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Archive for Contemplative Leadership

Please Come Back

by Rose Mary Dougherty A wooden heart hangs on my office door; one side says, “Welcome,” the other, “Please come back.” Sometimes I forget to turn the sign and to leave the door open after my appointment has gone. Other times I choose to close the door and leave the sign turned, because I’m not […]

Proximity and Hope

by Mary Van Balen A movie or book can be transforming. For Black History Month, I’m sharing an experience with both. In January, I attended a movie with friends: Just Mercy. Based on the book Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, written by Bryan Stevenson and published in 2014, the movie centers around […]

Reflection on Contemplation and Race: A Letter

By Fay C. Acker When I was a child, I used to sit in the living room in a little alcove formed by the piano and the television, writing letters to God. I gave the letters to my mother, quite sure they would be mailed, received, and read with all my questions: “God, where do […]

Center Down: Prayer in the Struggle for Justice

Today’s blog is by Jessie Smith “How good it is to center down! To sit quietly and see one’s self pass by!” — “How Good To Center Down,” Howard Thurman Spiritual nurture: essential and pragmatic Walking the three or four blocks to Capitol Hill from Union Station week after week takes its toll. For the […]

Evening with the Senator

Today’s blog post is by Patience Robbins I recently had the wonderful opportunity to spend an evening with Senator Tim Kaine (VA) at the Shalem office. It was a time of deep inspiration and sharing of light and hope. Because of a personal friendship with a member of the Shalem Board, Senator Kaine joined 25 […]

Reimagining Confession As Noticing

Confession has always been a part of the Christian tradition of spiritual deepening. As such, it has all too often been understood within a dynamic of payment due, penance to be done, conditional forgiveness, substitutionary Christology. No doubt for many, a deepening of their spiritual lives and even a re-formation of the direction of their […]

Advent Listening

Today’s blog is by Mary van Balen I am poring through Scripture readings and books while preparing for an Advent retreat, revisiting favorite writings and discovering new ones. As readers do, I filter the words through my current state of mind, faith, and being. A passage that held deep meaning five years ago provides little […]

Community of Heart: Practicing in Common-Unity

Today’s post is by Keith Kristich Communities of spiritual practice are often home to those who would not typically choose to spend time together. In Chris Heuertz’s most recent book, The Sacred Enneagram, a book integrating contemplative prayer with personality psychology of the Enneagram, Chris writes this of his contemplative prayer group: “Those who normally […]

Deeds Come First

Today’s blog post is by Mary van Balen Peter Claver, a 16th century Spaniard, was canonized by the Roman Catholic church as a saint in 1888, but he is not well known. He was born in 1581 and entered the Jesuits there in 1601. In 1610 he went to the missions in America, landing in […]

Tending the Garden That is our Life

Just supposing God wrote a letter, a real letter, to us at birth? I imagine it as something like this: My dear little one, you are coming into being. You are beginning to perceive things. This body that is now yours is wondrous. I feel such joy in anticipation of the journey that is to […]