Friday, January 15, 2010

Contemplative Prayer

Each morning I get an email in my inbox from Richard Rohr's Center for Action and Contemplation.  I've been thinking so much, of late, about prayer and contemplation, about suffering and compassion. After a week where I managed to get to a yoga class and meditate three times,  but a morning where I held Sophie as she seized, yet remained aware of the sufferings of others (the Sophies in Haiti, for example), I was particularly struck by the lines from today's email:

We should be an illuminated and honest people who have learned how to see reality in depth -- capable of recognizing self-serving “truths” and cultural lies -- what we might call a “wisdom culture” that acts as a leaven in the larger society.

As we will see, the path of honest inner prayer seems to be the only non-reactionary light that can lead us through this darkness.

Without it, most of us will sell out to group pressure and group think, or our responses will indeed be reactionary instead of pure, positive action.

--Father Richard Rohr

I'm going to do my best to try.


  1. Thank you for posting. That's good to hear.

    And so good your meditating. I never fail to marvel at how sweet meditation is, and all I do to avoid it as well. More, hopefully, soon.

  2. It's so wonderful to share a love for him and his writings with you! I'm thankful that you got to go to yoga, and were able to find that place of peace inside of you. God bless you, dear friend. XO

  3. so well said .... and well received on this end too

    I used your Haitian proverb in my recent journal page. It is certainly something to contemplate and to contemplate in context of others far away and in myself here at home. We are all on the same rock hurtling through space.

  4. Thank you for this post, Elizabeth, and the link! Love this stuff, as you know!

  5. Im going to try my best with you :). beautiful prayer. im sorry about sophie's seizure this morning.
    btw - i like the new masthead photo :)

  6. I'm not sure about this one. Is honest inner prayer really the only non-reactionary light which can lead us through the darkness?
    Perhaps it depends on how we define "prayer." I think it must. For me, anyway.
    Thank-you for making me think.

  7. Thanks for the reminder to slow down, to be still and know. Again, your writings and photo bring a sense of peace.

  8. I guess each one of us have our own definition of prayer. For me baking bread is a silent prayer hoping that everyone will have enough to eat. At least that is what I think while getting it ready. Putting up my seeds in the greenhouse is to me a greater act of faith than anything I can think of.

  9. So beautiful. Thank you for sharing it!

  10. I love this.
    If we can separate our reactions from what we assume is the right one, would we all at our core, just want the best for each other, and live out a more compassionate life.
    I don't know. It's easy to "feel" for the over there helpless. And easy to be self-righteous and ticked off at my neighbour who doesn't keep his yard "suburban" neat.
    The idea of holding someone in the LIght, that I posted, is a Quaker idea, it doesn't have to be a traditional prayer , but an intentional focus on wanting someone held in a healing energy or truth.

  11. It all jumbles together, doesn't it? Suffering, compassion, earthquakes, seizures...the tremors that shake us to our core.

    Also loved the Haiti mountain upon mountains photo. My Sally was supposed to go to Haiti in April...she thinks that canceling a trip is a bummer. Ha! Thank god she'll never know the depth of desperation.

  12. Beautiful! Love your thoughts.

    Thanks for your ALWAYS sweet and encouraging comments! Seriously, thank you!

    Love those flowers! Great shot!

  13. I thought of it too, the Clays in Haiti, especially when he was in his new hospital bed. I felt so grateful we had a comfortable bed for him. We feel so helpless to help people in such great need. Prayer and meditation is a good way to send light their way, I think.

  14. You might also enjoy The Contemplative Life Program. They have several different "40 day practice" program (small book and CD). Here's their website: have just recently returned to this myself. (Yoga, too!)



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