Monday, April 2, 2012

A Call For... A Society for Young Christian Contemplatives


  • Creating a compassionate and reflective ecumenical community of Christians in their 20′s, 30′s, and 40′s who are interested in carrying the sacred ancient traditions of Christian Contemplation/Mysticism forward into the next generations of Christians.
  • By engaging with our inner contemplatives today, we will be able to gift the tradition of sacred space and communion with God to ourselves, as young people, and to future young people. The tradition was once lost for 400 years–we can be the caretakers of our communal Christian Contemplative Traditions (or lose it again).
  • Willingness to become educated on the Christian Communal histories of contemplation, mystic traditions, contemplative advocates, and texts (Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Therese of Liseux, Catherine of Siene, Julian of Norwich, Francis of Assisi and others).
  • Willingness to learn of the contemporary contemplatives in our midst and learn the traditions they have carried into the present time: Thomas Keating, Richard Rohr, Cynthia Bourgeault, Tessa Bielecki, and others.
  • Be able to be a voice, advocate, and practitioner for the contemplative practices of the Christian tradition: Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius, Rooms of the Interior Castle, Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, and others.
  • Openness of mind, body, and soul to work on personal contemplation in daily life–a practice of silent prayer. This can be as varied as 20 minutes of Centering Prayer, an imagery of God or Jesus, or any contemplative activity that brings one closer to internal and external silence. I have one friend, agnostic herself, for whom her contemplative prayer is found in a sunrise at the beach and a swim in the ocean.

  • Twenty-something, thirty-something, and early forty-something Christian.
  • Eagerness to live in the world but not be fully of the world around you.
  • Ability to manage the paradoxes in faith: being both contemplative and action-oriented in living your faith.
  • Capacity to dialogue with other faith traditions from a place of listening and as a learner–both grounded in your own “faith of origin” while able to see how learning more about the global faith traditions can make you a more adept and compassionate Christian.
  • Willingness to enter into silence with God, even when it’s uncomfortable, because it will always be somewhat uncomfortable.
  • Having an open mind, open heart, open soul to listen and make space for the voice of “God-in-us”.

**Honorary Member slots for persons of other faiths or no faith willing to learn this tradition of faith and share your own journey in or out of faith.**

WE can carry the contemplative tradition into this post-modern world full of “white noise” and chaos, or it can be lost again, cast away like a relic rather than a living experience of God.

This is my call into the virtual plains and hills for a SOCIETY OF YOUNG CHRISTIAN CONTEMPLATIVES. People who have a personal practice of contemplation or those who are interested in starting one. Young voices willing to carry contemplation forward into a world of (as one author put it so succinctly) our “ancient-future” faith.

I am looking for your voices, your willingness, your openness to sacred silence! Anyone out there on the journey already? Anyone way to be? Anyone want a community to share in this pilgrimage of the soul? Anyone who can hold the tension of action and contemplation, of ancient and future faith, of activism and stillness? Anyone as excited as me at the prospect?

I am a total contemplative nerd. I will admit it. I can say that my passion comes from the richness of my own internal pilgrimage with the aid of Christian Contemplative practice. I learned many traditions along my journey and found my home back in my “faith of origin” and Christian prayer of union with God. I have seen what silence, in many forms, has done to repair pain, trauma, and hollowness in people both in secular and faith communities.

Time and again the call in silence, “Be still and know that I am God,” (Psalms, 46:10) has brought sacred silence into the heart of so many. I pray and hope only to share that sacred gift, and the community of the shared gift, with whoever is willing or able to make the journey.


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