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Action & Contemplation

Updated: Mar 18, 2020

Richard Rohr – American spiritual writer, speaker, teacher, Catholic Franciscan priest.
Richard Rohr – spiritual writer, Catholic Franciscan priest.

“We gradually come to recognize that “thinking” does not enable us to love God and love others. We need a different operating system that begins with and leads to silence.” — Richard Rohr

Contemplation is a radical opening to God’s loving presence. In this vulnerable place, grace humbles us and moves us to fight for justice and mercy.

Contemplation changes how we think, how we spend money and time, how we vote, and how we relate to ourselves and others. As one of the faculty members at The Center for Action and Contemplation, Barbara Holmes, says, “Centering down is not an escape from the din of daily life; rather, it requires full entry into the fray but on different terms. Always, contemplation requires attentiveness to the Spirit of God.” From an awareness of our connection with God and all living beings, we’ll know what action is ours to do—and what is not ours to do.

“Without silence, we do not really experience our experiences. We are here, but not in the depth of here. We have many experiences, but they do not have the power to change us.” — Richard Rohr

These are not new ideas. Jesus himself modeled a contemplative way of praying and sacrificial service. Contemplation was taught by the desert fathers and mothers and in monasteries for centuries. True “mystics” and mature seekers have an embodied spirituality.

Fr. Richard draws from the Christian contemplative tradition and other faiths and fields of study to help us create a different world—here and now—that honors our differences and recognizes our oneness.

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