March 2014

"… That responsibility [for the world] is getting heavier and heavier with each passing day and prompts me to want to contribute more and more.  And this is where prayer can be a kind of vocation … So, I'm struggling, and physically I'm not so vigorous, so I think of myself when I stumble around the cloister as simply manifesting the mystery of Christ's journey to Jerusalem and then his way of the cross, so I feel more and more a great responsibility.  I think that's the natural or spontaneous unfolding of God's presence in us, which is opening us to the oneness of the human family and our accountability for everything else.  So you might say we are just as much someone else as ourselves and certainly God is more us than we are."
Thomas Keating, as recorded in the worldwide teleconference on March 18, 2014, with Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler and Fr. Carl Arico.  Listen or download the free recording.

Save the Date:  The annual conference of Contemplative Outreach Ltd will be September 25-28, 2014, Deauville Resort Hotel, Miami Beach, Florida, "Celebrating 30 Years of Grace & Gratitude." Registration begins May 1.  More information can be found here.

Q&A with Fr. Carl Arico

Fr. Carl Arico

Q: I know my sacred word is not a mantra. It is for me to use to express my intention of attending during my prayer time and I am to return to it when I find myself caught by some distraction.  That's what I try to do and often I do that so repeatedly that my repetition of the sacred word seems to become a mantra anyway.  Am I doing something wrong?
A:  Read Fr. Carl's response.

Q: I have found it difficult to use just one word as I meditate. A simple 3-word phrase - that resonates strongly with me - is most comfortable for me. Is it appropriate to use a phrase and not a single word?
A:  Read Fr. Carl's response.

Q: Our Centering Prayer group got into a discussion about 'mindfulness,' which I understand to have to do with attentive presence, awareness, being in the present, etc. The question arose, "What is the relationship between 'mindfulness' and 'intention,' as we use the latter in our Centering Prayer practice?" My sense is that I am mindful as I enter my practice, but this attentive presence is, in some measure, given up to my intention to be open to God. A related question might be: "What do we mean by 'intention' in the Centering Prayer tradition?" 
A:  Read Fr. Carl's response.
See the archive of previous Q&A’s.  Please submit your questions about contemplative practices, the spiritual journey and the contemplative life to Fr. Carl by emailing Pamela Begeman.

Falling into the Hands of God

The new video Falling into the Hands of God, with Fr. Thomas Keating, received rave reviews at the recent United in Prayer Day events held around the world.  A recent purchaser said they heard it was a 'must have.'  DVD - $25.  Online video - $15.


The new film, "The Rising Tide of Silence," featuring the life and teachings of Fr. Thomas Keating, will be showing here:
* New York, NY:  NEW DATE:  Friday April 11th, QUAD Cinema, 34 W 13th Street, New York City, 212.255.2243.  Peter Jones, the director, will give a talk after the 7:40 p.m. screening on April 11.

DVDs of this film will be offered for sale toward the end of March.  Click here to view the trailer.


"Wishing you (us and the whole world!) another 30+ years of contemplative joy and service!"  Tom, Connie, Anne Marie, Sandy, Shirley, Craig, Noreen, Mary - the Centering Prayer group of Spencerport, NY




Contemplative Outreach has a new video feature on our website homepage for 2014. It's called "Voices of Grace & Gratitude." A new video will be presented every Monday.  Spanish translations of the transcripts are available

Voices of the Community

image courtesy of Ron Barnett

But, by Laura Richards.  "What would you do/If you were given/But just one more day to live? ... " Read more.

Set Free from the Pit, by Centering Prayer and the Truth, by Jeff Bassett.  "I was overwhelmed by constant, intense, thoughts and feelings of fear.  At the time, I believed that if I was just ‘right with God’, or, became a ‘better Christian’, these worrisome and fearful thoughts would certainly disappear.  So, I tried harder ... " Read more.  
Please email reflections about your spiritual journey, contemplative life, or daily practice to Pamela Begeman for consideration.  See the archive of previous articles.

Find a Retreat

A full list of retreats can be found on our online calendar, including Lectio Divina, Welcoming Prayer and special events.  The calendar is updated weekly.  You can also find events listed on these various local Contemplative Outreach websites.

Find a Local Contact and/or Prayer Group

You can search our worldwide Community section of the website for local contacts and local websites. These people are also a source for event and prayer group information.

Join us on Facebook

For more information on events, retreats, local Centering Prayer contacts, an online store and teachings from Contemplative Outreach, go to our website.

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