“Dwelling in God’s Presence” If there is any focus that the Christian leader of the future will need, it is the discipline of dwelling in the presence of the One who keeps asking us, “Do you love me? Do you love me? Do you love me?” It is the discipline of contemplative prayer. Through contemplative prayer we can keep ourselves from being pulled from one urgent issue to another and from becoming strangers to God and our own heart. Contemplative prayer keeps us home, rooted, safe, even when we are on the road, moving from place to place, and often surrounded by sounds of violence and war. Contemplative prayer deepens in us the knowledge that we are already free, that we have already found a place to dwell, that we already belong to God, even though everything and everyone around us keeps suggesting the opposite. (Henri Nouwen)
We all have a role to play in Christian leadership, not just the bishop, priests or deacons, not just those who work for the church in roles of parish staff or volunteer leaders. In whatever job we do, in whatever vocation we have, something needs our leadership and we simply cannot do this in healthy ways without, as Fr. Henri Nouwen says, contemplation. This Lent, as the last weeks of this holy season continue on, let’s deepen our prayer together in Christ.