Reflections

Some of our Members will share a reflection from time to time.


November 2019
From: Tim Moloney cfc
Sparks From the Past


a spark from your fire
fell into me
waters of joy flowed from your words
into the river of my heart
but now I understand:
the water was a mirage
that spark was the lightning
struck and gone
everything has been a dream
only memory remains
Rumi 

Every time I go into a new Church, the first thing I think of is my father Kevin’s encouragement that I am granted three wishes. I asked him once where he first heard of the three wishes idea. He said from his father, Tim. My mother, Joan, often quoted her mother, Mary Anastasia, as she pondered life after death by saying ‘no one has ever come back to tell us what it is like’. READ MORE


October 2019
From: Kerrie Hide
Serene Beholding


Soft light creates a womb-like spaciousness in my prayer room as I enter to join our communion of contemplation. I enkindle a flame, light a slither of incense and listen to the ancient silence its fragrance infuses into my senses. The mossy aroma stills, calms, settles my body, my mind, as my heart opens like spring blossom petals unfolding. Today climate change advocates have openly met in the streets, creating a visible network of human souls connected to the earth soul. My desire to participate, to affirm and confirm ignites some more.  READ MORE


September 2019
From: Tess Veenker msc
Infused With Love
Late last year a friend gifted me with a Diary for 2019. On the cover in golden letters I read the words, ‘ and on the back cover similar words ‘INFUSE 2019 WITH LOVE’.

I was in awe at the inscription and was delighted to receive it. Yes, these words say it all! They felt like a call. Their implication poured deep into my spirit, inviting me to ponder further on the words – ‘infusion’ and ‘love’.

As I turn the pages of the diary, and as the weeks drift by, I am left with a heightened awareness of the invitation to truly endeavour to live ‘Love’ as fully as I can with each day that is gifted to me. The words invite me to be more conscious of this infusion of Love – not only within myself, but also in the world around me.

The black background of the diary suggests mystery to me – the unknown that each day of this year offers as gift to be lived…in Love. Nights roll into days and days roll into nights – all 365 of them – yet the night sky of each day draws me back to behold again the golden beauty of the stars and planets which become accentuated because of the darkness. READ MORE


August 2019
From: Corrie van den Bosch mss
Circles of Silence

On a cold damp Melbourne June day, around a hundred people of all ages stood silently in
a large circle in front of the State Library. By-passers paused to look: what was going on
here? We stood in silence, compassionately holding in our hearts our refugee brothers and
sisters held in detention. We stood in silence to protest against our government’s asylum-seeker
policies. We stood in silence, hoping our silence would penetrate where our voices
had not. We stood in silence in solidarity with other circles of silence gathered in other
places. It was a deeply moving experience. READ MORE


July 2019
From: Robyn Fitzgerald
Notes from the Underground Resistance

The future of the world will be a network. Not a pyramid. Not a pyramid turned upside down. The revolution of which I am speaking is a non-violent revolution and it’s so revolutionary that it even revolutionizes the very concept of a revolution. The normal revolution is one where the pyramid is turned upside down and those who were on the bottom are now on the top, and they are doing exactly the same thing the ones did before. What we need is a networking of smaller groups, smaller and smaller groups who know one another, who interact with one another – and that is a grateful world!   ~ David Steindl-Rast, TED Global, 2013.

I have been pondering these words from David Steindl-Rast for a few months now, especially the surprising, high voltage coupling of the words ‘network’ with ‘revolution’. Not quite the words I had been expecting to hear at the end of a talk on gratitude from this gentle, softly spoken man. And I have found myself asking: “What is a network?” and “What difference does it make that we in CEN identify as a network?”  READ MORE


June 2019

From: Dr Kerrie Hide
Omega


Teilhard prays to the one he fondly calls “Lord Jesus,” who becomes for him the Sacred Heart enflamed, the incarnate Word, the Cosmic Christ, Wisdom Sophia – All in All – the Centre of centres, Omega. His heart-felt prayer distinguishes Omega-Love as intimately personal and yet boundlessly cosmic. Omega-Love is as warm, gentle and tender as a human heart and as fiery as the life force in nature. READ MORE


May 2019

From: Tess Veenker msc
Being Drawn

Have you ever had a vague sense of being drawn into something?
Can you remember what it was like?
Did it pass quickly or linger a while?
This experience of being drawn is almost impossible to articulate in words. I sense that if we were to try, we would all find ourselves grappling with myriads of different words, expressions and images. Yet when I asked the questions above I am sure that every reader would have some ‘knowing’ of what was being asked. If you can, stay with your experience of being drawn, remember the gift it was for you, see the inner growth and wisdom to which it has taken you. READ MORE


April 2019

From: Anne O’Connell rsj
T
he ‘Passover ‘of Contemplative Evolution

It’s true. April 2019 is unique! No doubt our diaries are already dotted with commitments – and also with the promise of new experiences.
As CEN members there will also be unique ways in which we continue to ‘help evolve the world through Love’. (Homepage CEN).
In fact, I would dare to suggest that April is OUR month – the month of all months when we can celebrate our sacred hour, our sacred intention, our sacred ‘holding of the violent and hurtful situations of our world’…
READ MORE


March 2019
From: Corrie van den Bosch mss

Twenty years ago this year, Thich Nhat Hanh’s “The Miracle of Mindfulness” was published in English. In the intervening years, mindfulness has become part of our language and its practice has penetrated many of our institutions. This simple, yet profound, little book touches something in the human psyche – a longing, a hunger perhaps, that our frantically busy and fractured world, for all its wonderful inventions and opportunities, is unable to meet.  READ MORE…


February 2019
From: Carol Ong rsm

One-in-Being

Last month Madeline invited us to reflect on our dream…. She also suggested that within each and every one of us there lies a “‘lodestone’ of longing for wholeness and oneness.” This sense of longing reminded me of St. Augustine’s often quoted writing “… you made us for yourself and our hearts find no peace until they rest in you.”1 It seems for Augustine this longing for wholeness and oneness lies within God. So when we sit in contemplation and join our intention with the rest of those in the Contemplative Evolution Network—and probably beyond the network, with those who are sitting with the same intention—I wonder what we are letting ourselves into….? READ MORE


January 2019
From: Madeline Duckett rsm

“I HAVE A DREAM…”

A new year has begun! We have heard, watched and participated in celebrations as clocks around the world ticked past midnight and initiated us into a New Year. With it came an accompanying sense of newness. We are drawn into the euphoria of the many who gather to mark what has become a worldwide occasion. It can be unifying and moving to see the fireworks, hear the music and singing, and feel people’s celebratory elation in capital city after capital city around the world. We sense the oneness—the oneness of hope that this New Year beginning will be better than that which has just ended. For there is a dream embedded deep in human hearts that is touched by this simple turning of the hands of the clock. Could it be that that dream is a yearning for life beyond the painful divisions we know in the world around us? Dare we dream of a different, more united world? READ MORE…


December, 2018
From: Kerrie Hide

LIGHTING THE ADVENT CANDLE


“I live my Advent in the womb of Mary.”(St Gertrude Helfta). These haunting opening words, sketched in the poem, “Advent,” by the Wisconsin Carmelite poet Jessica Powers, were imprinted in my heart many years ago. For Jessica and for myself, this open, expectant womb of Mary is: “faith’s walled place, with hope’s expectant nativity.” In this moment, as Advent begins and I enter into this Mary womb spaciousness, within the soft darkness of my own heart-womb, I have a sense of the luminous divine foetus, eternally being born in and through me. And, as I follow the stirrings of love and enter more intensely into the beauty of this endless birthing, I wait in Mary darkness and prepare for the birthing that is to take place in this phase of my life. My yearning is to be a Theotokos, a Godbearer, as Beatrice Bruteau invites us to be, and consciously participate in the ongoing incarnation of the Christ, in us, through us and amongst us in the fullness of the organic creativity of our world. I desire to prepare now for a unique birthing that the divine Beloved is preparing for me. READ MORE


November, 2018
From: Christine Erskine-Smith

MAKING A MANDALA: A Contemplative Journey into Unity


I recently immersed myself in a Mandala project. As my previous experience with mandalas was limited, I had no idea that collaboratively creating in this modality would be an intense spiritual journey: that the progression of its evolution over 5 weeks, outlined below, would so closely mirror the aims of the Contemplative Evolution Network. As we, a small group of relative strangers, sat or stood side by side around a large sheet of paper intersected with spidery lines and embarked on a coloring process for 45 minutes a week for 5 weeks, we bonded into a contemplative team, working towards a common goal. What emerged was an image of beauty, diversity, color, coherence: a unified representation of our unique gifting and intentions, of the way we see Life in all its fullness.  This project was the initiative of The Centre for Practical Spirituality in Brisbane. www.spiritualitycentre.com.au   READ MORE


October, 2018
From: Tess Veenker MSC

BLESSED WHEEL


The Wheel of Life, Love & Suffering seems to continually turn as we journey through life and find ourselves immersed in the constant unfolding of global events. The joys and delights of life seem to be enmeshed with the darkness and pain of suffering. As the wheel rolls on through life’s turnings we become more conscious of the center, the hub which holds the essence of all movements and interactions. READ MORE


September, 2018
From: Anne O’Connell RSJ

THE RAINBOW OF CONTEMPLATIVE EVOLUTION

As CEN members we commit to responding to the tugs of divinity’ within us,
sitting in stillness
holding in God’s Love
situations of violence, oppression and need.

While we keep 4pm – 5pm as our sacred hour of commitment,
we know that this time is but a kernel of our sacred daily experience of Mysterious Love.

A sacred daily experience of Mysterious Love that invites us
to listen to both the God of Silence… (Wis. 18: 14,15) and the God of Storm… (Job 38:1),

READ MORE


August, 2018
From: Robyn Fitzgerald

A Fire of Love: A Reflection on Joining the Contemplative Evolution Network.

Late last summer, and around the same time I joined the Contemplative Evolution Network, I began a seven day ‘at-home’ retreat, Heaven in Faith with Elizabeth of the Trinity. Elizabeth had written the retreat for her beloved sister Guite in August 1906, just a few months before Elizabeth’s death. A musician at heart and a classical pianist in life, Elizabeth composes union with God as the main theme of the retreat, a theme arranged with one, unwavering purpose: to pass beyond all limits…  READ MORE


July, 2018
From: Kerrie Hide

My Soul’s Desire


My heart was filled with delight and celebration recently at the beauty of the oneness of all creation when I went to the exhibition of the Lady and the Unicorn Tapestries, (c. 1500), in the Art Gallery of New South Wales.  Just outside the exhibition, a colourful canopy of millefleur patterned fabric graced the corridor and drew me to cross a threshold into sacred time and space.  While literally, I had walked into a darkened room lined with enormous French tapestries finely woven from wool and silk, symbolically, I felt I had entered into the sensual garden of the Song of Songs. READ MORE…


June, 2018
From: Corrie van den Bosch mss

LESSONS FROM THE WINTERS OF LIFE


The sixth month of the new year! In southern regions days are drawing in, nights are getting longer. Summer heat has given way to milder Autumn days, and nights announce the coming cold of Winter. Rich colours of autumn have dropped, leaving deciduous trees stark naked so that the winter sun can touch the ground below. The focus of life turns inward, silently hibernating, contemplatively re-gathering its energies for a brief few weeks to burst forth anew in riotous abundance when the first warmth of spring calls it forth. The rhythm of life, of seasons, of night and day, as ancient as the birth of life on earth! READ MORE...


May, 2018
From: Christine Howard


On Pilgrimage

The Lord pleads with you still.
Ask where the good road is,
the godly path you used to walk in, in the days of long ago.
Travel there,
and you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16

What is a pilgrimage? What is it that makes people leave the familiarity of their environment and travel into unknown territory – either external or internal, or both? READ MORE…


April, 2018
From: Margie Abbott rsm

LABYRINTH: Emmaus -New Life!

With quantum discoveries increasingly providing a basis for understanding meditation and its potential effects on environment, the time is now ripe for all to work together to help evolve the world towards greater consciousness, healing and peace. (CEN Website)

These words are an inspiration to me. Quantum discoveries happening everyday do sometimes shock us. Recently, in the desert of Western Australia signals were picked up from the birth of the stars 180 million years after the big bang. I was also shocked the first time I really let in that Jesus is not separate from the first flaring forth 13.8 billion years ago. READ MORE


March, 2018
From: Tess Veenker MSC

A Different Zone

Every New Year’s Eve as the clock strikes twelve I have this habit of going outside and standing on my veranda. In listening to the distant sound of fireworks and New Year revellers I find myself feeling ‘at-one’ with all those who are awake at this moment and who are welcoming in this New Year. When the noise quietens I am left gazing up into the night sky. I give thanks for the year that has past and utter a ‘yes’ to whatever the New Year may hold… READ MORE…


February, 2018
From: Madeline Duckett RSM

Evolving a Field of Love.Evolving a Field of Love.

Recently I attended a very beautiful funeral service. Its beauty was attributable to many factors but began as I stepped into the church. It was a church with which I was not familiar yet what happened as I entered set the scene for the funeral to follow. The church exuded a distinct atmosphere of tranquility and sacred presence… It is this ‘atmosphere’ that I would like to focus upon in the following reflection. READ MORE


January, 2018
From: Helen Glasheen RSM

A New Year of Contemplatively Seeing

Welcome to 2018 and another year of contemplative prayer and awareness as we further create a strong network of contemplative ‘see-ers’ and ‘be-ers’ for the greater life of our struggling world. In this reflection I share with you an experience that was for me most grounding in contemplative seeing, as we seek to do each day or whenever we are able. READ MORE...


December, 2017
From: Kerrie Hide

FLOWING LIGHT

“I am the light of the world…” John 8:12.


The light of the day is just beginning to fade, as I light the candle in my prayer space, sit in my chair and ignite the light of heart awareness in my heart. I know there is a whole communion of lovers of God lighting candles and sounding bells in this point de temps. We meet in the centre of Love and together create a communion heart consciousness.   READ MORE…


November, 2017
From: Tess Veenker msc

THE ELEPHANT IN THE WORLD

The daily world news that comes to us seems to hold little ‘good news’. I find myself constantly listening to reports of countries at war, politicians unable to dialogue or compromise, and societies with multiple strong, unchangeable views on a host of issues.  READ MORE


October, 2017
From: Madeline Duckett rsm

We sit to contemplate – a small group believing in the power of prayer to effect change in the world around us. To begin, we strike the gong three times, slowly. The sound of each note echoes and dies into the silence just beginning. Each sounding draws us deeper into the silence. Each person’s heart opens to that which dwells within them – the Presence that connects us to everyone and everything around us. It is that Presence that is the communion we share. Read more…


September, 2017
From: Nicole Rotaru rsm 

Over the past few years I have been very mindful of being remembered and held in prayer by members of CEN and many other people. My name is Nicole Rotaru and I am a Sister of Mercy who works with people in the Nuba Mountains, Sudan as a teacher, for four months each year. For the remainder of the year I work in Australia in the areas of family violence, loss and grief, and spirituality.
What follows is a glimpse into the environment of the Nuba Mountains, some of the Nuba people and the experience of connectedness through CEN. Read More…


August 3, 2017
From: Madeline Duckett rsm

Vulnerability and Power

In our hemisphere it is winter. Trees are bare, and much of life has gone underground for warmth and shelter. Hidden from view, a good deal of nature is hibernating until the first touch of warmer days calls it forth to share new riches with us once again. Winter speaks loudly and clearly of the profound vulnerability that lies at the heart of life. To be alive is to be vulnerable – to pain, to suffering and ultimately to death. We see it starkly in nature. We know it in our own lives. We see it in the workings of our earth and in the world at large. Contemplating this mystery enables us to know from the inside the underlying truth that life is made up of endless paradox. It is fragile yet resilient, the forces of nature are harsh at times yet exquisite beauty can arise from within the harshness and new life can emerge out of seeming destruction. Read More…


July 6, 2017
From: Christine Howard

Of Songlines and Eternity

As is the custom throughout Australia, every public gathering begins by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we are gathered.
We meet, over 30 of us, for a week of silence. The title of the retreat is ‘Endless Melody’, and the traditional acknowledgment is supplemented by an invitation: to allow ourselves to sink into Silence and listen to the ancient songlines of this area; to hear that which we may have never heard before. We are told that:

“It is in our DNA to be united,
heart centre to heart centre, in love.
When this happens, we awaken
something new”.

The invitation intrigues me, for, although I have lived here most of my life, my awareness of the purpose and practice of traditional songlines is limited. It’s the week between Pentecost and Trinity Sunday, and a full moon: the veil between worlds is thin. Perfect, I think, for sitting with Mystery to see where my ponderings will lead.  Read more…


June 1, 2017
From: Tess Veenker msc

Silent Turnings

As we enter into the month of June and autumn quietly turns into winter, I am conscious of the silent ‘turnings’ that happen in nature and in all of life. I am led to ponder these silent ‘turnings’ within myself and within the world in which I live. I see dimly the on-going turnings of: life, growth, suffering, dying and new life. These turnings seem to have an eternal cyclical flow.

Pondering these things, I am conscious of the varying colours, tones and emotions such turnings evoke in me.  At the same time, I watch the news and am confronted with what we as human beings are willing to do to attain power and control, at whatever cost to the planet on which we dwell. There seems to be a blindness towards the inevitable deep, eternal, silent turnings of life. Read More…


May 1, 2017
From: Madeline Duckett rsm

The Global Heart

Easter is over. The journey of immersing ourselves in the mystery of life and death has been celebrated. Our consciousness has been awakened to the deeper significance of one man’s death and the point at which suffering tips over into new life.

The Easter story has become the story that reaches deep into the human psyche, becoming the ground on which Christians stand. On this story ground is built the belief that enormous suffering can be transformed by enormous love and that death is not the end of the story, only the end of one chapter.

Teilhard de Chardin once described a mystical experience he had early in his life whilst gazing on a picture of the Sacred Heart. The experience became a central element in his spirituality where “the Divine took on the form, the properties of an energy, a fire…able to insinuate itself everywhere…and so amorize the cosmic milieu.” (Teilhard de Chardin, The Heart of Matter. (London: Collins 1978) p. 44  Read More…


April 1, 2017
From: Tess Veenker msc

Download pdf Here

The following story speaks of a fragmented world that yearned for wholeness. I invite you read this tale with the eyes of your own wisdom – the wisdom that has grown through your experiences of life, and then listen deeply to what resonates within you.

  “One night, in a far-away land that “is somehow not so far away,” a truth falls from the stars. As it falls, it breaks into two pieces; one piece blazes off through the sky and the other falls straight to the ground. One day, a man stumbles upon the gravity-drawn truth and finds carved on it the words, “You are loved.” It makes him feel good, so he keeps it and shares it with the people in his tribe. The thing sparkles and makes the people who have it feel warm and happy. It becomes their most prized possession, and they call it “The Truth.” Those who have the truth grow afraid of those who don’t have it, who are different. And those who don’t have it covet it. Soon people are fighting wars over the small truth, trying to capture it for themselves.


A little girl who is troubled by the growing violence, greed, and destruction in her once-peaceful world goes on a journey—through the Mountains of Imagining, the River of Wondering Why, and the Forest of Finding Out—to speak with Old Turtle, the wise counsellor. Old Turtle tells her that the Truth is broken and missing a piece, a piece that shot off in the night sky so long ago. Together they search for it and, when they find it, the little girl puts the jagged piece in her pocket and returns to her people. She tries to explain, but no one will listen or understand. Finally, a raven flies the broken truth to the top of a tower, where the other piece has been ensconced for safety, and the re-joined pieces shine their full message: “You are loved / and so are they.” And the people begin to comprehend. And the earth begins to heal.”

One story can hold a thousand other stories. I am left contemplating how well the story of the Broken Truth speaks to our world today.

As a species we have evolved into the consciousness that we now hold.  We see with new eyes, seeing more clearly now what previously was unknown. Our convictions on Life, Love and Suffering continue to evolve as we struggle to take hold of the Truth of All Being that is coming into view. Thus from unknown darkness and mystery, as our consciousness evolves we begin to slowly comprehend more fully the deep yearning for love – the innate ache within us. We are finding the aspect of Truth with its carved words “you are loved”.  And O how we treasured it! How we crave for more and fear its loss! Sadly we too have slowly slipped into a protective and righteous individualism, exclusiveness, possessiveness. We have erected walls of protection (my country/my boundary) and we see with eyes of division (us and them), right and wrong (we are right and they are wrong). This has led to misperceptions, judgements and often to uninformed fear.  Hence, as in the story, wars have arisen which are causing huge sufferings and injustices.

I cannot help but hold the turmoil in the world today and wonder if all this fighting, all this pain and suffering is due to the reality that we are holding only half of the truth.  We yearn for peace, we yearn for love but as yet we struggle to hold the cost that it may entail for us – the cost of a change in lifestyle, the cost of sharing, the cost of risk-taking.

I wonder who the ‘little girl/boy’ symbolizes within us? Children often have an innocence and free creative imagination. They often have clarity of sight in perceiving right, wrong, fair, unfair. They are vulnerable whilst also strong and resilient. They have an inner wisdom- knowing. Like the little girl in the story, they can be troubled by what they see, feel and sense to be ‘not right’.  As I watch the daily news and see the devastation of the wars in Syria, Africa, and other parts of our world, I ache at the sight of the faces tortured by a ‘broken truth’.

So I too am called to make an inner journey to the ‘old turtle’ within me, that deep wisdom place that sees beyond, that knows the ‘more’, that hears my heart and feels my gut. The turtle within me knows the world is fragmented and broken – that the yearning for Wholeness, Oneness, and Love is still a distant hope.  The evolutionary journey we are on, our growth into a new consciousness, our vision of a world that can live in union and communion becomes like a magnetic field within that draws us….. We now are the ones who, through conscious awareness, carry the broken pieces within us.  We too try to explain but only a few will listen, hear and understand.

It is the raven that finally flies the broken piece to the top of the tower, enabling the fullness of Love to be revealed. The raven is an unusual bird to be the one to complete this task, yet maybe not.  The raven has the power and strength of flight. It has scriptural and spiritual significance, and it is also a bird associated with death. Life…Death…Life.  The wholeness of Love cannot be without the cost of surrendering to the dying and death of many facets and aspects of our unhealthy selves.   This healing which needs to take place comes when ‘the people begin to comprehend’.  The call today is one beyond ‘individualism’ towards a greater collective whole – one people, one earth. Only then can our world begin to heal.

As we journey towards this in our intentional contemplative time together, let us hold deep within us the words we all know well:

“I am……..….….I AM
The Way…..…..to New Consciousness
The Truth…..…of Oneness in Love
The Life…….….of Wholeness of Being”

Tess Veenker msc


March 1, 2017
From: Madeline Duckett rsm

Dust and Ashes.
As we begin the season of Lent, the symbol of ashes is central. Words reminding us that we are “dust and ashes” ring in our ears from the start. Yet dust, ashes, rubble and destruction confront many in our world in a more than symbolic way. Beyond the symbol of dust and ashes, let us see – really SEE – those who suffer loss and devastation and those for whom it is daily reality. This reality we hold with them as best we can. In the film “Avatar” the Avatar race peoples greeted each other with the words “I SEE YOU”, suggesting a soul-seeing that is truth and love. In this same spirit we unite to reflect:
WE SEE YOU

People of Italy, people of Sumatra, still coping with the aftermath
of devastating earthquakes…
In dust and ashes, WE SEE YOU.

People of Syria, people of Iraq, people of Palestine and Israel,
as you sort through the rubble left by war.
as you mourn the loss of loved ones, of home and safe belonging
as you gather the little you have left and flee for safety and shelter…
In dust and ashes, WE SEE YOU.

People of the more than twenty countries in Africa who are suffering the results of war,
as you experience ongoing attacks on your families, homes and lands
as you live with the effects of brutality at the hands of guerrillas, militias,
terrorists and anarchists …
In dust and ashes, WE SEE YOU.

People of drought affected parts of Africa, South Africa, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Australia and nameless other places languishing for lack of water,
as you live with the grinding effects of drought,
as you feel a sense of creeping despair and lose hope…
In dust and ashes, WE SEE YOU.

People still feeling the results of bushfires in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States,
as you look at the ashes of your homes
as you feel the loss of a way of life, of livestock and property…
In dust and ashes, WE SEE YOU.

With pain-filled eyes WE SEE the dust and ashes everywhere.
With soul-tuned eyes, honed by nature’s wisdom
we see beyond the ashes to “something more”.
In contemplation we join hearts and souls
in one vast network of love intention and desire
for new life and energy to come from what is lost.
The holding power of Love, Spirit powered,
stirs within the aching whole,
urging dust and ashes into life once more.
Miraculously, as we watch, we glimpse a phoenix… rising
at the burning core of death and debris.
Promise, hope and new tomorrow yet may be.

Madeline


February 1, 2017
From: Madeline Duckett rsm

February Reflection

February begins in the midst of a world torn by prejudice, violence, political stances that evoke fear and wonderings as to where positions taken will lead in the time ahead. It is as if the world is holding its breath for anticipated disaster.

Locally we have had a drug induced massacre by a mentally ill person behind the wheel of a car driven at speed on main streets and footpaths of our inner city, killing and seriously wounding many. Further afield we have had news of a massacre in a mosque in Canada when people were at prayer. In the US there has been a ban on the entry of persons traveling from seven Muslim majority countries and a permanent bar of refugees from Syria. Reactions are strong and there is a sense of growing outrage. Beyond these country specific incidents, war, oppression, poverty and greed continue to displace growing numbers of people seeking to escape and find refuge elsewhere. Often these desperate people are not made welcome and are sent to seek safety elsewhere. Alternatively they are placed in detention centres until they are ‘processed’, thence to be either deported or if accepted as ‘refugees’, given little status in the community. In an even larger context again, the earth itself is suffering immensely as it heaves under the burden of climate change. Consequently there is an ever increasing incidence of natural disasters which often affect the very poorest of people and lead to further displacement issues.

All of this and so much more, can cause us to feel as if a ticking time bomb is in our midst awaiting detonation. Despite numerous accounts of kindness, generosity and volunteering individuals and organisations doing amazing relief work that often balances the negatives described above, it can at times feel as if it is all ‘too much to bear’.

Where is the still, safe place that can hold such pain, fear and tragedy? Who will find this place and hold the pain and tragedy with a lightness of touch that reaches down into the ground that lies deeper than the events described—the Ground from which all being rises?

Between 4.00 and 5.00 pm each day we seek to do just that! If we are able, we meet for up to an hour daily, either physically or intentionally and help bear the pain of the world we inhabit. We reach down into this sacred Ground by our faith, trust and faithful practice. As we reach deeply into the Ground of All Being, we believe that the power of Love lies at the heart of this collective endeavor. This Love and our link with it through contemplative presence can help shift, even fractionally, the runaway negative energies that are at work within all of the situations around us, situations that evoke pain and often end in death.

As Ursula King wrote in her book Christ in All Things:

The fire of love may be the only energy capable of extinguishing the threat
of another fire, namely that of universal conflagration and destruction. The fire
of love is what is most specifically human
…  (p. 34)

It is the fire of this Love that draws us to the contemplative place together. Can we, in our times of contemplation, love enough from the deep ground of Love itself to love evil and darkness into light and love?

Madeline


January 24, 2017
From: Madeline Duckett rsm

Welcome to CEN 2017

With the first month of 2017 well under way, the Contemplative Evolution Network welcomes you to another year of contemplative concern and committed action on behalf of all who are at risk or in pain in every part of our world. In the first weeks of this brand new year, we have already met between 4 and 5 pm each day when possible. We have immersed ourselves in the flow of that Love that holds us at our centre. There we have known the power of one in deep places of silence. There in the Ground of all being, we have held with compassion and love those people, beings and places that are hurting or at risk, in all parts of the world around us.

The year that is just beginning is shaping up to be one of confrontation with the harsh realities of increasing levels of distrust, fear and unrest in many quarters across the globe. This can so easily give way to prejudice, hasty decision making based on factional interests, and thence to hasty action which can evoke further violence, war and oppression, rather than lessen it. A potentially dismal picture!

But our CEN logo reminds us of another side to that picture. It reminds us of who we are and what we strive to be and become in the larger universe as we daily sit in silent, compassionate presence to Presence together. It invites us into another scenario where we dare to believe that we are more powerful than we could imagine, though in a hidden way.

The logo presents us with an image of:

  • People who sit together, either physically or intentionally, in contemplative prayer and presence as they hold with awareness those who must live amidst very harsh realities in life. They remember also the universe itself as it suffers, often unnoticed, even as human beings are suffering.
  • The logo images a circle of silent, meditating figures focused on the central sign of a cross superimposed on a picture of planet earth. The horizontal bar of the cross carries colours of suffering, and the vertical bar suggests colours of new life and joy.
  • The meditating figures face inwards and towards the point at which the crossbars meet—the pure, invisible, infinitely inner point of paradox and transformation. This symbolises the central Ground of being where all difference is unified and ‘oned’.
  • As the seated figures symbolically encircle the known world with silent prayer and contemplation, the logo implies that the effects of this contemplative stance reach beyond the figures themselves and out into the larger universe of stars, planets and cosmic space.

As we meet at this centrepoint of prayer and silence in 2017, let us believe that this logo is being enfleshed as we unite with each another in trust and hope. In this we make a difference in a world which, in many cases, has lost hope. We generate vibrations of healing and hope where these are most needed, in the world and beyond.

Meet you at the Centre!

The CEN Team.


December 24, 2016
From: Madeline Duckett rsm

The End of a Year

Photo of group meditating with Nasa BackgroundThe end of 2016 is close upon us. Another year passes into the great unfolding. It has held much for each of us – joy and pain, apprehension and celebration, delight and wonderings about the future. As we reflect on all the events of the year that is passing, it can sometimes feel that life on earth teeters on the brink of destruction. Images of war, violence, natural disasters and inhumanity swamp our media and can confront us with a picture of the end times. And we know it with an immediacy from which it is hard to escape.

Yet, other images arise almost unnoticed, between the lines of headline news. These are images of generosity and courageous service of those in diverse need around the globe, images of growing conscious efforts to change unjust structures and political decisions, images of volunteers leaving to assist in far off places, and increasing demonstrations for what needs to be changed, on the home front.
All of this and so much more is our world! All of this has been part of the year that is ending. All of this is US!

To believe that something else is going on beneath the ferment of what seems to be ‘going on’ takes great faith. To see in and beyond the violence and destruction, to see in the rise of compassionate action for change, to see in all of what has happened, the emergence of something utterly new requires an imagination of enormous proportions. But we have been gifted with such an imaging capacity. Those from the Judeo-Christian tradition hold with reverence the worlds of Isaiah: “See I am doing a new deed! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?(Is. 43: 19) To trust these words in the shadow of darker world events is trust indeed. To see in what is happening, the labour pains of the earth moving towards a great rebirth is a mindset and heart vision that can lead to more and more action on the ground for healing and wholeness around us.

Those committed to the contemplative stance of the Contemplative Evolutionary Network believe that we can help to change the outer gloomy picture of the world, however fractionally. We see the pain of the world as our pain. All who are suffering are part of us. Even those we see as the perpetrators of suffering are part of us. We are a whole body, connected by our very genetics, by our larger story of life and human unfolding, by our origins and our longings. When one suffers, we all suffer. Therefore we are suffering together and need to work together towards healing and new birth.

Throughout this year many have endeavoured to be faithful to holding the hour between 4 and 5 pm each day as a sacred time of mindfulness and contemplation. In this hour, either by physical contemplative sitting in silent prayer with others or by joining mindfully and intentionally with those who are able to do so, we have sought to contribute to the holding and healing of the pain of our world. We have been “frequency holders”[i] of the new earth consciousness that is emerging and which we hope and pray will slowly shift the energies that seem hell bent on mindless violence and destruction.

As we advance further into the season of remembering and celebrating the birth of Jesus, let us also remember and continue to work towards the larger birth that his physical appearance heralds.
Thank you for adding your powerful contemplative support to this movement to help bring healing, wholeness and compassion to our unfinished, becoming world.

May the season of Christmas be a blessed one for us all.

The CEN Team.

[i] Eckhart Tolle, The New Earth, p.307


October 25, 2016
From: Madeline Duckett rsm
Entering the Contemplative Space
Photo of open window with a view.

I sit in quiet attention, watching the silent world of nature outside my window, showing me how to just BE. This natural way is mine also if I but peel back the layers of the activity of this day and the self-expectation that jostles within me, pointing out the things I should be doing. I close the door on all of this. It is 4.00 pm – the sacred hour set aside each day to draw inwards and hold a space, with others, to contemplate and pray silently for and with all that is suffering in our world.

As I gently enter the quiet time, I join with all those who will also be settling into this purposeful silence right now. We are linked by our commitment and focused intention to shift something in the world around us that needs healing and drawing into a circle of prayer and hope. We are joined to one another in an intangible way as we draw inwards to the deeper Source of our being – the Source of all being.

Sinking into that Source, I leave behind the things to be done, the tasks that seemed so important before. And I enter a world that holds my spirit and all spirits together in a single embrace of love, reverence and delight that we are here. Here we are one with all who similarly gather, individually or in groups, and with those who link with us by intention. In this time we pray a prayer of heart’s silence and desire for peace, healing and hope for our hurting world and our wounded earth. We sit, we wait, we focus, we desire, we trust, that beyond our own efforts to be healers and comforters of all in pain, another Power enters through our desiring and contemplating and intending together, and weaves a larger, stronger web of possibility.

In this sacred place of holding and healing, I draw into my reflection the myriad events in my world and in the larger world that cry out for resolution and relief. There comes to mind and heart the violence, the warring individuals and nations, the hitting out at and blaming of others in the outer world of human interaction. Stories of sickness, starvation, of abuse, of displacement of peoples from their natural homelands…all of these arise to claim my attention. And always I am confronted by news of natural disasters which have uprooted and decimated hundreds, even thousands. I feel the weight of news of rioting and racism, of gang warfare of rape and trafficking of people… The stories go on and on… entering my awareness and holding a vice-like grip on my sense of our human reality. Is this what ‘reality’ is?  Or is there something more or other that exists at a level of consciousness not accessible to anyone without the eyes to see?

In my own smaller world of human interaction I am aware of the pain of many who are hurting or in need in a variety of ways, people for whom I have promised to pray or who are in need of relief from their suffering. Beyond this human suffering, I see also the whole earth community crying out at this time, crying for people to be more conscious of how this one community of all earth beings is affected by everything we do, or do not do and should. When earth hurts, we all hurt! When one person hurts, we all hurt!

It is 4.30 pm. I take this backdrop of pain and suffering and simply hold it gently as I draw it down with me into the Divine Source. I trust that here, a Power beyond my own holds, soothes and heals this suffering, even a little. I am but a channel of Divine grace and healing, a conscious connector of this Power and the abundance of suffering. I, and all who sit or simply intend with us, hold the pain of the world in our consciousness, knowing that, in this deep place of contemplation, all is one. This earth, these people, these human situations are not separate from us. We are one. We are linked in ways we cannot see but which exist nonetheless. What happens to one happens to all. In this belief, my drawing down into the Source, into the heart of the Beloved draws all down into the great Sea of Being deep inside all that exists. In this Sea of Being, pain becomes a great well of new possibility for fuller life.

In silence I remain…in trust, hope and conscious connectedness…Amen.


March 28, 2016

From: Madeline Duckett rsm written on Good Friday!

Sunrise Kings Tableland featuredimage
Easter reflection cropped


February 18, 2016

From: Mary Jo Wells rsj  written October 2015

A Personal Reflection on the Providence of God

Seedling sml

In a continuous fruitful cycle,
Seeds in the earth are nourished
By falling rain, and become the plants
Which provide food for animals and us:
Gift of our provident, exuberant God.

Rivers and seas provide a safe habitat
For whales, sharks and tiny fish;
The sun provides light and warmth,
And as the earth rotates and orbits,
The seasons enable crops to ripen.

In each tiny creature God has planted
An instinct which enables it to thrive,
To reproduce its species, to know
What to eat, where to find shelter,
How to educate its progeny.

In humankind God has given all this;
But also God has sent His Son,
To be human like me every day;
To live, and love and be betrayed;
To offer His life on the Cross; to give me life.

Open hands sml

In the palm of His Hand He holds me;
Dares me to love as He does:
To be inclusive, accept the needy,
Assist the refugee, welcome the outcast;
Share His abundance showered on me.

God of provident, exuberant abundance,
Watch over me and lead me;
Fill my heart with your Spirit;
Urge me to love as You do;
Bring me to fuller life in You.

How could I not believe!


February 5, 2016

February 2016 Offering – We Invite you to Share Your Experience!

The Contemplative Evolution Network
Contemplation to help heal and transform a world in process…

As the end of the first month of the New Year dissolves into the second, it is good to recall our purpose and intent as people committed to shifting the balance of energies in the world through contemplation and intention. The strength of the desire to unite with the Source and hold the pain being experienced by so many in the world, as well as by the earth itself, is a powerful means of strengthening the field of healing and love in our larger environment as love grows in and through us. It is believed that this can be particularly done as groups contemplate together – either physically or intentionally.

During the month of January we have seen and heard of so many natural disasters in diverse parts of the world. We have sat in contemplation and union at the Centre holding, as best we could, the suffering people and our suffering earth in their experience of pain, destruction and loss. As we link together daily between 4 and 5 pm– either in contemplative prayer or by contemplative intention we become ever more deeply one with, and embedded in, the Source of all being, the Love that holds all of life in its very essence. In doing so, we help to hold the frequency of connectivity and love as we dissolve more fully into that Love ourselves.

In the months ahead, we invite anyone who is willing to share with us all, how she or he enters into this time or sustains concentration during the sacred hour between 4 and 5 pm. We would also love to hear from those who cannot sit in contemplation for any of this sacred time, due to other life commitments, yet unites with the purpose of CEN in some other way by means of contemplative intention. This month we offer one experience that may be helpful or informative for others.                  See Messages: this month from Tess

Let us continue to meet in the place of spirit presence and inner desire to be ONE with the All and so help evolve the world into new expressions of Love.

Madeline


January 1, 2016

Download pdf New Year Reflection 2016 sml

New Year Reflection 2016 sml


December 20, 2016

Download pdf Christmas Reflection

Christmas Reflection