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 […]

Finding Hope

Today’s blog is by Mary van Balen People long for hope, for peace, for cooperation. While some are bent on stirring up distrust, and spreading fear based on dividing the world into “us” and “them,” most of humankind is looking for a better way in 2020. Many I talked with over the holidays desire an […]

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 […]

Snowdrops

Today’s blog is by Bill Dietrich Recently someone who knows I enjoy gardening asked what I did during winter when there was “nothing to do in the garden.” I found myself reacting impulsively with a “to do” list of garden tasks: pruning, raking, protecting tender plants, building retaining walls, tidying up the compost pile, and, […]

To Have Eyes to See as the Saints See!

An Evening in Assisi In the spring of 2016, I spent ten days in Assisi and its surrounding region on a Shalem pilgrimage to visit the sacred sites of the lives of St. Francis and St. Clare. I went without knowing much about either saint or Assisi, but trusting that whatever the trip offered would […]

Sports as Contemplative Practice

Today’s blog is by Tilden Edwards, the founder of Shalem Institute. Given the Washington Nationals recent World Series win, we were inspired to remember Tilden Edwards’ article on sports as a contemplative practice, written several years ago.  We are thrilled for our hometown team, albeit exhausted from a wild season, and sincerely thank the Astros […]

Learning To Sit With Not Knowing

Today’s Special Video Blog is by Carrie Newcomer, the recipient of Shalem’s 2019 Contemplative Voices Award on October 27! “Learning To Sit With Not Knowing” from “The Point of Arrival”   “Abide” by Carrie Newcomer and Parker Palmer from “A Permeable Life”   “Room At The Table” from “A Permeable Life”

Listening from the Spiritual Heart

Today’s blog is by Keith Kristich “An atmosphere of intentional prayer precedes and follows group sessions, permeating the time together, as all seek an attitude of trustful openness, ready to share what is given as the fruit of prayer and reflection, and ready to hear what arises in the silence and words of direction time.” […]

Discernment as Responsible Love

Article by Rose Mary Dougherty, October 2019 eNews How can I be sure that I am doing God’s will? How do I know that what I discern is really what God wants and not just what I want? How can I be certain that I’ll make the right decision? These are the questions most frequently […]

Soul Assignment

Today’s post is by Susan Rowland. This is a transcript of her audio testimony highlighting her experience in Shalem’s Transforming Community: Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats Program. You may also listen to her tell her story by clicking on the video above.

My experience with the Shalem program “Leading Contemplative Prayer groups and Retreats” was unique in so many ways. At the residencies, we were among a circle of talented people, gathered with the intention of deepening their life and leadership in contemplative practice. The breadth and expression of faith was so rich. Small groups provided a safe opportunity to try out different prayer practices in an open, experiential, supportive space. I will be forever grateful for the emphasis on simple explanations of prayer practices so that the Spirit is “free to move about the cabin” of the gathering.

What made that possible was the Shalem program leadership, modeling something so beautiful and authentic in all that they offered. I have been to programs where they teach by telling you what to do. At Shalem, the leaders revealed their personal passion to us through each teaching. Their words and presence were alive – resonating and bouncing off all of our hearts– together, we laughed, we walked, we played with art, we talked a lot over meals. They truly entered into the community with us.