Contemplative Monk : Intentional Spirituality Transforms

Confounding The Wise

I come in winds to open space

Where time turns into eternity.

I look around but I’m not there

except by presence everywhere.


My face reflects the golden light

Of God within my common form

While I dissolve into the light

Becoming who I really am


A child of light

A son of God

In Christ

I’m one

In heart and home.


Come bear upon this fragile earth

The substance of your Spirit’s sight

Of love, and joy and peace delight

Awaken into every life.


Picture ~ Franciscan Brothers of Peace

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Learning To Move In Stillness


Have you ever felt like you’re moving in slow motion?

Sometimes it hits me, or I wake up feeling myself moving in slow motion. The sensations are incredible. Like moving and feeling life flowing within and all around me…It’s like learning to move in stillness.

Any good theologian can lay out the facts of an analytical way to knowing God. Yet, analytics is the wrong tool for the job.

So, I thought it might be helpful to turn it on its head and write in the intuitive way of the mystic. Tell me if you find this helpful or not.

Everything Begins With God

All spirituality begins with God, and not us. The fact that you have a yearning you don’t understand for something you can’t quite put your finger on, should tell you something. God begins by drawing us into the dance, we can’t understand, conceive of, or even see…dancing in the choreography of the Trinity with God. Dancing in the choreography of heaven.

The Proverb of The Turtle and The Hare has a lot to teach us. Slow and steady wins the race.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. ~ Lao Tzu

Yet our one step is the journey of a thousand miles home.

Spiritual Practice

It may seem like a lot, but all the great spiritual masters started out this way.

No one learns to manage the big things first. We first learn to manage the small things. We learn to practice with our whole attention focused on that one still moment in time. Our still point is the threshold we cross to awaken. We become a still point as the world turns. We move from Chronos time into Kairos time, the living present.

Softness with our attention moves us around any obstacle to that still point, like water in a stream.

So our focus isn’t the force of our will. Our focus is the intention and the attention of our heart and of our whole being toward our still point, that once crossed, expands us into who we really are, created in the image and likeness of the very ‘I am that I am’,  Our Father in heaven. Through Jesus, we enter the holy of holies and dwell, soaking in the presence of God.

Time falls away swallowed up by eternity in the presence of God.

Within & Without

Any good spiritual practice trains us to exercise our spiritual muscles. We practice our spirit for 10 to 15 minutes and generally don’t notice anything for several weeks. And then Bam, it hits us, like awakening from sleep. All those little bits of practice add up, like defining the networks of our brain, we set ourselves up for encounter.

Our body even senses it, like moving in the water, slow fluid movements in stillness. It’s amazing. Jesus prayer, ‘Thy Kingdom Come,” begins happening to our waking eyes. We are abiding in the vine and experiencing the life flow of God from within, through, and around us.

And so begins the integration of the spiritual within our soul and within our body, even on a subatomic level. We discern with open eyes and listen with our open hearts and together with Jesus we hear, ‘for apart from me you can do nothing.’



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We Become What We Worship

We Reflect In Worship

Worship is mirroring center to center, spirit to spirit. It is an act of inner reflecting.

Look into the eyes of your young child and you can see that recognition, that inner reflection, that spark of the oneness of connection.

There is an inner oneness in worship, so that we become what we worship.

God doesn’t need our worship.

God doesn’t need our worship, adoration, or praise. We do. It does a heart good.

We’ve been given so much that without thanksgiving, it becomes all about us, and what we deserve. We become selfish, greedy, and self-centered, as we slowly implode upon ourselves. It’s how evil works.

Gratitude however, breaks us out of our self-made self-imposed prison. But there’s more.

We are created for communion with God and with each other, in oneness.

Forgiveness and Gratitude are the one-two punches that knock out the old self and welcomes our true self into the fore.

Ruthless and Radical Forgiveness

Forgiveness creates the eternal possibility within a single moment.

Do you realize the power of your forgiveness?

Forgiveness creates the room for a sacred moment in our lives where the eternal possibility is given to us or to another human being.

Nothing changes without forgiveness. Unforgiveness severs us from the eternal flow of life, from God and from each other. That’s why Jesus says in the Lord’s Prayer, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us…” For without our forgiving others, we cannot enter into the presence of God.

We all need to do deep forgiveness work. I love this aspect of AA. Ruthless and radical forgiveness.

Forgiveness is intentional.

Forgiveness is a daily spiritual practice and not just a one-time event.

Gratitude breaks us open inside out.

Gratitude breaks open to pleasure, happiness, and joy within us. Gratitude cultivates joy in the garden of our hearts.

Gratitude multiplies an abundant life by connecting us within and without, with all things and whoever will in our lives.

The Spiritual Practice of a Daily Gratitude Journal

Let me challenge you to start a Daily Gratitude Journal. Here’s why.

Negative things lock into our mind instantly, without effort. It’s how our survival brain works. But positive things have to be savored to be remembered.

Going over these wonderful things, deeply feeling their delight to us, creates stronger and stronger neural networks within us. We hardwire ourselves for Joy. It’s true, ‘what we focus on expands.’

Remember: Gratitude multiplies an abundant life by connecting us within and without to the flow of eternal life.

Forgiveness brings us to the river while gratitude jumps in. 

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The List ~ Into The Mystic

There is a list

We all have seen it,

At the edges of our consciousness,

A list of the best, the wisest, and the most profound sayings,

Words of unfathomable depth, beauty, and delight

The deepest joy, the greatest insight, the most pleasurable thoughts.

We all have seen it.


The Birds have begun to arrive

To Witness


It’s there

On a moving van in the streets.

A large box falls open

Revealing a mirror on a stand


Reflecting another place


There In the twilight of our consciousness

We’ve kept The List

And added to it over the years.


Unforgettable things we forget

Things of eternal memory.

Things that make up our life’s meaning,

Our purpose, and destinations, and life.


Like a Pilgrim walking at the edge of sight

Through our heart of hearts, the Watcher,

The Observer, the Witness of our Being.


She walks in beauty

Born in the spirit of light

She touches our forehead

Like a dream in the night,

Opening the eyes of our heart

To visions of delight

Never fading

On the timeless sea


Yet they cut away

To a greater reality

As all things dross

All that is night

Is swallowed into light


Yes, we have the eyes of Prophets

Of Seers that Behold

So we know

As we are known


The Birds are Angels

Of living fire


Ever revealing

The unfolding whole,

The sacred

The hidden glory of our true selves

Turning our shadows into light

Unfolding into eternal glory

In Christ alone

We fall whole

Into God


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Awaken Now


Awaken now O slumbering spirit

Open my heart unto the day

Creations light is now revealing

The glory of God in grand display.


Do you see out on the waters

Do you see there in the streets

Visions of the Holy Spirit

There within your deepest dreams.


Seeking not grand lofty visions

Jesus walked in earthly clay

Seek the healing love between us

Fruit to heal the sick decay.


Open wide the heavens windows

There within our deepest heart

Shine the light that flows like water

Healing every broken heart.



Picture: Pensacola Life

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