/* /* Eclectic Contemplative: Mindfulness, Christian style

Eclectic Contemplative

Driven by a need for a more reflective approach to existence, I am exploring contemplative thought from a variety of traditions, particularly Catholic and Buddhist, in an effort to find a practice that will enable me to access that "inner room" that is at once still and luminous.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Mindfulness, Christian style

The most complete and poetic exposition of Christian mindfulness I have found so far is Abandonment to Divine Providence by Jean-Pierre de Caussade, SJ, who died in 1751. The downloadable text is available free of charge at Christian Classics Ethereal Library at www.ccel.org/ccel/decaussade/abandonment.html. By the way, they have many similar texts available, including in portable formats like palm ebooks.

Particularly good quotes:

"The active practice of fidelity consists in accomplishing the duties which devolve upon us whether imposed by the general laws of God and of the Church, or by the particular state that we have embraced. Its passive exercise consists in the loving acceptance of all that God sends us at each moment."

"Whatever ideas may fill the mind, whatever feelings afflict the body; even if the mind should be tormented with distractions and troubles, and the body with sickness and pain, nevertheless the divine will is ever for the present moment the life of the soul and of the body; in fact, neither the one nor the other, no matter in what condition it may be, can be sustained by any other power."

"The mind with all the consequences of its activity might take the foremost rank among the tools employed by God, but has to be deputed to the lowest as a dangerous slave. It might be of great service if made use of in a right manner, but is a danger if not kept in subjection."

"When one is thirsty one quenches one's thirst by drinking, not by reading books which treat of this condition."


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