Contemplative Youth Ministry | Being Present to ‘The Other’

I volunteered to be part of the ‘grid blog’ flagging up Mark Yaconelli’s book ‘Contemplative Youth Ministry’, and duly received a copy to read from the publisher.

It’s very good. We were traveling up to Iona with some friends, one of whom was also reading it, and she was also very positive.

A quote I’d like to pull out is on page 101, where Mark is reflecting on the practice of contemplative prayer with young adults, as opposed to a ‘doing’ style:

“Sadly for many of us there are few precious moments among our many human interactions when we feel someone is fully present to us… If you look back over your life, you may find that the moments that had the greatest impact on you were moments when you were in the presence of someone who was fully present to you.”

This is the true essence of contemplation – not that we find ourselves, but that we engage with ‘the other’; not that we become centred, but that we find space for ‘the other’ within our centre, and thus become fully present to them.

And if we can help people to begin this journey when they’re young – then all the better.


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