In 2018, Fr. Thomas asked the Centering Prayer community to return to his basic teaching on the Christian Spiritual Journey. One new way to do that is to explore “The Spiritual Journey: Formation in the Christian Contemplative Life” which is now free and online on the Contemplative Outreach website at https://www.
This formation program is a revisioning of Fr. Thomas’ Spiritual Journey video series with 100 individual lessons, which weave many different teachings and voices together on each of the various topics. The implementation of this Spiritual Journey offering is based upon a 2018 online course offered in conjunction with Spirituality & Practice, which was based on the original Spiritual Journey video series.
You can go through this formation program on your own or with your Centering Prayer group. A Centering Prayer group can add the lessons to their gathering after prayer time. The group can view the weekly videos together or watch the videos ahead of time to leave more time for a faith sharing. After some moments of quiet reflection, take time to share how the materials touched and informed each individual’s spiritual journey. This sharing can be very supportive, as others in the group may be experiencing or have experienced something that is going on for you. Fr. Thomas says in Open Mind, Open Heart that “The group not only serves as a source of encouragement but also can normally solve problems that might arise regarding the method. The collective discernment of the group tends to be well balanced.”
The program includes not only the videos but introduction to the topics, Scripture passages that can be used to begin the Centering Prayer time, meditations, and a section called To Practice which is a guide through the lesson and suggestions for applying the teachings to your own life. For those who want more study, most lessons include suggested readings from Fr. Thomas’ books. There are downloadable options for those who prefer to read or listen to the video content in the form of transcripts and audio files. The video files can be downloaded to your computer which is a real bonus if your prayer group does not meet in a place with internet connection or you are traveling and want access to the videos.
As the program is self-guided, you have all the time you want to watch, read, ponder, journal and receive Thomas’ teachings beyond your mind. Read, reflect and rest in the teachings by letting them enter deeply into your heart. Take your time. The spiritual journey is not to be rushed but explored and lived.