The stillness is surprising every time I pull into the Falcon Heights Church lot and get out of the car.
Like an island of calm nestled between the big city of Saint Paul and the bigger city of Minneapolis.
Go three blocks north from Larpenteur Avenue, and it’s obvious you’re in a suburb. Go west, a few blocks past the busy expanse of lanes that is Snelling, and you see the fields of the Ag Campus of the U.
What people seek in the spiritual life, right?
But everything right now tells us to ACT. RESIST!
And yet, from the inner silence and inner solitude we long to cultivate in the contemplative life, we engage even more deeply in the life that serves, resists, and acts.
In the third century, ascetics like Abba Anthony and Amma Theodora fled into the Syrian desert, leaving what they saw as a corrupt Church behind in order to live life closer to God.
Yet, that flight opened up a contemplative journey that eventually came full-circle and inspired modern mystics like Thomas Merton, Esther DeWaal, and Richard Rohr to connect contemplation and action in ways that speak to us today.
Because even if we embrace the contemplative life as an escape from a frustrating, hate-filled world, before too long we cross the threshold into an active life and a world we see through new eyes.
Eyes of compassion.
A new partnership with God.
So, from this island of peace, the church called Falcon Heights, from this contemplative place within, we see, judge, and act in the name of Jesus—for equality, against prejudice, and in spite of privilege.
This blog has had a number of incarnations. This next one will share from this loving church—the only one in the city of Falcon Heights—situated on the borderland between city and suburb.