Contemplatio

Welcome to this website. These beautiful words from Julian of Norwich that invite us to behold, say so much to me about how I hope that this website will support our contemplation. I will offer meditations, writings, schola contemplatio and opportunities to enter into the depths of mystical texts, to behold and relate them to our prayer and to our lives. Echoing Julian’s invitation to behold, the author of the Cloud of Unknowing, invites to behold with “the mind of good God only,” to be touched by the stirrings of love and drawn into ever fuller oneness with God in love. His words are so full of invitation:

“And then we can do nothing more than behold God and enjoy God,

 with the most wonderful desire to be all one-ed in God and enter 

God’s dwelling, attend to the wooing, enjoy the loving,

and delight in God’s goodness …”

Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love.

“We need no more, than the mind of good God only, with a reverent stirring of lasting love; so that means you get nothing but God. If you keep whole the stirring of love that you feel by grace in your heart, and do not scatter from your beholding, then the stirring will tell you when you should speak and when you should be still. This stirring of love will govern you discreetly in all your living, and teach you mistily.”

The Cloud of Unknowing Seer, The Discretion of Stirrings.

If you would like to receive information about upcoming silent retreats, meditations, cor teachings, please subscribe to my mailing list below. 

May we follow these stirrings of love together.  

Upcoming Formation Course for Spiritual Directors and Contemplatives, 2024

Mystic Heart: Spiritual Direction in the Light of Contemplation
Union with God

10-11th August 2024
Santa Casa Queenscliff Victoria and Online

Spiritual Direction Formation Programme for spiritual directors and those interested in contemplation

To love God in God, for in this union the soul is ardently absorbed in love of God

 and God in great ardour surrendersGod’s self to the soul.

John of the Cross, The Living Flame of Love, 3.82.

Overview

Drawing on great mystical classics from the Western and Orthodox traditions, in this Mystic Heart formation offering, we will explore the Christian tradition of mystical union, delving into  language such as the prayer of union, transformation of the soul in God, the unitive way, ecstatic union, mystical marriage, oneing, living in Christ, Trinitarian indwelling, boundless fulfilment, beatific vision, and deification.  In particular we will focus on the naturally kenotic nature of contemplative prayer and the nuances of language such as yielding, surrendering, releasing, descending, emptying, voiding, abandoning, pouring and flowing.  Attention will also be given to the sacred role of suffering in this transforming union. 

In communion, within a trustworthy sacred space, we will expand and deepen our emphasis on the nuances of the transformation of consciousness that occur through contemplation.  With a focus on mystical union, we will further sensitize to the intricacies of the inter-relationship between the sensual knowing of the bodily senses, the sexual energies of eros, the spiritual vivaciousness of the mystical senses, the ecstasy of mystical union and the apophatic intuition that arises from yielding into the unknown in God in the oneing of Love.  

Attention will be given to how spiritual directors may facilitate, in the spiritual direction encounter, the dissolving of binary thought patterns that compartmentalize ways of knowing, awaken new sensitivities to the touchings of Spirit, finetune the artistry of discernment, and support the one praying in surrendering into an ever deepening and expanding, evolving, oneing in Love.  

   For further information, please feel free to contact Robyn Fitzgerald (robfitz65@gmail.com)

Upcoming Silent Retreats, 2024

The Beloved’s Desire

June 7 - June 12, 2024
Santa Casa, Queenscliff, Victoria

I am my Beloved’s, 

the Beloved’s desire is for me.

Song of Songs 7:11 

Expressing our longing, yearning, thirsting for God is at the heart of what it means to be human.   Through immersing ourselves in the extravagant tradition of desire in the Psalms, Song of Songs and in mystical writings, in this silent retreat, we will centre in the eternal yearning of divine love kindling our desire to seek and love our God fully.  We will awaken our heart senses and be inspired by the writings of mystics such as Bernard of Clairvaux, Thomas Gallus, Mechthild of Magdeburg, Hadewijch of Brabrant, The Cloud of Unknowing, Symeon the New Theologian, Gregory Palamas, Teilhard de Chardin and many others as we explore the energies of love and the evolutionary nature of desire.    We will ruminate on how these mystics invite us to live from our oneing in divine desire and inspire us to enjoy living life passionately.  Minne – Love’s words to Mechthild encompass the atmosphere of the retreat: 

That I love you passionately comes from my nature, 

for I am Love itself. 

That I love you often comes from my desire, 

for I desire to be loved passionately. 

That I love you long comes from my being eternal, 

for I am without an end and without a beginning.

For further information and to register, please email Sister Lizzie at: santacasa@ismapng.org.au

Silent Loving
A Silent Directed Retreat

July 12 - July 19, 2024
St. Joseph’s Kincumber, NSW

I come into my garden, my Beloved my promised spouse; 

I gather my myrrh and my balsam,

I eat my honey and my honeycomb,

I drink my wine and my milk.  

Eat friends, and drink,

Drink deep, my dearest friends. 

Song of Songs 5:1.

Inspired by the silent beauty of the gardens of St Joseph’s, Kincumber, in this silent directed retreat, we will drink deeply, enjoy, imbibe Love’s presence, and focus on the stirrings of love in our heart.  Personal spiritual direction will be offered each day to retreatants, to support us in the art of contemplation.  

 For further information and to register, click here 

The Fragrance of Oneing

Sept 15-Sept 21, 2024
Villa Maria Spirituality Centre Brisbane.

The Beloved is mine and I am the Beloved’s.

Song of Songs 2:16

 

admin@adorations.org.auIn this silent retreat, we will awaken the senses of the heart, as we enter into the repose of communing silence.  We will be inspired by the beauty of images of mystical union in the Song of Songs, mystical illuminations, and the writings of mystics such as Hadewijch of Brabant, Mechthild of Magdeburg,  Julian of Norwich, The Cloud of Unknowing, Bernard of Clairvaux, Bonaventure, Abhishiktananda and the evolving contemporary expressions of oneness.   We will ruminate on how these mystics invite us into oneness in the ground of our heart and inspire us to enjoy living from this ground. 

 For further information and to register, contact Villa Maria Spirituality Centre at admin@adorations.org.au

Recent Teachings

Contemplation and Compassion: Transformative Capacities for our World

An Inter-Contemplative Dialogue with Dr Eva Natanya

In this dialogue, two contemplatives, Dr Eva Natanya and Dr Kerrie Hide, will meet in the ground of their hearts and reflect upon the spiritual, theological, philosophical, social and ecological insights that evolve from the contemplative wisdom streams of Christianity and Buddhism.  Arising from the ground of contemplation, this inter-contemplative dialogue will inspire and invite a shared awareness of how contemplation, by its very nature, arouses compassion.  Eva and Kerrie will model how this inter-contemplative dialogue, that flows from the ground of being, draws listeners into this same ground, inviting oneness in compassion.  The illumination of this wisdom, and the transformative capacities it nurtures, will be expounded in relation to the healing of the world.  

After exploring what is meant by “contemplation”, the conversation will highlight the spiritual traditions and practices that have shaped the contemplative lives of both women. The nuances of the awakening of what Kerrie describes as “oneing heart awareness” and Eva, “the awareness of awareness”, will be delved into sensitively and deeply.  How to nurture and cultivate this awareness, and the ways such language can be applied across orthodoxies and disciplines will be addressed.  Eva and Kerrie will reflect together on how a life of contemplation, evokes compassion and a capacity to be with the deepest traumas of our time, in ways that bring deep and lasting healing.  They will expand on how contemplation awakens a communal, evolutionary, unitive consciousness, releasing the creativity to dynamically participate in the transformation, transfiguration and transubstantiation of the world. 

A profound dimension of this conversation will be the witness of both women to dialogue as contemplation.   Enacting the deep meaning of dialogue, from the Greek word dialogos, logos meaning “the word”, and dia meaning “through”, participants will taste the wisdom that emerges when dialogue takes place through the Word that flows from the ground of contemplation.  In this way, dialogue moves beyond comparison into communion. The dialogue begins with a guided meditation and was facilitated by Dr Robyn Fitzgerald.

A teaching on the wisdom of Beatrice Bruteau

…we (in our true self, our deepest root) are at the centre, with Absolute Being itself; we are united with the Infinite Being which tends to be, to be more, to be in every possible way. We are not merely an expressed; we are also the expressor.

Beatrice Bruteau, Radical Optimism, 131

I  invite you to enjoy this recent teaching on the luminous thought of the late contemplative and philosopher Beatrice Bruteau whose wisdom on contemplation is especially poignant for this season of the Ascension. Contemplation, for Beatrice, is being so united within the energy field of intimate creative union in God, that we live the divine life. We are an expression of oneing. Beatrice affirms that whilst initially, contemplation was thought of as a movement of consciousness from the world to God, now we recognize that contemplation is a manifestation of God in the world. Contemplation is, “a movement of consciousness from God, with God, in God, as God, out into the world, a movement in which the divine consciousness and my consciousness, flowing together, stream out in love and in creative, healing, beautifying energy to create the world and make it even better.” (Bruteau, Radical Optimism, 132.)  This teaching is part of a five-day silent retreat, Oneness in Luminous Presence, offered in 2021.    Two meditations accompany this teaching.     For a guided meditation before the meditation, click here.   For a guided meditation to follow on from the teaching click here.  This teaching formed part of a five-day retreat Oneness in Luminous Presence  which is  available for purchase by clicking here.

Retreats and Spiritual Direction

I invite you to join me in the shared ground of Love’s silence…

Writings

Composed in silence, these writings invite you to enter more deeply into the Word…..

Schola Contemplatio

 These meditations seek to awaken communion consciousness in the light of contemplation…