Trinity Homily. Fr. W. Meninger at St. Andrews Episcopal Church 2014

Fr. William Meninger

Friends,

Fr. William delivered this homily  on Trinity Sunday, June 15, 2014 at St. Andrews Episcopal Church , Seattle. When he set  his notes down and began to preach, I knew I was a part of a Holy Spirit inspired moment.

The audio below is about 30 minutes in length.  Give a listen. In the seven or eight years of my close association and travels with Fr. William, I believe it to be one of his three finest teachings. (The other two in my estimation is his teaching on Julian of Norwich and the New Creation Mythology. The other is the Loving Search for God and the Spiritual Journey using the 12th-century Buddhist ox herding pictures as a paradigm for the spiritual journey developed from a paper he delivered at the annual Academy of Religion in San Diego , November 2014.)

If someone is able to transcribe the sermon , will you please let me know and email it to me in PDF. I would like to make it a part of Fr. William’s archival history. Thank you in advance.

Blessings,

-Dan

Dan Dobbins dandobbins10@gmail.com

Fr. William Meninger

Trinity Homily by Fr. William Meninger 2016

May 22, 2016

Trinity Sunday

 The teaching of the Christian church on the holy Trinity is considered to be possibly the most sublime doctrine of divine revelation. Most churches consider that belief in the Trinity, that is three persons in one God, is the deciding factor that determines whether  a given church is a Christian church or not. Belief systems that do not embrace the Trinitarian doctrine, of necessity do not believe in the divinity of Christ and therefore are not really considered Christian,however much they may lay claim to the name.

 The word Trinity comes from two Latin words tri and unity which simply means three in one, our theological way of expressing the three persons in the one God. This teaching is a mystery and therefore is not completely open to total understanding on our part. This is not really a problem for us as we readily acknowledge that God is beyond our understanding. Nonetheless the tri unity of God is revealed to us in the Scriptures and therefore has meaning for us and we should seek some practical understanding of it because of  our faith in the Trinity.

In fact, however, what do you understand about the doctrine of the Trinity? How would you explain it to a child? To an unbeliever? Even to a fellow Christian?

I recall some 30 years ago I was invited for dinner to the home of a large extended Muslim family in the Gaza Strip. The men were all seated in a large circle on the floor of the dining room. I was seated next to the ancient patriarch of the family. In the middle of the meal (I was on the point of devouring a large piece of succulent roast lamb) he turned to me and said, “What is this Trinity all about?”.

I greatly fear that I was not adequate to the occasion and subsequently wished I had at least the presence of mind of Saint Patrick who, in a similar situation, simply said the Trinity was like the three leaf clover, that is three leaves one clover, three persons one God. But even so, how practical, how meaningful is that simple explanation?

60 years ago, in the seminary we spent an entire semester on the theology of the Trinity. It had little practical meaning for me then and today I am forced to examine what meaning it has had for me since. My response to the seminary course on the Trinity was that it was God giving us a private glimpse of what he might look like behind the shower curtain.

In the past 60 years my understanding of the Trinity has been enhanced by several significant experiences. The first was at the death of my eldest sister, Helen. As I stood by her deathbed saying the prayers for the dying these words were spoken to my very heart: Depart, Christian soul in the name of the Father who created you, in the name of the son who redeemed you, and in the name of the Holy Spirit who sanctifies you. This is very practical, isn’t it? Our creation, our redemption, and our sanctification.

 My second significant, practical experience of the Trinity came through my reading of Julian of Norwich. In her wonderful book, The Revelations of Divine Love, the Lady Julian speaks of the power of the Father, the wisdom of the Son, and the benevolent love of the Holy Spirit. She also says that where we experience one person of the Trinity, for example, the incarnation of the son in Jesus of Nazareth, we also experience the other two persons of the Trinity. This is why Jesus could say, “He who sees me sees the Father.” And” I will not leave you orphans but I will send to you the Paraclete, the Spirit of truth, who will remind you of all that I have taught.” And so, Julian reminds us, that the presence of Jesus in our lives today and the presence of the Holy Spirit and the Father is one and the same.

So as a practical understanding, as we are gathered here this morning as the church, Jesus is present in our midst and so is the Father and the Holy Spirit. As we hear the words of the Scriptures inspired by the Holy Spirit so we hear the words of Jesus and the Father. And finally as we shall be recreated in the one body of Christ through the reception of holy Communion, so we are re-created as sons and daughters of the eternal Father in the love and benevolence of his Holy Spirit. Blessed be the holy and undivided Trinity now and forever! 

May you be happy,

May you be free,

May you be loving,

May you be loved.

 Father William Meninger

Visioning Day with Susan Komis

Visioning Day is a special event for our contemplative Community in the Spirit of Centering Prayer

A “Visioning” day provides an opportunity for all Centering Prayer practitioners in our community to gather together to celebrate our history, assess our needs as a contemplative community, and “envision” future growth and direction for Heart of Texas Contemplative Outreach.

All participants will have an opportunity to offer input and be a part of future planning as we envision our future as a contemplative community. We are excited about this day and encourage all to attend. We ask in advance that you commit to attending the entire day . . . you won’t want to miss it!

In the Visioning process, we will:

  • Celebrate our strengths in our initial stages of growth and formation
  • Explore challenges and assess needs to implement realistic growth
  • Prioritize needs and create a road map for the next 1-2 years
  • Acknowledge and encourage ecumenical dimension and Spirit
  • Establish needs of Leadership Team; discernment of Service Teams
  • Prayerful discernment process for Chapter Coordinator

Why participate? 

Chances are your first experience with Centering Prayer was made available to you by volunteers of a chapter of Contemplative Outreach, who chose to participate in the building of our contemplative community.

Participating offers:

  • An opportunity to give back a portion of what you have spiritually received
  • A chance to help build our contemplative community
  • An opportunity to create a vision for the future of Centering Prayer in this region
  • A chance to meet others in the community who share the same contemplative lifestyle
  • An opportunity to share your gifts and talents in loving service to others

 

Our Visioning Day will include:

  • Coffee and refreshments
  • Two periods of Centering Prayer
  • Lunch
  • Large group and small group process

 

 

We request that you pre-register for the day at the link below so we can plan for lunch.

 

_______________________________

 

Susan Komis has served Contemplative Outreach since 1990, first as a volunteer for the St. Louis, MO chapter, then as a Coordinator. She is Director of the Chapter Programs & Services (CPS) team which supports Coordinators and Contact Persons throughout the Contemplative Outreach spiritual community. She assists chapters by making on-site visitations and offering programs for leadership enrichment and chapter development. Susan serves as a staff person for Contemplative Outreach retreats, mentors other servant-leaders, and continues to develop leadership formation programs for Contemplative Outreach, Ltd. Susan is a certified Pastoral Minister and has worked in Adult Faith Development and various other ministries, including spiritual direction and interspiritual dialogue.

 

 

Suggestions for Reading Fr. Thomas Keating’s Books

Suggestions for Reading Fr. Thomas Keating’s Books:

1.The Human Condition: Contemplation and Transformation (Wit Lectures-Harvard Divinity School. (1999) by Thomas Keating O.C.S.O and Ronald F. Thiemann. A short invitation to begin a personal spiritual journey.

2. Open Mind Open Heart 20th Anniversary Edition (2006) by Thomas Keating. O.C.S.O _An introduction to centering prayer as the core practice of contemplative Christianity; a one volume presentation of topics covered on books 3 and 4 below.

3. The Heart of the World: An Introduction to Contemplative Christianity (2008) by Thomas Keating O.C.S.O

4. Intimacy with God: An Introduction to Centering Prayer. (2009) by Thomas Keating O.C.S.O

5.Invitation to Love 20th Anniversary edition: The Way of Christian Contemplation. (2012) by Thomas Keating O.C.S.O _ A more detailed discussion of the process of spiritual growth.

6.The Mystery of Christ: The Liturgy as Spiritual Experience. (1994) by Thomas Keating O.C.S.O_A reflection of the Christian liturgical year from the perspective of contemplative Christianity.

7.Crisis of Faith, Crisis of Love. (1995) by Thomas Keating O.C.S.O_ Scriptural reflections of the spiritual journey of contemplative Christianity

8. Meditations on the Parables of Jesus (2010) by Thomas Keating O.C.S.O _Short Homilies on Jesus paraboles from a contemplative perspective.

9. Manifesting God ( 2005) by Thomas Keating O.C.S.O _A more recent introduction to centering prayer as a spiritual transformation.

10. Fruits and Gift of the Spirit (2000) by Thomas Keating O.C.S.O _More or less a sequel to book 9.

(List suggested by Mary Dwyre)

The Good Shepherd_Fr. William Meninger_Homily April 17, 2016

The image of Jesus as the good Shepherd is a very endearing one. During his earthly life time, it was a comfortable and very familiar one.  Even today this is true in many rural settings albeit becoming increasingly rarer. Even here at our ranch, it has been some years since one or other of the monks has been called upon to play that role. So while it is an icon that we can understand and to a limited degree appreciate, the image of Jesus as the good Shepherd is one that his flock, that is, his people, that is, his church, is increasingly unable to experience and adequately appreciate.

 In this morning’s reading from the book of Revelation, John tells us of a vision he had of a great multitude which no one could count from every nation,race, people, and tongue. They were gathered in adoration, not before the good Shepherd but, on the contrary, before the Lamb. Strangely enough the Lamb, far from being a shepherd, is the most insignificant, the most helpless and therefore the most needy member of the flock. This, I suppose, is an illustration of Jesus’ teaching that the least among us will be the greatest.

 But before we get further entangled in this plethora of icons and images, maybe we can transcend them and see what happens to the good Shepherd in our times. It was Jesus of Nazareth, the God- man, the word made flesh and dwelling among us, who identified with the good Shepherd. But after the resurrection, Jesus of Nazareth became, if you will, the cosmic Christ. Still a human being but one who has returned to his place at the right hand of the father, who counts the number of the stars and gives to each one its name, who is the image, the blueprint for creation, through whom all things were made and whom the darkness cannot extinguish. Truly this is Jesus whom we now call the Christ and whom we can retroactively, as it were, recognize as  fully present in every atom of the created cosmos as it hurtles along its way from the Big Bang through the divinely guided universal journey towards its appointed goal in the fullness of Christ. We are indeed much more than the sheep of his flock, the people that he calls his own. Neither has it entered into our hearts, nor have our minds conceived what God has planned for those who love him. This is what the teachings of Jesus the Christ tell us, what our faith gives substance to within us and wither our hope leads us. For whoever believes that Jesus is Lord and who receives him as Savior has eternal life.

 It is for this reason that we stand even now before God’s throne. And the one who sits on the throne will shelter us. And we will not hunger or thirst anymore, nor will the sun or any heat strike us. For the lamb of God will lead us to springs of life giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from our eyes.

May you be happy,
May you be free,
May you be loving,
May you be loved.
Father William Meninger

The Yahweh Prayer

The Yahweh Prayer

A rabbi taught this prayer to me many years ago. I write about it in the second chapter of my book The Naked Now. The Jews did not speak God’s name, but breathed it with an open mouth and throat: inhale–Yah; exhale–weh. By our very breathing we are speaking the name of God and participating in God’s breath. This is our first and our last word as we enter and leave the world.

 Breathe the syllables with open mouth and lips, relaxed tongue:

Inhale–Yah

Exhale–weh

 During a period of meditation, perhaps twenty minutes, use this breath as a touchstone. Begin by connecting with your intention, your desire to be present to God. Breathe naturally, slowly, and deeply, inhaling and exhaling Yah-weh. Let your focus on the syllables soften and fall away into silence. If a thought, emotion, or sensation arises, observe but don’t latch on to it. Simply return to breathing Yah-weh.

 You may be distracted numerous times. And perhaps your entire practice will be full of sensations clamoring for attention. Contemplation is truly an exercise in humility! But each interruption is yet another opportunity to return to Presence, to conscious participation in God’s life.

 From: Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation. April 9, 2016

United in Prayer Day “Centering Prayer: A Way of Life

Fifty three people enjoyed our United in Prayer Day on March 19, 2016. So many people were touched by this scripture and also by the readings, many people asked for direct quotes, and that’s why it was decided to do a synopsis of our meeting and share it with everyone. To recall the blessings received surely gives glory to God! And, perhaps this will draw you to our Day of Prayer next year.

As we began we were asked to close our eyes, breath in, breath out, and consider the title, “Centering Prayer: A way of Life” and whether a scripture came to mind. We were asked to recall also the journey of where we have been in our prayer life, where and when we began, where we had been led. We joined our voices together in asking the Holy Spirit to fall afresh on us.

From Open Mind, Open Heart: Contemplative prayer is a process of interior transformation, a conversation initiated by God & leading, if we consent, to divine union.

We had seven members new to CONEO and new to CP, and explanations were given throughout the day for their ease and comfort. After the introduction we had our 20-minute period of Centering Prayer with the following quote …

God wants to share with us even in this life the maximum amount of divine life that we can possibly contain. The call of the gospel, “Follow me,” is addressed to every baptized person. We have within us in virtue of our baptism all the grace-given powers we need to follow Christ into the bosom of the Father. The attempt to do this – to reach more deeply toward the love of Christ within us and to manifest it more fully in the world – constitutes the heart of the spiritual journey – it is a way of life. (From Invitation to Love: The Emotional Programs for Happiness) We ended CP with: Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” Jn 14:6.

Due to technical difficulties, but with good timing we had a break and switched up the program a bit. We went around the room and Ivi asked each person to share something about themselves, either how CP is affecting their lives, some healing they experienced, something they had noticed … or nothing, not to feel put on the spot … no cookie cutter question was given … but we only had about 30 seconds each! It was truly a beautiful and intimate and enriching sharing for the entire group.

With technical difficulties behind us, we viewed the video from Fr. Carl Arico entitled “Words”. Father spoke on our guidelines of Centering Prayer in a retreat setting just as we were. He covered a lot of ground, and everyone enjoyed and learned much or related well to his talk. He ended with asking “What is the Spirit saying to you about words and consenting?”

We followed with a break out session and discussion and sharing in small groups and then we moved back into our circle for Lectio Divina. A part of Psalm 119 was used from the book, “Psalms for praying: An Invitation to Wholeness” by Nan C. Merrill. If you would like the entire Psalm emailed to you, please email Ivi Latronica … ivi3@juno.com

Blessed are those who honor the Inner Being,

Who follow You with their whole heart,

Who enfold the world with love & walk on beautiful paths!

 You have shown us the way of Truth, the way that leads to freedom.

O, that I might ever reflect the Light!

 Help me to understand the way of your precepts,

& give me strength to follow through.

 So many people were touched by this scripture and also by the readings, many people asked for direct quotes, and that’s why it was decided to do a synopsis of our meeting. To recall the blessings received surely gives glory to God!

Lunch followed and grace was prefaced with a quote from Fr. Keating: “The best way to receive divine love is to give it away, and the more we pass on, the more we increase our capacity to receive. “

Lunch was a beautiful spread of food served buffet style, and everyone appreciated the delicious varieties of foods and salads and the fine service of tablecloths and cloth napkins and being served coffee. What a delight, how blessed we are!

Following lunch we viewed our second video presentation entitled “Embodiment” with Fr. Arico. We were asked to consider what the Holy Spirit is saying to you about the second guideline, sitting comfortably & with eyes closed … and consenting … CONSENTING … on every inconceivable level. Again, we broke into small groups and shared.

The day went by so quickly and 2:30 was upon us. We were asked if we wanted to share any comments or observations and quite a number of people shared their experience and their thanks and gratitude for the wonderful day. We ended the day with a quote from Fr. Menninger.

We have, each one of us, a place & a unique contribution
to make to this evolution.
In our world, as St. Teresa of Avila tells us,
Christ has no hands but ours, no feet but ours,
no heart, no love but ours.
We are the evolutionary way
in which the Holy Spirit of God now inspires,
directs, and accomplishes the fullness of God’s plan.

We were wished safe travels, and to SAVE THE DATE for next year

Third Saturday in March, MARCH 18, 2017.

Written by Ivi Latronica

Mercy

…”Mercy “expresses God’s way of reaching out to the sinner, offering him a new chance to look at himself, convert, and believe” (Misericordiae Vultus, 21), thus restoring his relationship with him. In Jesus crucified, God shows his desire to draw near to sinners, however far they may have strayed from him…

MESSAGE
OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
FOR LENT 201
6

“I desire mercy, and not sacrifice” (Mt 9:13).
The works of mercy on the road of the Jubilee

 

Emptiness and Non-Attachment, by Carl McColman

“Last week I wrote about the difference between how Catholics understand meditation and contemplation, based on material found in the

Catholic Catechism. A reader left the following comment on that post:

We rest in God. But we do not empty our minds. We are always in communication with God. Prayer is focusing on God and we praise him for who He is, we intercede for others, and we put our requests to Him. We align our wills with His in prayer. Never do we make our minds a ‘spiritual vacuum’ for something else other than the Holy Spirit to fill it.”  Read more.