Church as Training Ground for the ‘Good Life’?

contemplationMany American are starting to ask questions about the “quality” of life as opposed to the “quantity” of stuff. I hope people of faith will step in to this questioning time with the “good news” about lives lived with simple joy, free from undue anxiety, bound by relationships of deep fidelity, and fueled by an economy of grace.

We need to be running classes in this stuff. We need to be leading the trainings – this is what Sunday worship should be about, a training ground for the Good Life in God.

Here’s a quote from Catholic hermit and spiritual writer Thomas Merton:

The life of contemplation in action and purity of heart is, then, a life of great simplicity and inner liberty. One is not seeking anything special or demanding any particular satisfaction. One is content with what is. One does what is to be done, and the more concrete it is, the better. One is not worried about the results of what is done. One is content to have good motives and not be too anxious about making mistakes. In this way one can swim with the living stream of life and remain at every moment in contact with God, in the hiddenness and ordinariness of the present moment with its obvious task.–Thomas Merton

From The Inner Experience: Notes on Contemplation (edited by William H. Shannon, HarperSanFrancisco, 2003)