Divine Friendships: Exploring Christian Contemplative Classics.
Rolling Ridge is launching Divine Friendships, a new monthly series exploring Christian contemplative and devotional classics.
This series title draws its inspiration from a quote by the great 16th century Spanish mystic, Teresa of Avila, who described contemplative prayer as “a close sharing between friends”.
From the Christian perspective, divine friendships manifest themselves in at least three ways. The first is friendship within God expressed in the Holy Trinity. This is the original divine friendship out of which all the others flow. The second is friendship between God and the individual human person. The third is friendship between and among human persons united to each other through the Holy Spirit.
What can reading from Christian contemplative and devotional classics tell us about divine friendships? First, it can provide examples or templates for divine friendships showing us what they can look like. Second, it can help develop our own friendships with God by feeding our individual, unique practices of contemplative prayer. Third, it can help us to develop divine friendships with each other, grounded in the Holy Spirit.
I no longer speak of you as slaves . . . . Instead I call you friends. Jn15:15
Alan Dillingham, a former university professor and avid reader of Christian classics for over forty years, will facilitate this series, which will be held on the second Monday evening of every month from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Alan will facilitate the first part of each session by selecting a few key passages for the group to review, with commentary and background information on the author and the text. The second part will be a period of reflective conversation by group participants.
Previous sessions of Divine Friendships with blog and video options:
- Augustine’s Confessions: Blog on Augustine's Confessions. Video on Augustine's Confessions.
- The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis: Blog on Thomas' The Imitation of Christ. Video on Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis.
- Introduction to the Divine Life by Francis de Sales: Blog on the Introduction to the Divine Life. Video on the Introduction to the Divine Life by Francis de Sales.
- The Cloud of Unknowing by Anonymous: Blog on the Cloud of Knowing. Video on the Cloud of Unknowing.
Upcoming in the series:
- October 11, 2021 = The Journey of the Mind to God by St. Bonaventure
- November 8, 2021 = Meister Eckhart
Although there is no fee for this program, your generous donation to assist Rolling Ridge during COVID is greatly needed and appreciated. Thank you.