Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Contemplative Spirituality

Every now and then I am reminded that there are many things I know little about and some of my flaws slip out like not being exploratory in my thinking. After all I am still quite happy to believe the bible literally ( would not put much thinking into how the assumption of Mary works, or the ressuraction of Christ), and would never dream to question it. I treat books by Dan Brown such as DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons as good reading because the concepts are well put together. I would never dream to even think about how the Bible was put together, because then my argumentative side would come out and I would state categorically you have no proof, so I do not have to believe you.
So to cut a long story short I am now googling Contemplative Spirtuality and so far I have come across some links which provide real insight into how people think. I am still to decide if I want to read the contents of the links or if as usual I am happy with my thinking. However I will paste them here in case I decide to look into them further to save myself the trouble or to avoid having a reason not to read them: This site  covers recent data such as The Gethsemani Encounter 1996 and the Gethsemani Encounter II 2002, and  a book written by the Dalai Lama titled "Spiritual Advice for Buddhists and Christians"; ~ What is Conteplative Spirituality and why is it dangerous; by John Caddox,Winchester Or. In this page, Mr Caddox mentions Thomas Merton who was my main source on Contemplative Spirituality, not that  I read anything of his, he just looked appealing.
Then there is Shalem is an associate member of the Washington Theological Consortium. Their page on Contemplative Quotations is quite good actually since it covers a number of saints  who existed at different times and some of their more inspiring quotes. There are quotes from
~Julian of Norwich: Right understanding, with true longing, absolute trust and sweet grace -giving mindfulness. So now I am starting to be biased as I tried meditating using a 30 day guide on Julian of Norwich, All will be well or something of the sort.
~ Catherine of Siena: The secret of Christian cntemplation is that it faces us with Jesus Christ toward our suffering world in loving service and just action. I have heard priests quote Catherine of Siena for a long time
~ Ignatius of Loyola: Finding God in all things. Yep, our priests have been quoting him as well
~ Theresa of Avila: Awareness, absorbed and amazed. "Famous  I think.
~ Francis de Sales: The mind's loving unmixed permanent attention to the things of God.  Heard about him too, never paid much attention to it, sounded like too much suffering.
~  Thomas Merton: Seeing through the exterior things and seeing God in them.
So after all is said and done, maybe I can lovingly accept Contemplative Spirituality if I try to see through exterior things and see God in them. :)  As the song says: " Back in love again," can't remember the names of the singers however I will definitely add a You tube link as soon as possible.
Copyright Jennifer Bailey

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