, truth & beauty
and sometimes I act upon another nature,
superimposed on me
a life mask over my innocent self,
the mask is made of projections, assumptions, 
     and judgements of others
an inheritance without the slightest examination, 
     or concern, or any verification, 
that might help me to learn and understand- 
     and open up,
and behind the mask I see myself
as my Father sees me and He woo’s

Musings of a Part-time Centering Pray-er

Series: 
Voices of Community

About five years ago, I was searching for a spiritual practice.  One day, a notice appeared in our local paper about an event called “A Taste of Silence.”  The rest, as they say, is history.  The practice of Centering rayer appealed to me immediately. 

About five years ago, I was searching for a spiritual practice.  One day, a notice appeared in our local paper about an event called “A Taste of Silence.”  The rest, as they say, is history.  The practice of Centering rayer appealed to me immediately.  Shortly thereafter, two other fellows and I traveled to Portland for a workshop.  We got lost using a GPS, which was my first indication that being lost is perhaps a good way to approach one’s spiritual life.

Sounds and Centering Prayer

Series: 
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Sometimes as I am entering into Centering Prayer and settling into stillness, I hear an external sound--such as the purring of my cat or birdsong through an open window--and it sounds so sweet that I do not want to return to my sacred word.

Q:  Sometimes as I am entering into Centering Prayer and settling into stillness, I hear an external sound--such as the purring of my cat or birdsong through an open window--and it sounds so sweet that I do not want to return to my sacred word. I just want to "float" with the sound, not thinking anything. Should I return to my sacred word? Or am I "centering"?