Contemplative Practices in the Parish
A Pearl of Great Price: Everyone is a Contemplative
"The first Christians ... understood that contemplation is an essential, universal element of the human condition. Martha and Mary are sisters, two complementary dimensions of the person, not just two personality types. Without Mary’s stillness at the centre, sitting at the feet of the teacher and listening, we become like Martha, irritable, complaining, discontented, distracted. In the end we are not even very productive in the work we do. In fact, Mary and Martha are both working, one interiorly, the other exteriorly. Contemplation is not an escape from one’s life’s work. It is a part of our work and helps us to do the other part better. Mary and Martha are like two chambers of one heart. They don’t just complement one another; they need each other to realise fullness of life.” - Laurence Freeman OSB
Whenever one wishes to reach a goal, it’s necessary to know where one is going and how to get there. A truism, perhaps, but perhaps not always appreciated on the spiritual path. There are many paths to the awareness of God, the Divine, Enlightenment, and many lanes within each broad highway. It is also possible to get lost, diverted, lose interest, believe ‘it’s not working’. Travelling the path with a group is useful as it allows for some guidance, and others with whom to discuss the ups and downs, as well as just to accompany one on the way.