Matthew 22:36-40: “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
The glory of God is the human person fully alive. ― St. Irenaeus
Spiritual formation prepares us for a life in which we move away from our fears, compulsions, resentments, and sorrows, to serve with joy and courage in the world, even when this leads us to places we would rather not go. Spiritual formation helps us to see the face of God in the midst of a hardened world and in our own heart. ― Henri J.M. Nouwen, “Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of the Spirit”
If we consider the invitation to love as one of the primary goals of our lives as Christians, spiritual formation helps us to move along the continuum toward more love—more love for and with God, ourselves, and others.
This might look like different things at different times…
- …like prayer practices that help us to connect to the sacred and know God more deeply.
- …like weekly groups where we tell our sacred stories within our spiritual autobiographies to one another, getting to know ourselves and each other more.
- …like showing up at Pride events to proclaim the radically inclusive love of God to everyone.
- …like joining with our Muslim siblings in solidarity when some questioned their right to have a permanent place within our community
- …like purchasing hygiene and art supplies for women incarcerated in the jails in LA County, reminding them they are not forgotten.
All this is practice as we grow toward who we are called to be in the world: people who know God deeply through the teachings, life, death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ, know themselves and others as beloved by God, and seek to live and bring these understandings to the world through prayer, worship, and action.
Currently we are studying compassion through the curriculum developed by The Center for Engaged Compassion at Claremont School of Theology. In the past we have engaged in spiritual autobiography groups and worked through The Artist’s Way together. We also offer a weekly online group for Centering Prayer, and a book group that meets on Fridays to discuss the current book selection, chosen to help us better understand current issues, especially concerning religion.
Contact us to learn about our current and future offerings.