Registration for this Practice Group ended on January 24, 2018. The group is now closed.

If you are interested in participating in an e-course with Spirituality & Practice, please check out these current options:

and our on-demand courses:

Many contemplatives as they deepen into the Presence of silence and stillness find that the desire for informational reading — even for spiritual texts — lessens. A little goes a long way, as the saying goes. There is a magnetic attraction to the depths, to lingering there in alert receptivity, listening, pondering, just being. The soul is quickened and sustained by the beautiful and the true.

For the past four years, as part of Contemplative Outreach year-long online programs, Mary Anne Best has been writing and curating weekly gems of the beautiful and true — called Word of the Week. These offerings have included contemplative reflections based on each Sunday's scripture (in the Roman Catholic lectionary), woven with the teachings of Thomas Keating and other contemplative wisdom voices. A beautiful image in each mailing provides a way to engage visual and creative faculties to "see beyond seeing."

In prior years, Word of the Week has been part of a program that also included several e-courses. In 2018, the Word of the Week reflections will stand alone as a year-long program which you can take whether or not you sign-up for other e-courses.

Every Sunday morning from January 7 through December 30, 2018, participants will receive an email with an invitation to practice Lectio Divina and listen for how the Spirit is speaking through the scripture, messages, image, and sometimes short video segments. Each email also links to a worldwide community forum (a Practice Group), where participants may share with one another their reflections, questions, and struggles to embody the essence of the Gospel — love of God and neighbor in the routines of daily life. Participants are encouraged in the contemplative practices of Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, Welcoming Prayer, active prayer, and more.

You can read two samples of previous Word of the Week selections here.

Mary Anne Best is the finance director for Contemplative Outreach, overseeing the stewardship of financial resources and fundraising to support programs and offerings. Mary Anne also coordinates the development of new works of Thomas Keating, organizes and staffs Centering Prayer retreats, and is a principal writer for online courses and the Contemplative Life Program (CLP). She is a member and trustee of a contemplative Christian community in Austin, Texas; mother and grandmother of two beloved grandchildren; and enjoys silence, walking, yoga, nature, and travel with beloveds to faraway places.

Partial scholarships are available. Please inquire by emailing

Sunday, January 7


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