Contemplative Outreach of Portland hosted a Facilitator Support and Enrichment Workshop on Saturday, August 18, 2018. The program was a great success.
Nestor de Armas and Michele Jankanish were in Portland this past week to lead a very helpful and insightful workshop on Facilitator Support and Enrichment. (Nestor and Michele are members of the National service team for facilitator support.)
The COOP leadership team offers a big thank you to Nestor and Michelle, and to the Coordinators, facilitators and group members who attended.
Though it has acquired other meanings and connotations in recent centuries, the word contemplation had a specific meaning for the first 16 centuries of the Christian era. St. Gregory the Great summed up this meaning at the end of the 6th century as the knowledge of God that is impregnated with love. For Gregory, contemplation was both the fruit of reflecting on the Word of God in scripture and a precious gift of God. He referred to contemplation as “resting in God.” In this “resting,” the mind and heart are not so much seeking God, as beginning to experience what they have been seeking. This state is not the suspension of all activity, but the reduction of many acts and reflections to a single act or thought in order to sustain one’s consent to God’s presence and action.
In this traditional understanding, contemplation, or contemplative prayer, is not something that can be achieved through will, but rather is God’s gift. It is the opening of mind and heart – one’s whole being – to God. Contemplative prayer is a process of interior transformation. It is a relationship initiated by God and leading, if one consents, to divine union. (more…)