Category: contemplative prayer

WHERE ARE THOSE OLD WEDDING PICTURES, NOW?

When was the last time you looked at those old wedding pictures? Blow off the dust and take a look at them again. They transport you back to a time when you celebrated something wonderful, your marriage with each other and your reliance on…

BLUE SKYS

Here is a story that brings to mind all kinds of spiritual linkages. It is one that I heard from my wife, a true story that is happening in our days. When meditating on Philippians 2:5, this blue sky story led me to places…

CONCENTRATED ORANGE JUICE

Try to drink this cup of the Mystery of Faith! It is like concentrated orange juice–very tasty but strong. I had to address this in one of my Lectio Divina meditations (Philippians 2:5). I warn you, this is way out there (out there is…

READINGS IN CONTEMPLATIVE THOUGHT

In order to develop contemplative practice, you must practice contemplative thinking. One way I do that is by reading. If your reading on a daily or weekly basis is on topics that deepen your “capcitas dei” the capacity to grow in Christ, then reading…

THE POLITICS OF HATRED

Do you remember the late Sen Ted Kennedy and Sen. Alan Simpson, (R-Wyoming) debate in the early 1990s?  https://jfk.blogs.archives.gov/2018/09/24/facing-off-senator-ted-kennedy-debates-his-republican-colleagues/?subscribe=success#blog_subscription-5 Now, the era of civility in politics is out the door. Respect for the office of President is lacking among lawmakers. Oh, did you look…

MAKE A CONTEMPLATIVE RETREAT

Making a retreat is one of those events where there are a thousand reasons not to go but only one good one to go– to grow in the capacity to move from self to God. Movement is a sign you are alive. You can…

JOIN THE SCHOOL OF LOVE

St. Benedict composes a Rule (d. 649 A.D.) to organize monks into forming a school for charity (love) in which they can move from the false self to the true self. What follows is an excerpt from my book on Learning How to Love….

SLOW DOWN

The first time I attended the recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours (4:00 a.m.) at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit (Trappist), Conyers, Georgia, I noticed that the monks were deliberate with their prayers and said them slowly. While trying to stay awake…

LUMEN GENTIUM: The Mystery of the Church

There is no more challenging sign of contradiction of our Faith than that of the Church. At once, holy and sinful, one yet diverse, catholic yet individual, and apostolic and current in each age. The Ecumenical Council of Vatican II produced a profound statement…

ALL IN

There was a casino scene in a James Bond Film, Casino Royale, where the suave and debonaire Mr. Bond plays against the bad guys. The thing I remember about it is that players can make various degrees of wagering. One in particular that has…

YOU HAVE NO IDEA

Once, there was a highly educated and refined woman, who wanted to become more spiritual. She began attending Eucharist almost every day. She was very happy when attending the meetings with those who also shared her Faith. The opportunity presented itself to attend a…

DO WHAT YOU SAY

Maybe you have read my blog on Mean What You Say (maybe not). Meaning what you say is about aligning your mind with the words you say. Doing what you say is about aligning your heart with your activity. Christ is always urging his…

MEAN WHAT YOU SAY

In one of my Lectio Divina meditations (Philippians 2:5), I chanced to think about why I have so much difficulty in concentrating when I pray. It does not happen always, but when it does, it is irritating and distracting. It takes an act of…

ARE YOU LISTLESS?

If you read this title you might be fooled by the actual purpose of this blog. Listless means being lifeless and without enthusiasm. It reminds me of those who seem to decry the state of imperfection in the World or the Church (or both)…

THE DIDACHE

This blog has taken the liberty of copying the whole of the text of the Didache from http://www.NewAdvent.com because of its significance. There is no commentary following it. Read and ponder. New Advent is an excellent source for looking up readings from the early…

TEMPTATION AND FALLING AWAY FROM THE FAITH

This is an excerpt from my latest book, WE ARE DEFINED BY OUR CHOICES: A Lay Cistercian reflects on Temptation, Truth, Reason, and Free Choice and why people fall away from the Church. (out August 2, 2019) which are my reflections on the phenomenon…

WHAT LAS VEGAS HAS TO SAY ABOUT MY FAITH

If you haven’t done so already, then you know I must have flipped out or had too much to drink (I only drink holy water which makes the plastic flowers grow). I only say that because where my Lectio Divina (Phil 2:5) led me…

THE END

According to Ecclesiastes, there is a time for everything under Heaven. A time to be born, a time to live, a time to discover and implement your purpose in life, a time to discover what reality looks like, a time to wonder about how…

USING SCRIPTURE AS A TOOL FOR PRIDE

I keep bumping into them everywhere I go. You know the kind, the self-righteous, pompas, know-it-alls who have recently found Jesus in their hearts and want to spread their particular interpretation of who Jesus is to everyone who will listen. All religions have them….

HERITAGE LOST

There are not many topics that I try to avoid as much as the one of “Why Has My Family Abandoned their Catholic Heritage,” passed on from grandparents, parents and beyond that, all the way back to the time of the Apostles. What I…

MERCY AND CONTEMPLATION

This seems to me to be an odd topic for my Lectio Divina (Philippians 2:5), but here it is. In thinking about having in me the mind of Christ Jesus, my mind wandered into the aspect of Mercy, so important to the mission of…

10 THING YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT CHRIST

Christ was not assumed into Heaven like Mary, He ascended into Heaven by the power of God. When Christ was on Earth as a son of Man, simultaneously, He is God. Only Jesus Christ had two natures, divine and human. Mary, his mother, overshadowed…

LISTEN WITH THE EAR OF THE HEART

There is nothing more difficult for a human being than to listen to God with the ear of the heart. That God would even consider speaking to me in the silence of my heart is, in itself, astounding. What I try to do as…

7 Pillars of Cistercian Spirituality

I came across this article from New Clairvaux Monastery (Vino, California) and thought you would be interested. https://www.newclairvaux.org/7-pillars-trappist-cistercian-spirituality 7 PILLARS OF CISTERCIAN SPIRITUALITY 7 Pillars of Trappist-Cistercian Spirituality             Clearly, all Christians are one in the Love of Jesus Christ and a full-on life…

THE SIXTY SECOND CATHOLIC- Don’t forget!

I share with you one of my Lectio Divina meditations (Philippians 2:5). Praise be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and forever. The God who is, who was, and who is to come at the end…

WHAT IS GREATER THAN FAITH?

If you are a person who places their whole Faith in Faith, you will not want to read the rest of this. Like everything is the spiritual universe, nothing is what it seems. Not only is everything a sign of contradiction, but much of…

10 THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT MARY, MOTHER OF GOD

Despite the bad press about Mary and her being divine and the object of a cult, she is the mother of Jesus, the Son of the Living God. Of course, none of this makes any sense using the assumptions of the World. It is…

WHO DOES GOD THINK HE IS, ANYWAY? God?

Several months ago, a group of us in Tallahassee, Florida met to talk about forming a discernment group to see if anyone is interested in forming a Lay Cistercian prayer group. After our initial prayer to ask the Holy Spirit to be with us…

WHO ROWS YOUR BOAT?

What follows is an exerpt from my book, Who Rows Your Boat: How you can be happier than you can possibly imagine. Use these thoughts to expand your horizon. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=books+dr.+michael+f.+conrad Who Rows Your Boat? Who Rows Your Boat? If your life is a boat,…

The Passive Man

There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile,He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile;He bought a crooked cat which caught a crooked mouse,And they all lived together in a little crooked house. –Mother Goose There was a passive man,…

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