On the way out of a Julian meeting here in Southampton recently, I was told of a wonderful speech that the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams made to the Synod of Bishops in Rome last October. I don’t know what you think of the man, but he is someone I have met and hugely respect for his knowledge, theology, and poems. This in fact was the first time any Archbishop of Canterbury had ever addressed the Catholic Bishops. I wondered what his speech would be about; what significant thing would be bring on such an auspicious occasion. Well, you can read the text in full here.
Here are the headlines using some of the words from the website:
…it was all about the profound connection between contemplation and the task of evangelism; that it must be rooted in a profound confidence that we have a distinctive human destiny to show and share with the world; that a contemplative approach to life is what helps us grow and become fully human by allowing us to open our hearts to God’s wishes…here is a little quote:
“… contemplation is very far from being just one kind of thing that Christians do: it is the key to prayer, liturgy, art and ethics, the key to the essence of a renewed humanity that is capable of seeing the world and other subjects in the world with freedom – freedom from self-oriented, acquisitive habits and the distorted understanding that comes from them. To put it boldly, contemplation is the only ultimate answer to the unreal and insane world that our financial systems and our advertising culture and our chaotic and unexamined emotions encourage us to inhabit. To learn contemplative practice is to learn what we need so as to live truthfully and honestly and lovingly. It is a deeply revolutionary matter.”
Wow, how exciting, and very encouraging as we journey into the new year on this incredibly exciting path of contemplation. Let God come to us afresh this Christmas and break into our interior worlds through his Son Jesus Christ. Let go, and let him in to every place within.