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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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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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Seed of God
Juliana Howard
Voices of Community

The Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways to build up the Body of Christ, using us in spite of ourselves.
 
Beginning in the mid-eighties, after the death of my mother, I was inspired to write children’s songs based on the Bible. For many years, I directed the Crayons, a group of school children who performed and recorded them. The first song given to me was “Seed of God”.

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New Contemplative Leaders Exchange
Phileena Heuertz
Voices of Community

Last year, at the invitation of renowned Cistercian monk Fr. Thomas Keating, four of among the most prominent living western Christian contemplative teachers gathered in Snowmass at St. Benedict’s Monastery. In addition to Fr. Keating, three others gathered in respectful friendship: Rev. Dr. Tilden Edwards, Fr. Laurence Freeman, and Fr. Richard Rohr. Each of these men are recognized as being at the forefront of the Western Christian contemplative renewal, and each founded respective contemplative organizations.

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Thomas Keating & The Three Biological Needs
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: Thomas Keating identifies three essential biological needs for human beings: (1) Security & Survival, (2) Power & Control, and (3) Affection & Esteem.  Can you please tell me if these biological needs are Fr. Keating's own creation or did he borrow them from another source?

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About Contemplative Outreach Dublin
Rev'd Robert Lawson
Voices of Community

Contemplative Outreach Dublin has been in existence for 10 years and currently has 11 active volunteers on the team. As autumn approaches it signals the time for preparing for the year ahead. We are currently planning our Second Saturday Programme.

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Introduction to Conscious Work
Alan Krema, a member of Contemplative Outreach of Chicago
Voices of Community

Is prayer a retreat for you into a separate place where you find rest and peace? If so, why do you not find peace, wholeness and harmony in your daily working life? Do you think it is impossible?

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Distinguishing Awareness and Presence
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: I would like to understand more clearly what Fr. Keating means when he says that the ever present awareness is: "Not really awareness at all, it's just presence".

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Praying to the Old Man on the Throne?
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Recently, when I concluded my session of Centering Prayer and recited the Lord's Prayer, as is my custom, I was struck by the disparity between the Trinity in Whom and with Whom I had just been abiding, and the "God in heaven" who seemed to resume his cloak of an old white man on a throne far, far away.  Am I taking the opening of the Lord's Prayer too literally? 

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Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina
Welcoming & Security Issues
Pamela Begeman
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I need help. Every day I pray the Welcoming Prayer. I trip up at "I let go my desire for security and survival." I'm a mother. How can I "let go" of something so imbued in my mothering DNA?

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Welcoming Prayer
I Am the Clay in the Potter's Hand
John
Voices of Community

“God loves me!” Father Tom began our eight-day silent retreat with Pope Francis’ request to Christians to reflect on this, and so we entered into silence at Mount St. Anne’s.

John is my name and I am an Alcoholic and a recovering Catholic...

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Centering Prayer, Twelve Step
Reflections on San Antonio Board Meeting
Pat Johnson
Voices of Community

When I lean into the first impressions I had of the meeting with the Board and the Transition Advisory Team in San Antonio this past May 2017, the words that come to me are CLICKING CLOSENESS.  This was my first time at a face-to-face meeting with everyone.  What has been built among the group is total openness, honesty, respect, loads of humor, and a huge amount of love.  It was palpable and contagious.

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Proof of God’s Existence? Or the Experience of God’s Presence?
The Rev. Hampton Deck
Voices of Community

When I was a junior in high school I took a class on world literature... One day {a classmate} asked me, “Why are you always bring Jesus and the Bible into our discussions?”  A little stunned, I replied, “Because I’m a Christian. Aren’t you?” “No,” he answered.  “Well what are you then? Jewish, or some other religion?” I asked. “No, my parents never took me to church. I guess I’m an atheist or an agnostic. I never really thought about it,” Chris replied. Then he asked me a question that stopped me cold: “Why do you believe all that crap anyway?”

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In The Silence
Tom Agness
Voices of Community

A nippy spring morning in May,
Harsh winds and arc-like rains
Finally subsided,
Overdue cleanups, lengthy lawns,
Untilled gardens and untold repairs await....

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality, Liturgy
Placing Your Attention IN
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: I have been doing Centering Prayer for 6+months now, and have hit a bit of a road block. In reading Cynthia Bourgeault's book, The Heart of  Centering Prayer, and after a few days of intense Centering Prayer, I am now unsure about a particular aspect of Centering Prayer...I am having a difficult time in my Centering Prayer practice with this lack of clarity in the focus and aim of the practice.

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Centering Prayer
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament & Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: I am fairly new to the practice of Centering Prayer.  In my Catholic faith I participate weekly in the Adoration of our Lord through the Eucharist.   I feel at times the urge to practice my Centering Prayer during this quiet hour of adoration.   Is the practice of Centering Prayer during adoration contrary to the intentions of either adoration and/or Centering Prayer?

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Explanation of the Contemplative Outreach Symbol Other Read More. Contemplative Spirituality
Another Easter . . .
Marge Rafftery
Voices of Community

As I read the latest "Voices of the Community" articles from the current Contemplative Outreach e-bulletin, I noticed something I had not seen before . . . one could go back to previous articles.  So I did just that . . . going back to one I had written two years ago just after Easter that year (see the article "A Very Different Holy Week.").

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Sacred Feeling as a Sacred Symbol
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I feel led towards using what I would call sacred “feeling” when doing Centering Prayer. My feeling is love for God that I feel in my heart.  It seems very natural to me to return to my love for God when I'm distracted and it seems to line up with the teaching in The Cloud of Unknowing. Can this be used as a method for Centering Prayer?

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“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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Facilitating a Centering Prayer Support Group
Mary Mrozowski
Voices of Community

Facilitating is a ministry that empowers people and enables group process. As a ministry, it helps groups members to become more aware and more loving. Empowering others in this way is the heart of Christian ministry.

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Just Be in the Silence
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: I've been practicing Centering Prayer for about two years. It has helped me in more ways than I could ever express. My question has to do with what happens in the silence between the moments I use the sacred word. In those moments in between using the word am I simply to seek to be present/attentive to the Presence of God or would this be considered a thought too?

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Centering Prayer
HORIZON
Dian Gillmar
Voices of Community

I look our across fog.
Gray ocean meets gray sky,
and I think of my young friend,
cancer battle in full force...

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Taking a Break From Our Personality
Ruby M. Shelton
Voices of Community

Is humility to look down at others, wear not too lavish clothes, not standing up for yourself?  I think that humility is to take a break from our personality and observe a total and complete action of surrender to God.

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Spiritual Journey
Guiding New Practitioners
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: While debriefing the 20 minute prayer practice as part of the Centering Prayer Introductory Workshop, two participants shared experiences about which I would like some advice. One mentioned going in his "space" of a blue aura, which he recounted as the place where he infrequently experienced a special nearness of God. As he recounted it, it sounded like he was working hard to get into that space....

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Centering Prayer
A Report and Reflections on the Transition Process
Julie Saad
Voices of Community

The Governing Board held an in-person meeting January 6-10, 2017 and follow-up conference call on January 24, 2017.

Tens of thousands of people are now fishing in the stream of contemplative life. We are grateful for and proud of what our founders passed on to us. The new Governing Board and the Transition Advisory Team are interested in hearing from you about how we can support and sustain you.

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