• Image by Jan Alexander from Pixabay

    Discernment Part 1: A Personal Story

    By Kathy Keary Part 1 of 4. Find all the articles here.  As a spiritual director, it is not uncommon for people to seek my assistance as they sort out where God is leading them. We all engage in discernment throughout our lives with varying degrees of consequence. As we begin a series on discernment, […]

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    Etched in the Landscape: Finding God in Creation

    By Kathy Keary In our last article in the series, An Invitation to Something New: The Contemplative Life, I described a personal theophany, a profound experience when the presence of God unmistakably sang a divine love song to me at the ocean shore. As described in, Spirit of Love: Celebrating the Sacred, I was deeply […]

  • Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

    Spirit of Love: Celebrating the Sacred

    By Kathy Keary “The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; he will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, he will sing joyfully because of you, as one sings at festivals.” Zephaniah 3:17, 18a It was a gorgeous morning, not a cloud in the sky. The day […]

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    From the Heart: Contemplative Communication — Part 2

    By Kathy Keary Part 2 of 2. Read Part 1 Here. In our last article, the Circle was described as a tool that enables participants to speak and listen from the heart in a sacred and safe atmosphere promoting growth in compassion for others. In this article, we will outline the format and ten essential […]

  • From the Heart: Contemplative Communication

    By Kathy Keary The Circle is a method of contemplative communication where members find themselves totally present to others. Participants not only speak from the heart but also listen from the heart. It’s an effective tool in a spiritual, family, or secular setting and can be used for many purposes including healing, reconciliation, community building, […]

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    Video 3 — Focusing: Listening to the Wisdom of the Body for Healing

    By Kathy Keary This is our third video on focusing. Focusing is a life-giving spiritual meditation that honors the wisdom that lies within us. Focusing speaks to us in a way that can be felt in our bodies. Undoubtedly, we are living in troubled times, not only in our nation but in the world and […]

  • by Kathy Keary. The lake on the campus of Precious Blood Renewal Center.

    The Healing Power of Contemplative Prayer

    by Kathy Keary In our world today, so much is happening. It can gnaw at our sense of well-being. A common question in the hearts of many is: where do I turn to heal my wounded soul? The comforting power of contemplative prayer in times of difficulty cannot be overstated. The past few weeks we […]

  • Video 2 — Focusing: Listening to the Wisdom of the Body for Healing

    By Kathy Keary This is the second of three videos in this series. All videos are here. Today we continue our series of videos that look at Focusing, a technique developed by University of Chicago psychologist Eugen Gendlin. Gendlin found that his clients were more likely to improve if they had a relationship with feelings […]

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    Focusing: Reverencing the Wisdom of the Body for Healing 3

    This is Part 3 of a 3 Part series. Read all the articles here. By Kathy Keary In our previous articles, background information and the mechanics of focusing were outlined. Videos supplemented the articles. I suspect that for many, this was your first exposure to this type of spiritual meditation. In this article, I will […]

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    Focusing: Listening to the Wisdom of the Body for Healing 2

    By Kathy Keary This is Part 2 of a 3 Part series. Read all the articles here. In our first article, an introduction to focusing was provided. The specific steps involved in focusing are outlined below. I think it will be helpful for you to see the process in action, so we will offer a series […]

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    Focusing: Listening to the Wisdom of the Body for Healing 1

    By Kathy Keary This is Part 1 of a 3 Part series. Read all the articles here. Stress seems to be a part of many people’s lives. The sense of unease seems to be amplified during the pandemic. Many are unemployed and struggling to put food on the table. Some are teaching their children at […]

  • Using Our Bodies in Prayer

    By Kathy Keary In our series on contemplative living, an element that stands out is that prayer goes way beyond words. In a matter of fact, words in many instances are a barrier to intimacy with our Maker. When we engage mind, spirit and body in prayer, our whole being is engaged. The whole person […]

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    The Fruits of Contemplation

    By Kathy Keary This is Part 4 of a 4 Part series. Read all the articles here. I answered the call to divine communion through centering prayer nine years ago. Ever since, I have heard and accepted the invitation that lures me into the depths of my soul to spend sacred time with my Maker. The […]

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    Contemplation: Going Deeper into Silence

    By Kathy Keary This is Part 3 of a 4 Part series. Read all the articles here. In this article, I am relying on the wisdom of David Frenette in his book, The Path of Centering Prayer: Deepening Your Experience of God as the concepts presented are quite lofty but awe-inspiring in my humble estimation. […]

  • Contemplation: The Use of Breath and Image in Centering Prayer

    This is Part 2 of a 4 Part series. Read all the articles here. In our introduction to centering prayer, we discussed using the sacred word as a method of expressing our intent to be open to the indwelling presence and action of God in the deepest center of our being. We now turn our […]

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    Contemplation: Communion with the Divine

    By Kathy Keary This is Part 1 of a 4 Part series. Read all the articles here. The word, “contemplation,” means different things to different people. In this series of four articles, I am referring to contemplation as a deep loving communion with the divine. It is a resting and simply being in God. Contemplation […]

  • Reconcilation Labyrinth at Precious Blood Renewal Center

    Walking the Reconciliation Labyrinth: A Contemplative Practice Part 3

    By Kathy Keary Part 3 of a 3 Part Series. | Read Part 1 here. | Read Part 2 here. The reconciliation labyrinth at Precious Blood Renewal Center was constructed in 2016 in response to Pope Francis’ declaration of the Holy Year of Mercy. The pope asserted at that time that the world was in need of […]

  • The Reconciliation Labyrinth on the grounds of Precious Blood Renewal Center, Liberty, Mo.

    Walking the Labyrinth: A Contemplative Practice Part 2

    By Kathy Keary Part 2 of a 3 Part Series. | Read Part 1 here. | Read Part 3 here. May 2, Saturday, is World Labyrinth Day, a celebration promoted by The Labyrinth Society. On that day at 1 p.m., no matter what time zone one is in, everyone should walk a labyrinth with the […]

  • Photos of paths speak to me of our life’s journey.

    Eyes and Heart Wide Open: The Practice of Contemplative Photography

    By Kathy Keary For years I have captured the beauty of nature on my camera. As I look through my photos, I see breathtaking sunsets, the vastness of oceans, the immense varieties of trees, flowers, and faces, the splendor of mountains, and the density of forests. I am particularly drawn to paths as they speak […]

  • Art Journaling Picture 1

    Adding Your Own Color: The Contemplative Practice of Art Journaling

    By Kathy Keary The beauty of creation never ceases to amaze me. I am awestruck when I see a colorful sunset. I find the thousands of stars that grace a dark country sky breathtaking. Trees in all seasons of the year captivate me. The roaring of the ocean finds me spellbound. Flowers of many colors […]

  • Image by Dean Moriarty from Pixabay

    Writing from the Heart: The Contemplative Practice of Journaling

    Contemplative practices connect our souls intimately with the divine that lives within us. Over time we begin to mirror our inherent likeness to the One who created us and delights in us. Contemplation can give a seeking soul an experience of a felt sense of the Living God within. This experience is always a precious […]

  • A Prayer Box

    Using Imagination in Prayer

    In his book The Universal Christ, Richard Rohr recalls the wisdom of Elizabeth Barrett Browning: “Earth’s crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God; but only he who sees takes off his shoes…” A life of contemplation opens us to the possibility to be among those who see and instinctively take off their […]

  • Be Not Afraid tapestry

    Contemplative Prayer: The Five Steps of Visio Divina

    By Kathy Keary The tapestry shown above hangs in my home and has sparked numerous moments of deep reflection and prayer over the past several years. Various elements of the picture have stood out to me at different times depending on what is happening in my life at that moment. There are times when I […]

  • la Pensadora

    Contemplative Prayer: The Five Steps of Lectio Divina

    By Kathy Keary In our series, An Invitation to Something New, contemplation has been described as the awareness and attention to all of life through which we discover the embrace of God’s love. But how do we become people who embrace the reality that all of life and creation are sacred? How do we come […]

  • “Christ in the House of Martha and Mary,” 1628, by Jan Bruegel and Peter Paul Rubens. National Gallery of Ireland

    Out of Contemplation Grows Action

    By Kathy Keary “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” —Matthew 11:28 The stress in our world today can be overwhelming. We find no solace by turning on the news to learn the latest developments of the pandemic that is wreaking havoc not only across the […]

  • When Your Soul Yearns and Pines

    By Kathy Keary In this article, we will reflect on the Sacred Word that speaks of divine love, God’s desire to be in communion with us, and the yearning in our heart to find the living God deep within. It might be helpful for you to read out loud the Scripture passages that are referenced. […]

  • It’s All About the Kiss

    By Kathy Keary Just picture it: God kissing your soul before placing it in your body. Isn’t that beautiful? This is how some mystics through the ages have spoken about divine union. With that kiss, God placed in each of us a desire for communion with the divine. Throughout life we have a recollection of […]

  • An Invitation to Something New

    An Invitation to Something New

    By Kathy Keary The most transforming event of my life remains when my daughter and I lost our house and the majority of our belongings in a fire eighteen years ago. As I drove away from the remains of our once-cozy home, I wholeheartedly knew that I was embarking on a life-changing spiritual journey. I […]