We live in a world of complexity, fragmentation, noise, and haste. We sometimes find ourselves overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of tasks, appointments, and commitments facing us. How can we experience God in the midst of the busyness, responsibilities, and activities of our daily lives? By practice. By living more in the present moment. By practicing the presence of God in the present moment.
In truth, the Presence is always there and available in each moment of our lives. We can abide in this Presence as we prepare dinner, help our children with their homework, take a phone call, go shopping in the local mall, attend a contentious business meeting, or walk down the street. The practice is surprisingly simple: Pay attention to what you are doing and do it for the love of God.
This online retreat explores in depth the contemplative prayer practice of living in the present moment with attention and intention. Our mentors are three Christians who modeled this way: Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection who cultivated the presence of God as he worked as a monastery cook, St. Therese of Lisieux who is known for her little way of devotion through daily activities, and Jean-Pierre De Caussade who taught that every moment of our lives could become a sacrament of communion with the Divine.
The retreat has been developed by Contemplative Outreach, a community of individuals and Centering Prayer groups committed to living the contemplative dimension of the Gospel in everyday life. The retreat leaders are David Frenette, Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler, and Pamela Begeman, who weave in teachings from Father Thomas Keating. They also show us how to use the breath as an anchor for our attention and body awareness as a key to staying in the moment.
The retreat consists of these elements:
• 12 emails, to be scheduled at the pace that works best for you. Each contains or directs you to the teachings.
• Audio recordings to enrich and support your practice.
• Recording of a teleconference with David Frenette and Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler, moderated by Pamela Begeman.
• Quotations from our mentors
Often when we ask people what it means to live a spiritual life, they answer "living in the present moment." This retreat will help you learn how to deepen and broaden that experience.
(4 CEHs for Chaplains available.)
(choose your own start date and frequency)