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Tag Archives: contemplation

Spiritual Formation, Romance and Leadership

I am acutely aware of God’s work in me in three areas – contemplation, romance with Geri and the exercising of godly leadership. Spiritual Formation – I have been reading slowly Thomas Merton’s The Inner Experience: Notes on Contemplation. I relate to his description of the Desert Fathers who “knew that before they could see His face, (knew) they would have to struggle, instead, with His adversary. They would have to cast out the devil subtly lodged in their exterior self…By their renunciation of passion and attachment, their crucifixion of the exterior self, they liberated the inner man, the new man “in Christ” (p.33). I have been pondering the phrase “subtly lodged” for the past few weeks as it relates to my active life outside the desert here pastoring in Queens, NYC, married with four daughters. Romance –It would be easier to move to the desert (I think) than learn to cook and romance. Read more.

Mother Teresa Today

I encourage you to read the recent biography of Mother Teresa called Come Be My Light: The Private Writings of the  “Saint of Calcutta“. It gives us a glimpse into her leadership, high activity level and struggle with the “dark night of the soul.” For me, it encouraged me in my own struggle to be an “active contemplative leader” Her life gives power to these words: We all must take the time to be silent and to contemplate, especially those who live in big cities like London and New York, where everything moves so fast… I always begin my prayer in silence, for it is in the silence of the heart that God speaks. God is the friend of silence –we need to listen to God because it’s not what we say but what He says to us and through us that matters. Prayer feeds the soul – as blood is to the body,. Read more.

Rule of Life NLF Part 2 (with commentary)

This is the second of four sections on the Rule of Life I have been developing for New Life Fellowship Church in Queens. We have only just begun to pilot it.   My concern is to keep us faithful to our charism, that is, our unique grace and calling. I think we are in great need for fresh, creative ways of understanding who we are as God’s people and His call on our lives.  I know I need this personally. What amazes me is that every week has more to do in it than available time. I don’t know how I ever lived without that 24 hour Sabbath each week!!  In a conversation with Basil Pennington that I had with him before he died (he was a Trappist monk for 55 years and prolific author), he shared with me how he longed for greater time with God, more contemplation now that he had just “retired.” And that was from a monk having 7-8 Daily Offices. Read more.