conduct your own contemplative ten minute retreat


I love Five Guys Burgers and Fries (don’t tell my wife). They specialize in not only the best burgers I have tasted this side of my own grille but also scrummy delicious french fries and plenty of them. Being up a burger joint might seem a far cry from contemplative practices, but it is part of my transformation (although so very slowly) from self to God each day. When I am open to the possibility of the manifestability of all being and whatever life deals up this day, it doesn’t matter what happens. I try as much as I can to relate all of my experiences to how Christ loves us and wants us to love others. No, I didn’t forget about Five Guys. In one of my Lectio Divina meditations (Philippians 2:5), I thought of how Christ, through the Holy Spirit gives us a smorgasbord of ways to love Christ as He loved us. For some reason, I thought of ordering a Five Guys Little Hamburger. The attendant always asks you want on it. There are many choices from which to add to your hamburger. My daily search for God always takes me to very interesting places, such as Tallahassee Memorial Hospital for two separate cardioversions (A-fib and A-flutter) with happy results so far. I was reminded of the mantra that was popular and now gone the way of all mantras, “What would Christ do in this situation?” My thinking now is not what Christ would do but “What do I plan to do now about this situation in front of me?” Everything links together and fits with everything else, at least in my view of reality. Here is the point. Be it Five Guys or any other event that presents itself to me each day, I look at ways to link the possibility of the manifestability of having me the mind of Christ Jesus (Philippians2:5) with whatever comes my way. Don’t get me wrong. I am not one who tries the procrustean approach of forcing Jesus into whatever comes my way. First of all, it doesn’t work and secondly, you can’t fit Christ into anything where He is not already present. This is a mark of pride and one of those seductive vices I try to move away from.

I kept thinking, over and over, about multiple choices at Five Guys, and what in the world that could possibly mean for me. It is usually when I forget about something that the answer pops into my consciousness from nowhere. I wanted to share with you the multiple choices of how you can make your own contemplative retreat. I remember being a hostage to my own feeble knowledge of seeking God and trying to fit all of you into what I think reality is. No, that IS procrustean. This is the result of my Five Guys experience.


The Pandemic has changed many assumptions that we have had about going to Church, praying in silence and solitude, being patient in growing from self to God. Using my Five Guys example, I need to nourish myself to keep up my strength and to drink plenty of water (my physician told me eight glasses per day) to maintain my stamina. I don’t go out much these days since I am high risk (80+ years of age) and suseptible to the virus. Locked into my own frame of reality, I have attempted to break out of the paradigm of thinking that I am limited in any way. Contemplative, in the way I use it, is having a mindset about reality where loving others in a school of love is my center, my only center., I am physically alone but not spiritually alone.

Like Five Guys, I wanted to offer you multiple resources that you may choose to use or not that provide with the option of just watching the Weather Channel for eight hours a day. As a regular part of this blog (which I write to keep my brain cells from atrophying), I will share with you what I used as my ten minute recollection. I don’t actually have anything to do with the site, I just pass it on to you.


The Importance of St. Clement of Rome (97 AD)

St. Clement of Rome is a worthy subject for a retreat. Father Like Dysinger has a course on St. Clement that you should know about.

Once you access the site, you will see on the left side seven topics for Fr. Luke’s audio. He uses the right hand side of the page, those with texts to help you follow along with his audio.

 deposing bishops

2.  Pet.& Paul’s martyrdom;

3._Christ: VISION

4. Eccles.ranks- Jewish Temple

5. Apost. origins of Episcopate

6. O.T. strife priesthood

7.  Ap. Succes.; Bishops = Presbyters

audio.lect. ]

I hope you find this primary source of spiritual benefit.


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