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The intent of Contemplative Outreach is
to foster the process
of transformation in Christ in one another
through the practice of Centering Prayer.
WHO WE ARE
Contemplative Outreach is a spiritual network of individuals and small faith communities committed to living the contemplative dimension of the gospel in everyday life, through the practice of Centering Prayer. The contemplative dimension of the Gospel manifests itself in ever-deepening union with the living Christ and the practical caring for others that flows from that relationship.
Our purpose is to share the method of Centering Prayer and its immediate conceptual background. We also encourage the practice of Lectio Divina, particularly its movement into contemplative prayer, which a regular and established practice of Centering Prayer facilitates.
We identify with the Christian Contemplative Heritage in which Centering Prayer is rooted. While we are formed by our respective denominations, we are united in our common search for God and the experience of the living Christ through Centering Prayer. We affirm our solidarity with the contemplative dimension of other religions and sacred traditions, with the needs and rights of the whole human family, and with all creation.
The Theological Principles guide and unite the Contemplative Outreach worldwide community. The principles were created under the guidance of Fr. Thomas Keating and the consensus of the servant-leaders in the community.
- Contemplative Outreach is a community of individuals and Centering Prayer groups committed to living the contemplative dimension of the Gospel in everyday life.
- A commitment to the daily practice of Centering Prayer is the primary expression of belonging.
- Listening to the word of God in Scripture through the practice of Lectio Divina is encouraged, particularly its movement into contemplative prayer, which a daily practice of Centering Prayer facilitates.
- The source of Centering Prayer is the Indwelling Trinity. Its practice consists of responding to the call of the Holy Spirit to consent to the Divine persence and action within.
- The Divine presence affirms our basic core of goodness made in the image of God.
- The Divine action is the process of transformation in Christ which inspires and deepens our consent.
- The contemplative dimension of the Gospel manifests as an ever-deepening union with Christ and the practical caring for others that flows from this relationship. It reveals the deeper meaning of Christ's life and teaching.
- Our relationship with the living Christ is the bond uniting us together in mutual love.
- While formed by our respective denominations, we are united in our common search for God and our experience of Christ through Centering Prayer.
- We identify with the Christian contemplative heritage in which Centering Prayer is rooted. We recognize this heritage as the common ground for Christian unity.
- We affirm our solidarity with the contemplative dimension of other religions and sacred traditions.
- Through the continuing practice of Centering Prayer, we experience a deepening commitment to the needs and rights of each member of the human family and an increasing respect for the interdependence of all creation.
- We foster a spirit of unity, generosity and utmost charity in all our relationships.
- Following the teachings of Jesus, we exercise leadership through an attitude of humility, listening and service.
- We recognize and maintain a spiritual relationship with Saint Benedict's Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado.
- We acknowledge that any good accomplished by Contemplative Outreach is the work of the Holy Spirit.
So that they may all be one;
just as You, Father, are in me,
and I in you,
may they also be one in us.
- Contemplative Outreach is an evolving community with an expanding vision and deepening practice, serving the changing needs of Christian contemplatives.
- As members of this evolving community we are responsible to foster and transmit the Vision of Contemplative Outreach.
- We fulfill our Vision through attraction to the Centering Prayer practice not by proselytizing.
- The gift of contemplative practice enables us to bring an attitude of humility, listening and service to our daily activities.
- We reach decisions through discernment and consensus.
- We serve in leadership, ordinarily in a voluntary capacity.
- All who provide Contemplative Outreach services do so in consideration of, and in balance with their personal, family, and professional responsibilities.
- We avoid indebtedness and owning real estate in order to remain free to devote our resources to sharing the gift of Centering Prayer.
- We employ staff and contractors as our growth may require.
- We cooperate with church authorities in the areas where we work, but do not seek to become a religious or lay institute.
- We wish to remain accessible to every one. For this reason, we do not endorse particular causes or take part in public controversies, whether religious, political or social. As private individuals, we act according to our conscience.