Devotion II



This was a podcast I enjoyed listening too, unfortunately, the two people in conversational style talks with regard to quiet contemplative living ended a number of years ago. They have left this wonderful resource to listen too at your pace and at your leisure when ever able to take time out and be still enough to listen.


Celtic Prayer Service

The Methodist Church




celtic heart

Merton thought






Giving Cards and a Ministry of encouragement

Cards by Anne

Card the Journey Francis of Assisi


How to keep a spiritual journal


Mark Condy (Me)

Mini Journal

Forgive camera work by my older son who is 9 years of age 🙂 helped. The Online Abbess and PriorAbout the AbbeyThe Abbey is a virtual monastery offering a variety of online classes, reflections, and resources which integrate contemplative spiritual practice and creative expression. More about the Abbey>> About ChristineChristine Valters Paintner, PhD, OblSB, REACE is the online Abbess of Abbey of the Arts, a Benedictine oblate, and the author of 8 books on monastic spirituality and creativity, as well as a poet, photographer, spiritual director, pilgrim guide, and teacher. More about Christine>>About JohnJohn Valters Paintner, MTS is the the online Prior of Abbey of the Arts, and is a fiction writer and pilgrim guide alongside of Christine.  He has a Masters in Theological Studies and brings over twenty years of experience in parish youth & young adult ministry and Catholic theological education. More about John>>  Here are a couple of books that look appealing to me ContemplationI’m a beginner at the contemplation practices. I have been researching the web and different authors and the following are some of my findings while I continue to do research on how to lead my own retreats.We always have to remember that our God is not cold and distant, but generous and loving, wanting to share and be part of our lives. We have to wait on and be still before our God. But some times we are to busy serving him, to receive from the all knowing, all powerful God.Today’s society is not conducive to this type of lifestyle, of being still and knowing God. It is more the not wanting to wait for anything, having fast food, instant coffee, high speed internet, and want quick service and want it now.To begin contemplation is to begin with a change of mindset, a priority that says that you want to approach God, a heart that desires what the Psalmist says “On you I wait all the day” Psalm 25: 5b”Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” Psalm 37:7Don’t think of waiting as a waste of time, but patience is the process of elimination of self, and surrendering to God, to become willing to be with God, to still our soul and be at peace, and find our true center and focus for life, which is God. Jesus being the one who makes it possible for us to draw near, and belong to God, accepted, embraced, and welcomed into the family of God.Know God, Love God, be at peace with God, adore God. For God wants our attention, God is a jealouse lover, and desires friendship and quality time, we at times crowd God out, filling our life and giving our time to this or that which has not real lasting value.A Site that looks at the Spiritual Practices of St. Ignatius of Loyola Music by Taize as a means of reflection   A book I would like to get some time I found helpful on the subject of prayer beads By Kimberly WinstonMade these for the kids in my class, pocket style prayer beads Prayer Beads I made Anglican style The use of a rosary/prayer beads in contemplation was givens a rosary recently from a friend and have found it a helpful tool. The links above gives some helpful insight.The full circle beads link has a helpful PDF you can print off found bottom right of their website, click button learn more.The white street bead company has a PDF praying the small catechism with beads from Luthern focus. Buying beads Rosary Rosary Knot Making Guide Meditation & Relaxationexcellent resource Meditation for teens and adults A link to a video giving explanation of Christian meditation Christian meditation site A wonderful resource by share Jesus International tools for contemplation  Trish & Richard Bruxvoort Colligan a song they sing, of being still, wonderful This tree of contemplation I just found recently at www.contemplativemind.orgTheir site is the best I have found explaining the different practices, helping you as and individual pick what is best suited for you to begin the life long journey. Some of the practices do not reflect some of my own personal beliefs and I have not researched every area mentioned on the tree of contemplative practices.Article about retreat center ministry and how it is a growing interest Faith contemplation Outreach line retreat and contemplation resources A blog on current contemplation and meditation being practiced Monasticisim and contemplation Sacred Space on a retreat may be a good way of beginning the habit and lifestyle toward the change conducive to developing sacred space with the divine?Things to consider for developing a schedule:* Small groups, one on one, and individual time.*Relaxing, nurturing, good pace, the need to be calm and not frantic and not being so filled up that the person can’t reflect. * (We are trying to get away from the business of our lives for moment)* Define the expectation and goal of the gathering* People sign up in advance “a contemplative retreat”* A time to develop intimacy and trust with the recipients and with God*Scheduled time for fun and reflective exercises* Free time before and after meals* Is it an overnight or day retreat* This will determine what is needed to be brought to the meeting place* Where is the retreat being held: directions, time, date given in advance* Finish session in the evening around 9:30 – 10:00pm * SilenceGuided meditationOften called guided imagery, can be created for any retreat theme. Guided meditation is best followed by silence and opportunity to write or draw, it is a time to reflect what was experienced to then share in small group of 2 or 3 individuals.SilenceOne way of starting is to tackle the whole area of silence, for some this will be a daunting prospect for others a welcome invitation and relief, being given time to be still from the business of life.*Were you silenced as a child, adolescent, as an adult?*Do you silence others today?* Do you use silence to punish others?*When has silence deepened a relationship?*Has group silence been frightening to you?*When do you experience silence as a gift?Write and reflect share in groups of 2 or 3.“The purpose of silence is to open space and discover stillness”“Keeping silence is a practice for the purpose of finding the still point within that allows us to be present in a new way to God and each other” Reimer.The choice to be silent is the recipient’s choice to make. The awful uncomfortable silence can be avoided if choice is given and prior warning that at times silence is required.Be still and know that I am God Psalm 46: 10A practice to help the being still process and help with the business of the mind, when you are trying to be still, a lot floods the mind because of the business and activity of our lives we have programmed our self to be active, processing, planning, busy, but just being the human being not doing is difficult.Be still and know that I am GodBe still and know that I amBe still and know that IBe still and know thatBe still and knowBe still andBe stillBeRepeat this as part of the process of centering yourself on God; this does not just have to be at an organized event. But can be part of your day or before you read the bible or at a stressful point of your day. The peace you experience  will create faith to face up to whatever your needing to face.Rachel Harris believes it is a change of mindset to think of a retreat not as an event but as a daily practice. “The purpose of a daily retreat, then, is to create a sacred time and space in which we can reconnect with the spirit, experience the divine. We take a breath from our every day lives so that we can once again remember who we really are, breath the breathe of God, hear the song of the sacred, and respond” pg6 20 minute Retreat by Rachel Harris.“In fast paced lives, we desperately need retreats to regain perspective, helping us balance our inner and outer lives” pg 29 Harris“We need the quiet time to commune with the sacred as much as we need to eat and sleep” pg 12 Harris.The event of an organized retreat may be the launching pad for the change of mentality. Giving the needed focus of intentionally allowing ourselves those moments of aloneness with God to help us by giving permission for an oasis of refreshing through out our busy driven days. Giving the needed pause or alone time to recharge and be refreshed.A retreat can be anything that allows us to intentionally enter another world where time slows to nonexistence, silence prevails, and a certain tranquility permeates the atmosphere. Here in the sacred space, we can replenish our soul, restoring our connection to the eternal. Pg13 Harris.Psalm 37 pg140 Nan C. Merrill Praying the Psalms“For trouble seems to follow me, as I weep over injustice that seems to blanket the world. If I had pursued their ways, I would have been untrue to my birthright. Yet when I tried to understand this, it seemed beyond my comprehension, until I sat in the silence and prayed; then a veil lifted and I could see.”Focus on gratitudeAn attitude of gratitude for friends, family, spouse, God and the beauty that surrounds us.We try to convince our self, saying to our self “I need to be grateful for a job I have, others don’t have a job and wife, a family etc.” But there is still this gapping emptiness that just can’t be explained. The feeling of a void when dreams come true and don’t come true, leaving a person sad in the present and bereft of dreams for the future.I replaced my name rather than the name in the book I was reading: Mark is not depressed: he was disconnected from his spiritual life. All his energy was spent taking care of Andrew, Susan, work, cooking etc. He had no longer time to meditate, take long walks, read, having time to do the things that feed the soul. It was as if an inner light had gone out.“Faith grows out of our connection to our spiritual lives. When we are disconnected, we feel empty and believe that life is meaningless. If our faith is not renewed by a living sense of the divine, it begins to crumble and dry up.” Pg 37 Harris.Rachel Harris recommends that you take a spiritual inventory of the highlights or spiritual landmarks of your life, Journal the journey of the past that made a significant impact, looking at the people and experiences that have left a lasting impression.The gradual emergence of this inner voice is part of the ‘continuing revelation’ that guided us along the spiritual path of faith. Friends General Conference; helpful insight found at following web Quakers value silence and patience and believe that wisdom will come (emerge) from quietly listening to the voice that speaks to us out of the silence inside our hearts.Turn your attention inward, sit with your eyes closed “centering down” as the Quakers call it, enter the silence.Listen to you inner voice, everyone hears differently. It may be a sensation, an image, or a thought. Just be receptive and notice what message comes from deep inside.Return to the world:Find words to express any inner message you received, and how can it influence your day. Write it share with a friend take a step of implementation.Centering PrayerA book by M Basil Pennington has caught my attention. Centering Prayer: Renewing an ancient Christian prayer form. Its about choosing to be with the Father and finding security in those arms. Centering prayer is much like this settling down in our fathers arms. Like resting “I sleep, but my heart is awake.” How well that describes the experience of Centering prayer! All within quiets down – it is very much like going to sleep – but our hearts are very vigilant, attentive to him who is present at the core, at the center of our being.” pg86 Pennington.Go to Amazon.comNan C Merrell’s book go to