Contemplative Christianity Grants

Many people think of meditation as an exclusively Eastern religious practice. But Western religion, too, has a long tradition of silent, non-discursive prayer, often called contemplation, which is rooted in a rich mystical literature.  Contemporary thinkers are unearthing this tradition. Their fresh encounter with the Gospels and mystics emphasizes that God is a living presence in us – to be known in silence and love and manifested in our acts of compassion.

Grants made in the Contemplative Christianity Program have these objectives:  

  • Introduce or expand the teaching and practice of Christian contemplative practices, such as Christian Meditation or Centering Prayer.
  • Focus on silent, non discursive meditation rather than another aspect or method of prayer or spiritual formation.
  • Connect with a Christian audience or have a Christian context.
  • Identify and support emerging scholars and leaders in Contemplative Christianity and Christian mysticism.
  • Raise the profile of Contemplative Christianity,  with language and programs that speak to all Christian denominations and that reconnect people to Christian contemplative traditions.
  • Reach underserved populations, such as children, teens,  young adults,  people with low incomes,  people of color, and people facing addictions, illness, trauma or loss.
  • Encourage dialogue among contemplative traditions in all religions.
Somewhere in those depths of silence I came upon my first experiences of God as a loving presence that was always near, and prayer as a simple trust in that presence.
— Cynthia Bourgeault
 
Religion goes beyond words and actions and attains to the ultimate truth only in silence and love.
— Thomas Merton