Category: Cistercian

FOUR LEVELS OF CHURCH: Keep my commands

Disclaimer: What follows is not authorized by Cistercians, Lay Cistercians, or Roman Catholic Church but is solely the opinion of a broken-down, old temple of the Holy Spirit. During one of my Lectio Divina meditations (Phil 2:5), I asked what Christ did to ensure… Continue Reading “FOUR LEVELS OF CHURCH: Keep my commands”

THE PHENOMENON OF MAN: Background for The Christ Principle as Intelligent Progression.

If you have not done so, I recommend reading (and reflecting) on the late Teilhard de Chardin’s book, The Phenomenon of Man. I do so because it is at the heart of my Lectio Divina (Philippians 2:5) meditations about The Christ Principle. My thoughts… Continue Reading “THE PHENOMENON OF MAN: Background for The Christ Principle as Intelligent Progression.”

CHAPTER 4: DISTRACTIONS AND BAD THOUGHTS DURING CONTEMPLATION

Posted on May 20, 2019, by https://thecenterforcontemplativepractice.org This might seem like an odd topic for Lectio Divina, but I assure you, it is authentic, embarrassingly honest. It is natural because none of us practice prayer and hopefully contemplation without distractions and trying to avoid evil thoughts.… Continue Reading “CHAPTER 4: DISTRACTIONS AND BAD THOUGHTS DURING CONTEMPLATION”

Leonardo DaVinci Drawing of Life

To be fully human ourselves, we must make sure everyone has a chance to be Pro-Choice. We are the sum of our choices.

CONVERSIO MORAE: Ten habits of highly successful people who move deeper into Christ Jesus.

One of the great lessons I have taken away from being exposed to Cistercian spirituality is the sheer simplicity of allowing God to shine on your behavior. This life-giving energy replenishes Faith with grace and conversio morae, growing more like Christ and less like… Continue Reading “CONVERSIO MORAE: Ten habits of highly successful people who move deeper into Christ Jesus.”

THE HUMAN RAMIFICATIONS OF VISIBILITY AND INVISIBILITY

“Why does human life find itself on a planet just far away from the Sun not to burn up, with just the correct mixtures of gases to exist, with just the correct protection from radiation not to be torched?” Added to that seeming statistical… Continue Reading “THE HUMAN RAMIFICATIONS OF VISIBILITY AND INVISIBILITY”

THREE BATTLES YOU MUST FIGHT TO WIN

In my latest Lectio Divina (Philippians 2:5), I was struck by the notion of how difficult it is to live in the world and yet also be a citizen and adopted son in the Kingdom of Heaven. This dual citizenship causes anxiety sometimes and… Continue Reading “THREE BATTLES YOU MUST FIGHT TO WIN”

FERTILIZER FOR FAITH: The God of Second Chances

You know the parable of the good seed falling on good ground. There are three fertilizers that Christ told us to use to keep the soil of our Faith from drying up and becoming sterile. It is no accident that God is depicted as… Continue Reading “FERTILIZER FOR FAITH: The God of Second Chances”

MAKE A PRIVATE RETREAT WITH THE SOUL OF THE APOSTOLATE: Ten Aides to Mental Prayer

I can remember reading The Soul of the Apostolate in College. This is the spiritual classic by DOM JEAN-BAPTIST CHAUTARD, O.C.S.O. (Abbot of Notre Dame de Sept Fons). This morning, the Holy Spirit tickled my neurons to bring up my previous encounters with this… Continue Reading “MAKE A PRIVATE RETREAT WITH THE SOUL OF THE APOSTOLATE: Ten Aides to Mental Prayer”

MAKE A CONTEMPLATIVE RETREAT IN THE SILENCE OF YOUR HEART

I made this contemplative retreat recently and found it to be life-changing and the most inspiring thoughts that I am still processing to assimilate into my personal spiritual worldview. I offer to share this with you, but be forewarned, it is not for the… Continue Reading “MAKE A CONTEMPLATIVE RETREAT IN THE SILENCE OF YOUR HEART”

THE LAST BLOG I EVER WRITE

The title suggests that the blog you now read is the last one I will ever write. I don’t mean that. My Lectio Divina (Philippians 2:5) meditation is “If you could write one short paragraph, summing up everything you have learned about the purpose… Continue Reading “THE LAST BLOG I EVER WRITE”

THE DIVINE EQUATION: Assumptions make us who we are as humans

To wander through the high grass of the English language is to walk through paths that are sometimes strewn with weeds among the wildflowers. The communication problem becomes one of learning to delve into the assumptions underlying the words we use. For example, to… Continue Reading “THE DIVINE EQUATION: Assumptions make us who we are as humans”

LITURGY OF THE HOURS: Office of the Dead

Would you join me in praying the Office of the Dead for my friend, Father Carl Roos, who died on April 3rd in Indianapolis, Indiana? We can also include any other souls of the Faithful Departed. May they rest in the peace of Christ.… Continue Reading “LITURGY OF THE HOURS: Office of the Dead”

WHERE DOES GOOD OR EVIL ORIGINATE?

This topic would not be the conversation starter around any dinner in my experience of eating, but it is critical to what it means to be a human. REFLECTIONS ON WHY WE HAVE THE CHOICE OF GOOD OR EVIL Does good or evil originate… Continue Reading “WHERE DOES GOOD OR EVIL ORIGINATE?”

CHAPTER 4: I USED TO LOOK DOWN ON THE BAPTIST CHURCH

I USED TO LOOK DOWN AT THE BAPTISTS We all are guilty. When we hear something, we process it according to our first impressions. As the saying goes, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Perhaps this is because the… Continue Reading “CHAPTER 4: I USED TO LOOK DOWN ON THE BAPTIST CHURCH”

ARE YOU FULL OF HATRED?

I know that I am.  Being full of hatred, depending on your assumptions, means different things to different readers (or writers). Here are some reflections on hatred and some contexts in which they might be good or evil.  Once, when I was thinking about… Continue Reading “ARE YOU FULL OF HATRED?”

CONVERSIO MORAE: The habit of moving from my false self to my true self. With God’s energy, there is always deeper.

During the Lenten season, particular emphasis is on how to move from my false self to my true self. The book, The Cistercian Way, written by the late Dom Andre Louf, O.S.C.O., is one that I continue to read, again and again, to recreate… Continue Reading “CONVERSIO MORAE: The habit of moving from my false self to my true self. With God’s energy, there is always deeper.”

ARE YOU HALF A CATHOLIC?

My Lectio Divina meditation (Philippians 2:5) took me to ask about my being faithful to what Christ taught about loving others as Christ loved us. Read the whole text about love with its fantastic approach to Christ being real inside you. I offer it… Continue Reading “ARE YOU HALF A CATHOLIC?”

A PUZZLE MORE COMPLEX THAN SUDOKU: CAN YOU SOLVE THE DIVINE EQUATION?

Actually, there is no solution to the Divine Equation as much as it is a key to living your humanity in such a way that you can see reality and thus fulfill the next step in the evolution of the species. In seeing reality… Continue Reading “A PUZZLE MORE COMPLEX THAN SUDOKU: CAN YOU SOLVE THE DIVINE EQUATION?”

LENT: A time to die

Taking up your cross each day to follow Christ is a preposterous idea to those who only live in two universes, the physical one which is our base, and the mental one which gives us the tools of reason and free choice to discover… Continue Reading “LENT: A time to die”

WHAT IS THE MOST POWERFUL ENERGY IN THE WHOLE UNIVERSE?

This might seem like an innocuous topic for contemplative practice but stick with me. The world is obsessed with power, be it physical power, personal power, military prowess, such as we witness in the takeover of Ukraine, or political power (the one I detest… Continue Reading “WHAT IS THE MOST POWERFUL ENERGY IN THE WHOLE UNIVERSE?”

IT’S ALL A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE: What is hidden is most real.

When entering the realm of the heart from the realm of the mind, Phil 2:5 taught me to have perspective. I thought of humility and how much Christ had to become one of us, how strange it must have been to be God one… Continue Reading “IT’S ALL A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE: What is hidden is most real.”

THE CHRIST PRINCIPLE: We are what we choose.

Holy Mother's Center

Once, a young man wanted to know the one question, that, if you asked it, all others depended upon it. He set out to find that one question, one that kept him up at night, not with worry but with curiosity. He went to… Continue Reading “THE CHRIST PRINCIPLE: We are what we choose.”

SIC TRANSEAT GLORIA MUNDI

Thus passes the glory of the world. What a profound saying as the whole world seems destined for hatred and power-grabbing. My thoughts in a Lectio Divina (Philippians 2:5) had to do with what doesn’t pass away, what is secure, what lasts forever, plus… Continue Reading “SIC TRANSEAT GLORIA MUNDI”

THE RAPE OF REASON AND FREE CHOICE

Recent events in our time have one country with considerable power and military take over another country, one who is sovereign and not provoking anyone in the name of nationalism. It is not just nor is it acceptable, yet many nation-states stand on the… Continue Reading “THE RAPE OF REASON AND FREE CHOICE”

THE CORRUPTION OF THE SPIRIT–Part II

In my last few years of being a Lay Cistercian, I have completely changed my viewpoint about being the center of my world, but not in the way you might expect. I have been tutored to avoid being self-centered and selfish all of my… Continue Reading “THE CORRUPTION OF THE SPIRIT–Part II”

LAY CISTERCIAN CONTEMPLATIVE PRACTICES: Custos Oculi

One of the first things monks and nuns, particularly those cloistered, do is to learn custody of the eyes. Here are some readings for you that I, myself, did, and which I share with you. During this time of Lent, when we recognize that… Continue Reading “LAY CISTERCIAN CONTEMPLATIVE PRACTICES: Custos Oculi”

THE CORRUPTIBILITY OF THE SPIRIT: The effects on me as I live in a universe that is incorruptible, but I am corruptible.

How is it possible for the Spirit to be corruptible if God is incorruptible? It isn’t. What is possible is, once I am baptized, I am corruptible in my resolve to keep myself centered on The Christ Principle. I am continuing my reflections on… Continue Reading “THE CORRUPTIBILITY OF THE SPIRIT: The effects on me as I live in a universe that is incorruptible, but I am corruptible.”

THE DIVINE EQUATION: THE CORRUPTION OF EVERYDAY LIVING

The focus of my thinking these days has been on Original Sin and how humans must live within its parameters, such as death, pain, emotions, and the ambiguity of choosing either good or bad behaviors that we think will make us satisfied. Saint Augustine… Continue Reading “THE DIVINE EQUATION: THE CORRUPTION OF EVERYDAY LIVING”

THE RULE OF THREES: THE POWER TO CHANGE UNIVERSES

You are capable of living in three realities or universes simultaneously. Think about that statement. If you are human, you automatically live in two universes. Some of us never progress to the third universe, the spiritual plane of existence. The physical universe — all… Continue Reading “THE RULE OF THREES: THE POWER TO CHANGE UNIVERSES”

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