Author John O’Neil says even the most cherished strengths of character have a shadow.

Dedication can become workaholism… Sympathetic joy can degenerate into compulsively drawing comparisons… Firm resolve can become blind rigidity…[1] Even the most cherished aspirations of the human soul can turn back on themselves and become twisted beyond recognition.

I have heard it said, “Where angels are most, devils are most.” This is certainly true of religion. The angel of passionate dedication to selfless service can turn into the devil of intoxicating absolutist zeal stopping at nothing to obtain its objectives. How do we keep the angel from growing fangs and horns? The answer is remaining anchored in Jesus according to the mystics.

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Jesus is the ultimate shaman, bridging the material world and the spiritual world. He’s the nonviolent master who spoke the three most revolutionary words of the Bible, “Love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27, 35). He’s the dynamic One, who shatters the false dichotomies of sacred and profane, us and them. The genius of the Alexandrian Mystics is their center of gravity: The Jesus Paradox.

[1] O’Neil, Success and Your Shadow.


David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer reenergized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings.  Centering Prayer Meditations: Effortless Contemplation to Deepen Your Experience of God is a wonderful companion audio program  created to be equally rewarding as a stand-alone guide – gives listeners an immersive resource to learn contemplative prayer, step by step and in the moment. With clarity and compassionate presence, Frenette explains the essential principles of this contemplative practice for both new and seasoned practitioners, and then guides us experientially through core prayers and meditations