Nothing is more beautiful than the uniqueness
that God has created.
~You don't have to create the beauty ~ you´ve got the beauty.
~ You don't have to create the freedom ~ you´ve got it.
~ You don´t have to create the image of God in you ~ you have it.
~ You don´t have to win over God´s love ~ you have more than you know what to do with.
Thomas Keating, "Centering Prayer,"
Heartfulness: Transformation in Christ
"The modern world lies under a pervasive sense of anguish, of being abandoned, or at least experiencing God as absent. Yet events that seem to turn our lives upside down and inside out are part of God's redemptive plan, not only for us, but for the world in which we live. God may be preparing a great awakening for the world, if God can find enough people to cooperate in this mysterious plan."
~ Fr Thomas Keating
We may think of prayer as thoughts or feelings expressed in words. But this is only one expression. In the Christian tradition Contemplative Prayer is considered to be the pure gift of God. It is the opening of mind and heart ~ our whole being ~ to God, the Ultimate Mystery, beyond thoughts, words, and emotions. Through grace we open our awareness to God whom we know by faith is within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than choosing ~ closer than consciousness itself.
"The careful balance between silence and words, withdrawal and involvement, distance and closeness, solitude and community, forms the basis of the Christian life."
Out of Solitude
~ Henri Nouwen
The intent of Contemplative Outreach is to foster the process of transformation in Christ in one another through the practice of Centering Prayer.
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself ". ~ Luke 10:27
1. Contemplative Outreach is a community of individuals and Centering Prayer groups committed to living the contemplative dimension of the Gospel in everyday life.
2. A commitment to the daily practice of Centering Prayer is the primary expression of belonging.
3. Listening to the word of God in Scripture through the practice of Lectio Divina is encouraged, particularly its movement into contemplative prayer, which a daily practice of Centering Prayer facilitates.
4. The source of Centering Prayer is the Indwelling Trinity. Its practice consists of responding to the call of the Holy Spirit to consent to the Divine presence and action within.
5. The Divine presence affirms our basic core of goodness made in the image of God.
6. The Divine action is the process of transformation in Christ which inspires and deepens our consent.
7. The contemplative dimension of the Gospel manifests as an ever-deepening union with Christ and the practical caring for others that flows from this relationship. It reveals the deeper meaning of Christ’s life and teaching.
8. Our relationship with the living Christ is the bond uniting us together in mutual love.
9. While formed by our respective denominations, we are united in our common search for God and our experience of Christ through Centering Prayer.
10. We identify with the Christian contemplative heritage in which Centering Prayer is rooted. We recognize this heritage as the common ground for Christian unity.
11. We affirm our solidarity with the contemplative dimension of other religions and sacred traditions.
12. Through the continuing practice of Centering Prayer, we experience a deepening commitment to the needs and rights of each member of the human family and an increasing respect for the interdependence of all creation.
13. We foster a spirit of unity, generosity and utmost charity in all our relationships.
14. Following the teachings of Jesus, we exercise leadership through an attitude of humility, listening and service.
15. We recognize and maintain a spiritual relationship with Saint Benedict´s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado.
16. We acknowledge that any good accomplished by Contemplative Outreach is the work of the Holy Spirit.
Centering Prayer is a method of silent prayer that prepares us to receive the gift of contemplative prayer, prayer in which we experience God's presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself. This method of prayer is both a relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship.