my summer project

My summer intention is to visit all the Labyrinths I can find here in Omaha Nebraska.  I thought I might keep you posted on which ones I have walked and share insights and reflections I have during the experience.

I have always enjoyed labyrinths.  I’m not sure why.  They are at the same time very simple and yet very complex.  To start my summer intention I have now read more about them and even how to build one so I am even more amazed at their complexity!!

I begin:

On Friday, May 26th I went to First Central Congregational Church, close to downtown about 36th and Harney.  Their Chartre labyrinth is painted blue on a grey patio.  (11 rings plus a 6-petal center)

While it was a busy afternoon with traffic nearby I was surprised how easy it was to ignore all the noise and busyness while walking the labyrinth.  That is what must come from a daily Centering Prayer practice!

My thoughts:

The meaning comes in the walking.

Am I willing to follow the path?

The path takes twists and turns similar to life’s journey. There are longer spaces without a turn which I enjoyed.  Hummm…

Sometimes it feels like I am going backwards.

Sometimes it is monotonous.

Then I reached the center and felt relief.

I walked out much more confident.


On June 3rd I walked the outdoor labyrinth at First United Methodist Church at 70th and Cass after the monthly Taíze service.  It was a warm sunny afternoon but the labyrinth was shaded by large old trees.   There is a sign by the area that has helpful information.  It is a Cretan Labyrinth dedicated in 2008.

My thoughts:

Shortcuts don’t produce what the long journey produces.

What does it mean to walk with God?

Follow where the path leads.

The spiritual journey requires intentionality.


If you have a summer intention you’d like to share, or a labyrinth I should know about,

please email me at

Cathy Mann Christiansen, Co-coordinator, Nebraska Contemplative Outreach


“You can’t get lost on a prayer labyrinth.”   Zachary Christiansen


Forgiving is one of the most difficult and complex gestures. Why is it a complex gesture? – because it is not the normal reaction of humans – our tendency is to get even or withhold when hurt. And yet, like love, it is one of the things which defines the essence of our humanity. 

Love makes us different from the animal world – they are into caring – we are into loving – it is the ‘hallmark’ of our humanity.  Forgiveness at its core is a divine gift of love, a movement of love so profound that it reveals the truth of our nature.  

Father Carl Arico

To be grateful…

To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us-and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. Gratitude, therefore, takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.

—Thomas Merton

Love is full of rest

And so I urge you, go after experience rather than knowledge. On account of pride, knowledge may often deceive you, but this gentle, loving affection will not deceive you. Knowledge tends to breed conceit, but love builds. Knowledge is full of labor, but love, full of rest.

– The Cloud of Unknowing

a prayer for today

May today there be peace within.

May I trust God that I am exactly where I am meant to be.

May I not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.

May I use those gifts that I have received,

And pass on the love that has been given to me.

May I be content knowing I am a child of God.

God let your Presence settle into my bones,

Allow my soul the freedom to dream, to serve, to praise and to love. Amen.

~ Mother Theresa

the Cloud of Unknowing

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.

giving God a chance to manifest

One of the values of centering prayer is that you are not thinking about God during the time of centering prayer so you are giving God a chance to manifest. In centering prayer there are moments of peace that give the psyche a chance to realize that God may not be so bad after all. God has a chance to be himself for a change.  -Thomas Keating