"THE OTHER SIDE OF CHAOS . . . BREAKING THROUGH WHEN LIFE IS

   BREAKING DOWN"

by Margaret Silf

Jesuit Communications Foundation, Inc.

In the bigger human story, history shows that it is often in times of crisis that humanity discovers itself. War, though it is an indictment of our failure to be decent and mature human beings, can also bring out the best in us, as we care for one another and work together in new ways to deal with the situations that war causes. . . Evolution moved forward most rapidly when conditions on the earth were hostile, such as during the Ice Ages, when human beings had to invent new ways of surviving. We learn more from our failures than from our successes. . . .It is said with some truth that we are often at our best when life deals us its worst.

 

"EVERYTHING BELONGS . . . THE GIFT OF CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER"

by Richard Rohr

Crossroad

I believe that we have no real access to who we really are except in God. Only when we rest in God can we find the safety, the spaciousness, and the scary freedom to be who we are, all that we are, more than we are, and less than we are. Only when we live and see through God can “everything belong.”

 

"EVERYDAY GRACE . . . HAVING HOPE, FINDING FORGIVENESS, AND

  MAKING MIRACLES”

by Marianne Williamson

Riverhead Books

Spiritual mastery lies not just in understanding the wands, but in using them. It’s like the difference between Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother explaining how the light works and her actually taking out her wand and waving it around a few times. One describes the transformation of a pumpkin into a coach, while the other actually makes it happen. It’s time for us to take out our own wands now and transform a few pumpkins of our own.”

"AGAINST AN INFINITE HORIZON . . . THE FINGER OF GOD IN OUR EVERYDAY

  LIVES"

by Ronald Rolheiser

Jesuit Communications Foundation

Many ancient peoples believed that the human soul was a piece of the divine fire that had somehow become disconnected from God, and it was this divine fire blazing within us, trying to return home, that made us restless. For them, we were on fire because our immortal soul was trying to escape from a mortal body. . . . The fire, the relentless pressure is not only in the soul, it is in everything else as well. The cosmos is all of a piece.

 

"INNER COMPASS . . . AN INVITATION TO IGNATIAN SPIRITUALITY”

by Margaret Silf

Loyola Press

The Invitation is made out in your name. But who are you? Who is this person who feels drawn to explore the spiritual treasures that lie within you? Yes, with you . . . Not in some closet in the sky or the bishop’s office. Not in some divine database, to which only the elect hold the password. But in you. Jesus said it himself: “The Kingdom is very close to you. It is in your heart.”

"THOMAS MERTON IN SEARCH OF HIS SOUL. . . A JUNGIAN PERSPECTIVE"

by Robert G. Waldron

Ave Maria Press

From the beginning of his conversion, Merton. . . took Christ’s command to be perfect quite literally. This created frustration for him, compounded by his taking to heart his friend Robert Lax’s suggestion that the only worthwhile ambition in life was sainthood, a dangerous ambition because it was prideful. Merton’s journey, then, created for itself unrealistic hurdles resulting in wasted years and energy before he realized what was important in the pursuit of wholeness. In the end, he settled for being ordinary and fully human, or to put it more simply, he learned to be himself.

 

"LIVING IN THE TRUTH. . . ST. BENEDICT'S TEACHING ON HUMILITY"

by Michael Casey

Liguori/Triumph

Spiritual life is not a hobby or a part-time occupation. It is nothing if it does not find expression in everything we do. There is no possibility of moonlighting: using some of our energies for other goals or for ourselves. Taking the spiritual life seriously means that it is not compartmentalized. It is a total obsession.

"TOOLS MATTER FOR PRACTICING THE SPIRITUAL LIFE"

by Mary Margaret Funk

Continuum

God doesn’t want us to be angry. The problem with being angry is that we can’t pray when we are angry. We can’t think and make good judgments when we are angry. Anger disqualifies us from spiritual work. . . The good news is that anger can be entirely rooted out. The better news is that there are tools to do that that have been tested and found effective against the most stubborn, seemingly irreversible traumas. The best news is that anger passes quickly even if it rises again and again because of life’s vicissitudes; however, we can learn to see it and resist its power. Eventually our response will be from our center of truth.

"THE SONG OF SONGS . . . A SPIRITUAL COMMENTARY"

by M. Basil Pennington, OCSO

Skylight Paths Publishing

This is not a scholarly commentary or in fact any kind of commentary on the Sacred Text. It is rather a rumination. The Fathers like to speak of our being nourished by Sacred Scripture like a “clean animal.” The cow or some other such animal first goes out and eats of the rich pasture. Then it settles under a tree and regurgitates what it has eaten to further chew the cud – a process that will eventually produce the milk of prayer and the cream of contemplation. Here we offer our rumination in image and word, hoping that it will enable you to share it and enjoy the milk and cream, prayer and contemplative delight.

 

"FROM BROKENNESS TO COMMUNITY"

by Jean Vanier

Paulist Press

I do not believe we can truly enter into our own inner pain and wounds and open our hearts to others unless we have had an experience of God, unless we have been touched by God.

"JESUS AND MARY...FINDING OUR SACRED CENTER"

by Henri J. M. Nouwen

St. Anthony Messenger Press

When Jesus said to his beloved disciple: “Behold, your mother” (John 19:27), he gave Mary to us. He wants us to have a mother who can guide us toward our true childhood, not the childhood of an infant that does not yet know its own wounds, but the childhood of the disciple who has come to see that, underneath all his personal woundedness, there is a first love untainted by the ambiguities and ambivalences of human affection. We need Mary to find our way to the joy and peace of the children of God.

 

"THE HUMAN CONDITION...CONTEMPLATION AND TRANSFORMATION"

by Thomas Keating

Paulist Press

God is existence. In everything that exists, God is present. The greatest reality is God’s presence. The problem is that we only access that presence to the degree that our interior life is attuned to it. Hence the importance in the Christian tradition of listening to sacred scripture, which is much more than just listening to its literal meaning.

 

"REDISCOVERING LECTIO DIVINA"

by Thelma Hall, r.c.

St. Paul Publications

In his humanity, Jesus experienced the contemplation of his Father, and invites us, through the gift of his Spirit, to enter into that experience. It is available to us in the measure of our faith and love, which are the proximate means, in this life, of “seeing” God, of touching and being touched by him – i.e., of “experiencing” him.

 

"THE EUCHARIST YESTERDAY AND TODAY"

by M. Basil Pennington

St. Paul Publications

When we are deeply in touch with ourselves we know that we are part of a whole. Our humanity is part of the whole fabric of the created human family, and baptism has given us an even deeper and more significant oneness with others in Christ.

 

"THE HEART OF CREATION...THE MEDITATIVE WAY"

by John Main

St. Paul Publications

I do not In meditation we seek to disassemble the barriers that we have set up around ourselves and that cut us off from the consciousness of the presence of Jesus within our own heart. In meditating we start the process of dismantling the ego and its persistent attempt to place ourselves at the center. We begin to understand that God is at the center and so our whole perspective and orientation changes.

 

"THE THOMAS KEATING READER"

Selected Writings from the Contemplative Outreach Newsletter

The ultimate purpose of every kind of prayer is to give ourselves to God, and to make it possible for God to do what he always wanted to do in the first place, which is to give us the divine life. Deep prayer is the condition that God is waiting for in order to communicate his divine life, and holiness to us. Such is the purpose of our creation in the first place.

 

"PRAYING OUR GOODBYES"

by Joyce Rupp, OSM

Claretian Publications

What does the life and message of Jesus tell us about the goodbyes in our lives? It tells us that he knew what it was like to go through those painful times. He, too, had many moments when he felt pulled apart, knew the hurt of leaving behind, felt the emptiness that comes with deep loss.

 

"SACRED BREATH...FORTY DAYS OF CENTERING PRAYER"

by J. David Muyskens

Upper Room Books

Why be attentive to God? Because it will give you a spiritual high? Because you will have a wonderful experience? To get something for yourself? No. Because you are loved. Give yourself in gratitude for that love. The love God gives to you calls for your love in response.

 

"THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST...THE LITURGY AS SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE"

by Thomas Keating

Amity House

All creation is ours on the condition that we do not try to possess it. The innate desire to feel secure is an obstacle to enjoying all that exists. This does not mean that we are not to have possessions at all, but that we need to be detached from whatever we have.


 

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