Our mission is to support and share the daily practice and method of Centering Prayer. We are a chapter of Contemplative Outreach, Ltd.
Contemplative Outreach is a community of individuals and Centering Prayer groups committed to living the contemplative dimension of the Gospel of everyday life. We offer and recommend prayer groups, prayer resources, retreats and events to support the contemplative life in the midst of ordinary life.
CALENDAR – Please check our EVENTS page for new offerings – online payment & registration is now available for most events.
Guidelines for Centering Prayer
1. Choose a sacred word as the symbol of your intention to consent to God’s presence and action within.
2. Sitting comfortably and with eyes closed, settle briefly and silently introduce the sacred word.
3. When engaged with thoughts, return ever-so-gently to the sacred word.
4. At the end of the prayer period, remain in silence with eyes closed for a couple of minutes.
It is recommended to sit in centering prayer for 20-30 minutes, twice per day. The benefits of the prayer come not so much during the prayer but in our daily lives. It is not a form of relaxation, but a way to commune with God in his own first language, that of Silence. It is an act of faith, trust, surrender, letting go.
You will find many resources inside these webpages – book recommendations, online video and audio downloads, centering prayer groups that meet weekly, retreats hosted by this chapter and more. We host two Facebook pages and an Instagram page. Pray for guidance and discernment. God planted this desire in you and God will meet you in prayer and in life. If you cannot find something or have questions, please contact us and we will do our best to be helpful.
May God bless you in your walk and bring you Peace.
Centering Prayer is based on Jesus’ words “…But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door and pray to your Father in secret and your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.”(Matthew 6:6)
It is also inspired by writings of major contributors to the Christian contemplative heritage including the Desert Fathers and Mothers, John Cassian, Francis de Sales, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Therese of Lisieux and Thomas Merton.
The centering prayer method is based on the 14th Century book, The Cloud of Unknowing, written by an anonymous Carthusian monk.
Where does Centering Prayer come from?
In the 1970’s, Trappist monks (Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance), Fathers Thomas Keating, M. Basil Pennington, and William A. Meninger, developed the simple method of silent prayer for contemporary people now known as centering prayer.
In 1984, along with Gustave Reininger and Edward Bednar, Father Thomas Keating co-founded Contemplative Outreach, Ltd., an international, ecumenical spiritual network that teaches the practice of Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina, a method of prayer drawn from the Christian contemplative tradition. Contemplative Outreach provides a support system for those on the contemplative path through a wide variety of resources, workshops, and retreats.
Contemplative Outreach is a spiritual network of individuals and small faith communities committed to living the contemplative dimension of the Gospel. The common desire for Divine transformation, primarily expressed through a commitment to a daily Centering Prayer practice, unites our international, interdenominational community.
Today, Contemplative Outreach annually serves over 40,000 people; supports over 120 active contemplative chapters in 39 countries; supports over 800 prayer groups; teaches over 15,000 people the practice of Centering Prayer and other contemplative practices through locally-hosted workshops; and provides training and resources to local chapters and volunteers. We also publish and distribute the wisdom teachings of Fr. Thomas Keating and other resources that support the contemplative life.
For more on the history of Contemplative Outreach and Christian Contemplative Prayer visit Contemplative Outreach.org
Who is Nebraska Contemplative Outreach?
YOU can be part of Nebraska Contemplative Outreach! On this site you will find information to help you learn more about prayer practices as well as local and regional opportunities for groups and retreats. We have an email newsletter that reaches over 350 people, and our facebook pages have reached thousands. Please send us your information via our contact page and we will add you the newsletter list.
And here are your local contacts. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Nebraska Coordinator: Cathy Mann Christiansen, Omaha, NE
Registrar: Cecelia Arndt, Omaha, NE
For He can well be loved, but he cannot be thought. By love he can be grasped and held, but by thought, neither grasped nor held. And therefore, though it may be good at times to think specifically of the kindness and excellence of God, and though this may be a light and a part of contemplation, all the same, in the work of contemplation itself, it must be cast down and covered with a cloud of forgetting. And you must step above it stoutly but deftly, with a devout and delightful stirring of love, and struggle to pierce that darkness above you; and beat on that thick cloud of unknowing with a sharp dart of longing love, and do not give up, whatever happens. – The Cloud of Unknowing
Nebraska Contemplative Outreach is a volunteer organization. If you would like to help us pay for the upkeep of our website or providing informational materials for the events we sponsor or the library we offer to centering prayer groups, your donations are welcome. Thank you.
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