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The intent of Contemplative Outreach is to foster the process of transformation in Christ in one another through the practice of the Centering Prayer

Live and Self-Guided Online Courses

The Transformation of Suffering: A Lenten Journey


Wednesday, March 01 - Friday, April 14

"For every man's life contains its share of suffering; each of us is occasionally driven almost to despair, to ask why God allows evil and suffering to overtake him or those he loves. I had seen a great deal of suffering in the camps and prisons in those around me, had almost despaired myself, and had learned in those darkest of hours to turn to God for consolation and to trust in him alone.

" … Through the long years of isolation and suffering, God had led me to an understanding of life and his love that only those who have experienced it can fathom. He had stripped away from me many of the external consolations, physical and religious, that men rely on and had left me with a core of seemingly simple truths to guide me.  And yet what a profound difference they had made in my life, what strength they gave me, what courage to go on!"

- Fr. Walter J. Ciszek, S.J., He Leadeth Me


"When accepted, suffering leads to wisdom, which is the perception of the divine goodness and purpose in everything that happens. Wisdom, peace and faith -- that is to say, perfect trust in God -- transform suffering into -- I won't quite say 'joy' -- but give it a meaning that takes away resistance and one can then see a value in one's suffering that is … well, God-like."

- Thomas Keating,
The Gift of Life: Death & Dying, Life & Living companion book

This e-course will explore the transformation of suffering as an evolutionary and transformative process in and through the divine/human experience -- Christ in us, as us. The content will include excerpts from various Thomas Keating videos and writings, the wisdom of numerous contemplative witnesses and the practice of Visio Divina with the crucifix images of artist William Congdon.

Through a combination of email, video and audio teachings, as well as the opportunity to share and connect with a worldwide community in the online Practice Circle, you can expect:

- Email teachings sent on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

- A contemplative engagement with Scripture and the liturgical themes of Lent as a way of seeing, listening, reflecting, and then living the great themes of Lent in your own life.

- The use of music, art and personal stories as evocative invitations to reflect, respond and participate in your own process of understanding and transformation.

- Mini-practices to support a contemplative life rooted in daily practice, silence, solitude, stillness, solidarity and service. 

- A special invitation to participate in the United in Prayer Day on March 18, either through local groups and events, an individual in-home retreat and/or a 24-hour, worldwide virtual prayer vigil.

(6 CEHs for Chaplains available.)

Partial scholarships are available through Contemplative Outreach. Please inquire at

For information and to register visit the Transformation of Suffering online course page.


Journey into The Light: A year-long online spiritual enrichment program

“Let there be light,” is the transcendent creative light
that is present as the basic energy of everything that exists.
... It is that light that is the source of the spiritual nature
of our being. It is that light that dwells in us
as our inmost spiritual nature and
... shows us exactly who we are and the true state
of our relationship with God.
... The journey into the light,
which is synonymous with the true self
... is to make ourselves aware of the height,
length, breadth, and depth of the love of Christ
in taking on our human nature.

Thomas Keating, Consenting to God As God Is

We invite you to join with us in making 2017 a time to enliven our individual and community practices, all the while connected to a worldwide contemplative community of shared intention: spiritual companions practicing and consenting to the contemplative life ever deeper together.  

The year-long subscription series for $225 includes the following retreats and community opportunities: Two online retreats during the liturgical cycles of Lent and Advent, and one online retreat during Ordinary Time. Between the e-courses, subscribers will receive a weekly meditation for reflection and sharing in an online Practice Group. Click on the title to read more about each part of this program.

- A Lenten Journey: The Transformation of Suffering and Meditations on the Cross with Thomas Keating, March 1 – April 14

- A Journey of Discernment, with the teachings of Mary Margaret Funk and other contemplative voices, September (date TBD)

- Lux Divina: An online retreat for Advent, November 24 – December 22

- Word of the Week, a weekly email of spiritual enrichment and contemplative reflection, sent each Sunday morning in-between the three online courses.  This is an opportunity to share and journey with others from around the world throughout the entire year.

The year-long subscription will be available only up to the time of the Lenten course.  After this, you will need to sign up for each offering individually.

The yearlong Word of the Week Practice Group is available only to those who subscribe to the annual series.

Partial scholarships are available through Contemplative Outreach.  Please inquire at

The Journey to the Light annual subscription series with Word of the Week, begins January 8, Feast of the Epiphany (Manifestation).


More Information and Register for Courses

Silence and Centering Prayer: A Self-Guided Online Course

with retreat leaders Fr. Carl J. Arico and Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler

This online retreat assists participants in learning, renewing, and establishing a daily Centering Prayer practice as the foundation for the contemplative life. It consists of a combination of email, video and audio teachings.  It is self-guided and can be taken anytime, anywhere there is internet access.

This retreat also brings together two founding principals of Contemplative Outreach to offer the conceptual background, the method, and insights into Centering Prayer as a way of life. Gail and Fr. Carl draw upon their over 30 years of practiccing the prayer, as well as teaching it to thousands worldwide. They provide practical instruction of value to both new practitioners and even experienced practitioners about this transformative method of prayer.

More Information & Register for Course

Embracing Living: The Welcoming Prayer

The Welcoming Prayer is a method of consenting to God’s presence and action in our physical and emotional reactions to events and situations in daily life. If Centering Prayer (or another daily prayer) is practiced for one hour of the day, the Welcoming Prayer is for the other 23 hours. It is a "letting go" in the present moment, in the midst of the activity of ordinary life. It helps to dismantle the emotional programs heal the wounds of a lifetime by addressing them where they are stored -- in the body.

Practicing the Welcoming Prayer offers us the opportunity to make choices -- responding instead of reacting to the present moment. Through the action of the Holy Spirit, the practice empowers us to take appropriate action as freely and lovingly as possible in any situation that presents itself.

"To welcome and to let go
is one of the most
radically loving, faith-filled
gestures we can make
in each moment of each day.
It is an open-hearted embrace
of all that is in ourselves
and in the world."
-- Mary Mrozowski, creator of the Welcoming Prayer

This retreat includes all new video teachings and a newly updated prayer practice. You can look forward to these components:

  •  12 emails that give the core teachings and practices.
  •  New videos, covering:
    1. The Human Condition
    2. The Method of the Welcoming Prayer
    3. Nuances and Practice
    4. Fruits of the Prayer
  • Step-by-step instructions on the Welcoming Prayer, plus an audio version of the prayer to assist your practice.
  • A one-hour teleconference with the e-course leaders from Contemplative Outreach
  • Mini-practices to root the Welcoming Prayer in your daily life.

Learn or deepen or renew your practice of this practical and profound prayer. The more we experience the Welcoming Prayer, the more we realize that we need to do the Welcoming Prayer. As we continue to consent, we open to God's healing on ever-deepening levels.

4 CEHs for chaplains available.

Partial scholarships are available through Contemplative Outreach. Please inquire at

Register Online

Wisdom for Living: The Parables of Jesus

What is the Kingdom of God like?
And to what shall I compare it?
It is like a mustard seed that someone
took and sowed in the garden;
it grew and became a tree,
and the birds of the air made nests
in its branches.
-- Luke 13: 18-19

"When rightly understood, the parables help us to see how extraordinary a wisdom teacher Jesus really was, and how revolutionary, in the best sense of the word, was the content of what he taught and to which he bore witness by his life and death.

"These insights cohere particularly well with the actual experience of people on the spiritual journey. When contemplative prayer is seriously embraced, we come upon [a] lived reality … the reversal of expectations, the gradual and often painful liberation from emotional programs for happiness, and the increasing discovery of the kingdom of God in the ordinary and everyday."
— Thomas Keating in the preface to Meditations on the Parables of Jesus

This online course is based on teaching excerpts from Thomas Keating's book, Meditations on the Parables of Jesus, which he recently picked as his "best book." 

For more information and to register, Click Here.