contemplative monk : Intentional Spirituality Transforms

Church House Rules



I encounter so many legalists fighting over Church House Rules, who’s right, who’s wrong, who’s in and who’s out.

Now, I find God’s grace and wisdom everywhere I turn. I take the Franciscan view that all creation is the first gospel pointing us to God. So I see science as an ally of my faith. I see God has not left himself without a witness in every tribe, and culture, and religion on earth, just not the whole shebang. So as I encounter legal eagles devouring whom they may…

Here’s My Witness

Jesus fulfilled the whole law, all 613 commandments, he summed up the law in two, Love God and Love Your neighbour as yourself, which are apart of the 613 he fufilled, and then Jesus gave us only one new commandment to replace it. “A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another. By this, all men will know that you are My disciples if you love one another.”  Love in the same way is the proof, not the law. The law is created in its limitations, superseded by the grace of God. Love wins!

If you want to keep the law, have at it, But as for me, I choose Jesus.

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What Everyone Should Know About Breath Prayer

The Jewish name for God – Yahweh – was not spoken, but breathed. Its correct pronunciation is an attempt to imitate the sound of inhalation and exhalation. We do that every moment: our first and last word as we enter and leave the world… The one thing we do every moment of our lives is therefore to speak the name of God. This makes it our first and our last word as we enter and leave the world. (Richard Rohr: The Naked Now)

The word Breath in most languages as in the Hebrew: Rauch, as well as the Greek: Pneuma means breath, wind or spirit. The Chinese: Chi adds energy or life to the meaning which gets at the heart of the matter.

Walking With Wisdom: Breath Prayer

Breathing…It’s the first thing we do when we’re born and the last thing we do when we die. Jesus last words on the cross were, “Father, into your hands I give my spirit.” and he breathed his last.

The resurrected Jesus breathed on his disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

Our spirit is the essence of who we really are, and our spirit and our breath intermingled as one. It’s electric, living, pulsating with life.

As God is spirit and as God breathed into us the breath of life, so our breath is our closest point to God. What is lacking is awareness, and here is where Breath Prayer comes in…We make the unconscious, conscious.

An intentional breath prayer is a simple way to drop our linear mind, to consciously enter into our spirit through our breath. It helps us to park our mind while we engage our spirit.

The word is with you, even in your mouth and in your heart

A breath prayer begins in our heart and not our head, or as the Desert Fathers and Mothers might say, “put your mind into your heart.”

Our heart is that part of our soul that interfaces with our body and with our spirit, hence with the eternal and with God.

As spiritual practices go, using our breath as a prayer is probably the simplest and the most complex spiritual practice at the same time.

Allow me to offer you a simple Breath Prayer: ‘Jes-us’

*Here’s the Practice:

On your in breath, silently say ‘Jes,’

and on your out breath silently say ‘us.’

That’s It!

Now set aside a quiet place with enough time like you would for any exercise program.

As you begin, take a two or three deep cleansing breaths.

Take a moment to still your heart.

Then gently turn your focus to your breath and follow your breath with your awareness.

As breath is spirit

Fully breathe in this moment

taking time with eternity

Let the stillness soak into your being.

Breathe in forgiveness

and breathe in grace,

Breathing out gratefully,

releasing your spirit to expand.

By faith, breathe in the Holy Spirit

and breathe out, giving thanks

You might silently say ‘thank you’

Breathe…embracing belonging, releasing gratitude

Release, like a trust fall into the arms of God

focusing in the presence of the eternal.

Breathing in and out

Resting and soak in the presence of God.

After a while, slowly bring yourself back into the present.

Reflect and as you can, carry this with you, practising the presence of God.

Thank You for allowing me to share this with you.


Now, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you and abide in you forever. Amen.

Photo Credit: Land of Lakes

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Tapping Into Our Core #ThyKingdomCome

Who are we really?

Do we know who we really are?

Tapping Into Our Core

We are born again, anew, born from above. We are not of this world. We are children, sons and daughters of the living God. Our new life and our new nature is God’s own within us. It is Spiritual, Life-Creating, and it is Holy.

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

It’s All A Matter of Who We Really Are

We are not merely human beings, like the first Adam. We are life-giving spirits like the last Adam, in Christ.  We are born from above in the Spirit of God, as God’s seed within us. Picture, if you will, a burst of energy, light, eternally burning within us with absolute purity, making us one with God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is spirit, the Spirit of God pulsating within us. The working out of this Spirit grows the very fruit of that Holy Spirit in the garden of our hearts, manifesting love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

This is Christ life within and among us. We love each other in the same way as Jesus loved his disciples.

If you are waiting for heaven, God will ask you, “What did you do with the life I gave you?” Our mandate is, “Thy Kingdom Come.” We are Christ to the world. We bring heaven to earth where the rubber meets the road.

And what does this life look like? It looks like Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. 

We are the salt of the earth. We are the light of the world.

We don’t bring doctrines, rules, forms, and shadows. We bring the very presence of God’s life. We show before we ever say a word. Love does. #ThyKingdomCome


Photo: Bob Holmes

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Wondering Aloud: What Is Contemplation

I’m asked all the time, “What is contemplation? I can’t even say the word. What are you talking about?”

Contemplation is one of those multilevel concepts that at its heart means interfacing with God, (the eternal one, the transcendent).

We are created to reflect God, and the eternal.

Interfacing is multileveled because of the multilevel of our awareness.

Our awareness is always in flux, so that what we are aware of varies. One day we get it, and the next day we’re clueless.

Our normal everyday mind can’t see or recognize God. So we have to be intentional for the daily breakthroughs of our deeper awareness to happen. As Richard Rohr has said, “we learn to see like mystics,” like Jesus.

This is what the rhythm of our spiritual practices are about…moving us into our big mind and into our big heart so that we might encounter God.

If God is life and love itself, the very source, isn’t that desirable?

So that’s the hidden agenda behind all these quotes and writings…to help wake you and me up to God’s presence, flow, and life as One. To encourage you to be intentional with the garden of your heart.

Do you know who you are? You are Beloved, and you Belong!

“O God, Grant me an undivided heart to love and to serve you today with all my heart, mind, strength, and soul. Open the eyes of my heart to see you and serve you in the ordinary events of this day. May love radiate through me.” ~ Amen.


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Through Sands of Time

Windows and doorways

Open, windswept

Singing, ringing

Clear and free

Songs of open ocean waters

Songs that call us out to sea


Time spun, woken

Woven moments

Stars upon the spans of time

Stretch our hearts, and call the seeker

One who dares eternal find


There in simple golden moments

Touching in the vast design

Through some masterwork unspoken

Echoes down the halls of time


Few to surer ways of knowing

Past elusive stars and skies

Born on spirit we shall find him

Sweeping back the veils of time


Only in the path revealing

Only in the life divine

Only in the truth that frees us

Walking in his whole design


We no more in shadows seeking

Here fulfilled the seeker finds

Joy so full, so rich, unbroken

Jesus brought for all mankind


Who will dare believe the story

Who will walk beyond the signs

Those who seek a lasting treasure

Pearls upon the sands of time.


Photo: Pensacola Life

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