"Spiritual formation cannot be forced, only prepared for. Hence its means cannot be those of conquest, but only of facilitation and preparation." [Adrian van Kaam, Studies in Formative Spirituality, I, 2 (1980), 303]

Course: Living! Not just Coping

A Contemplative Psychology for our Times

JCatherine Hammond

Starts Wednesday 2 May
Based on the classic by psychiatrist Gerald May, this course will explore the implications of being willing rather than willful in living life to the full – not just ‘getting by’.

* Willingness: openness to surrender to a reality greater than oneself;

* Willfulness: setting oneself apart from the deepest reality in an attempt to master one’s own destiny.

Illustrating the way a willing attitude can change one’s whole outlook, we’ll turn to some outstanding women and men to see how they approached challenges and dark periods in their lives:

Augustine, Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton, Elisabeth Ann Seton, Francis de Sales, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, Mary MacKillop, Pope Francis, etc.

Far from signifying a doormat stance, eg, ‘I let life walk all over me’, a surrendered and grateful outlook is a key to true contemplative living. Some of the topics we'll cover are:

  • The quest for love, union and being
  • Fear – self-image and spirituality
  • Tension, attention and attachment
  • On being a pilgrim and a helper

Catherine Hammond has degrees in education, creative writing and philosophy. She has lectured in tertiary institutions over a number of years in the US and Australia, and especially enjoyed giving classes in philosophical psychology.

Presenter: Catherine Hammond BS in Ed, MA, MPh
Where: Aquinas Academy, Level 5, 141 Harrington St, The Rocks, Sydney
When: Four Wednesday mornings, 10am – 12noon, May 2 - 23
Cost: $144/per person

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