Contemplative Prayer
 

800px-Johannes_(Jan)_Vermeer_-_Christ_in_the_House_of_Martha_and_Mary_-_Google_Art_Project

Public Domain - Johannes (Jan) Vermeer - Christ in the House of Martha and Mary

The Master said, “...you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential,

and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.”

Luke 10:42 MSG

Are you choosing the one essential thing?

Come enjoy some conversations around

Jesus' invitation to choose the one thing that is essential

and learn some basics of contemplative prayer. 

WHEN & WHERE:

  • Gatherings kick off Saturday Mornings Jan. 15th, 2022 

  • Eight Saturday mornings / Jan- Mar / 9:30-11:30am CST

  • Utilizing the Zoom Meeting platform

  • Minimum of 8 participants needed

HOW WE WILL SPEND OUR TIME:

     Each time we gather we'll include some group discussion about: the book The Silent Land; A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation, we'll ponder pertinent Scripture verses & how they intertwine and inform our spiritual journey and prayer life in the Lord.  We'll also include some contemplative practices & skills, while learning to hold sacred listening space for one another.

     

Questions that we may ponder together....

  • What exactly is contemplative prayer?

  • What is the difference between "meditation" and "contemplation" in the Christian tradition?

  • Is contemplative prayer simply another prayer method? Or is an invitation from the Lord to go deeper in prayer and in relationship with Him - or both?

  • How and why does our prayer life perhaps change as we mature in the Lord?

  • What do we mean by a still or quiet mind- is that even possible?!!

  • Where/Is contemplative prayer found in the Scriptures? 

  • How does Jesus model the contemplative life of prayer and action?

This class won't be for everyone. Pray...notice...listen.

Here are a few questions that may help you discern if this class might be a good fit for you this season: 

  • Do you feel an attraction to quiet and stillness?

  • Do you long to just "be" with God?  Long to just sit at the feet of Jesus

  • Have your usual spiritual practices changed or are your wondering what God might be up to lately? Something feels different

  • Have you discovered a struggle to quiet your mind or to even connect with God because there are so many distracting thoughts or an inability to focus?

  • Have you discovered that contemplation often leads to action and wonder how to hold both?

  • This class will be best suited for those that have walked with the Lord a bit and have long pondered and "meditated often on one's own sinfulness, the Passion of Christ, and the kindness, goodness, and dignity of God." *

  • Also, you can look at the chapter topics below and see if they resonate, entice or draw you.

     Join us (open to both men & women 17+ and up) on the spiritual journey, as we gather around the Truth in our experiences and listen for the deep invitations of Jesus.

But when you pray,

go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father,

who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Mt 6:6-8

SCHEDULE & TOPICS:

JANUARY

Sat. Jan. 15th - First Gathering- Welcome to The Introduction: God our Homeland

Sat. Jan 22nd - Second Gathering - Parting the Veil: The Illusion of Separation from God

Sat. Jan. 29th - Third Gathering - The wild hawk of the Mind

FEBRUARY

Sat. Feb. 5th - Fourth Gathering - The Body's Call to Prayer  

Sat. Feb. 12th - Fifth Gathering - The Three Doorways of the Present Moment

Sat. Feb. 19th - Sixth Gathering - The Riddles of Distraction

Sat. Feb. 26th - Seventh Gathering - From Victim to Witness: Practicing with Affliction

MARCH

Sat. Mar. 5th- Eighth/Last Gathering - The Liturgy of Our Wounds & Epilogue: Who am I?

To register, make an offering and reserve your spot today.... see below.

Please register by 12/31/21.  Thanks!

RESOURCE needed for this class: 

​Into the Silent Land; A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation by Martin Laird

      Please purchase the book on your own, so that you have it before the first class.

     (You'll be reading the Introduction in the book to prepare for our first gathering)

OPTIONAL Reading:

If you are newer to contemplation, I encourage you to read this book in preparation:

Contemplative Prayer; Praying when the well runs dry by Joann Nesser

LOCATION:

With Covid and winter afoot... I will be offering this class online using the Zoom meeting platform where you can join in from the comfort of your warm home.  This will also enable those that live outside of the state to join us.

SUGGESTED CLASS OFFERING:

$120 or three monthly payments of $40

 (sliding scale & scholarships available to those experiencing a financial hardship, please inquire)

Don't let the fee keep you from joining!

1)  Register today and reserve your spot!

2) Make an offering & give below

(fees are non-refundable but transferable to a friend.

To avoid paypal fees: use Venmo, Applepay, Zelle, or a Check)

"The glory of God is a human being fully alive." 

St. Irenaeus

QUESTIONS or CONCERNS ABOUT CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER?

Click here for an article by Focus on the Family.

A review of "Into the Silent Land" by Christianity Today

The Gift of Contemplative Prayer.... article click here.

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Quotes on Christian contemplation from trusted resources...

...in regards to how to conduct oneself during prayer in regard to thoughts & the distracted mind...the author from *the Cloud of Unknowing writes;

 "...anyone who expects to advance without having meditated often on his own sinfulness, the Passion of Christ, and the kindness, goodness, and dignity of God, will most certainly go astray and fail in his purpose.  But a person who has long pondered these things must eventually leave them behind....

It is God, and he alone, who can fully satisfy the hunger and longing of our spirit which transformed by his redeeming grace is enabled to embrace him by love.  He whom neither men nor angels can grasp by knowledge can be embraced by love.  For the intellect of both men and angles is too small to comprehend God as he is in himself."

“Union with God is not something we acquire by a technique but the grounding truth of our lives that engenders the very search for God.

Because God is the ground of our being, the relationship between creature and Creator is such that, by sheer grace, separation is not possible.

God does not know how to be absent.

The fact that most of us experience throughout most of our lives a sense of absence or distance from God is the great illusion that we are caught up in; it is the human condition.

The sense of separation from God is real, but the meeting of stillness reveals that this perceived separation does not have the last word.”

 

― Martin Laird, Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation

“Gregory the Great (sixth century), summarizing the Christian contemplative tradition, expressed it as 'resting in God.' This was the classical meaning of Contemplative Prayer in the Christian tradition for the first sixteen centuries.”
― Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart

Did you know...?

'We are built for contemplation.

We are built to commune with God!"

Christian contemplative practices foster our ability to recognize, embody and live within the loving presence of God in ourselves and in our world.