Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Eugene Peterson on the Contemplative Life

The first of many quotes from a recent Eugene Peterson talk. I will post the link later, but want to give you a couple of snippets, because they are so pithy and good, even in a truncated fashion.
If there's a single word that identifies the contemplative life, it is congruence—congruence between ends and means, congruence between what we do and the way we do it. So we admire an athlete whose body is accurately and gracefully responsive and totally submissive to the conditions of the event. When Michael Jordan played basketball, he was one with the court, the game, the basketball and his fellow players. Or take a musical performance in which Mozart, a Stradivarius and Yitzak Perlman all fuse indistinguishably in the music.

Congruence also occurs often enough in more modest settings: a child unselfconsciously at play; a conversation in which the exchange of words becomes a ballet revealing all manner of truth and beauty and goodness; a meal with friends in a quiet awareness of affection and celebration, a mingling of senses and spirit that adds a eucharistic dimension to the evening.

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