A contemplative practice of discernment is not about decision-making, although this may be an eventual outcome. Rather, contemplative discernment is receptive in nature, a process of opening to receive clues about who we are in God. We focus on ever-deepening levels of relationship and trust in God's will for us. We learn how to listen deeply to our motivations and sort through and purify any mixed motivations. As this relationship deepens, we learn to allow the love of God to motivate our actions and manifest through us. We discover what it means to truly pray "not my will, but Thy will."
We've chosen the spiral as a symbol of this contemplative discernment process. The spiral — your spiritual journey — is illuminated by discernment, by the inner light that guides your footsteps along the journey.
Contemplative discernment is a process and it is also a practice — and eventually it becomes a disposition and a way of life. The spiritual practices of Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina are principal tools to develop its building blocks: the dispositions of receptivity, listening, openness, consent, and surrender.
Contemplative Outreach, a community of individuals and Centering Prayer groups committed to living the contemplative dimension of the Gospel in everyday life, has developed this Online Retreat on contemplative discernment. The leaders are Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler and Fr. Carl Arico, who with Fr. Thomas are the principal servant-leaders of Contemplative Outreach. The retreat consists of:
• 12 emails explaining the process of contemplative discernment.
• Audio recordings from Fr. Thomas Keating, Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler and Fr. Carl Arico.
• Guidance in Lectio Divina (divine reading) to discover the promptings of the Spirit using 1 Corinthians 13, exploring how Scripture may inform the discernment process.
• Recording of a one-hour teleconference with Pamela Begeman, Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler, and Fr. Carl Arico recorded when this retreat was first offered.
This is a unique opportunity to learn and practice with leaders of the worldwide contemplative movement.
(4 CEHs for Chaplains available.)
(choose your own start date and frequency)