Awakening: Wisdom and Lent

A Weekly publication of The Awakening Institute for Spiritual Formation,

Spiritual Direction and Soul Care

Hi Everyone, I pray that you, at this very moment, are experiencing the presence of God in your day. Now is a good time to be still and let God speak to your heart.

This week we continue to look at spiritual practices that can enhance of Lenten journey. This week we consider how Lent and Wisdom work together.

Wisdom and Lent

Wisdom is not something you see on most lists of spiritual disciplines. This is because at its core wisdom is not really a practice in terms of doing something as much as it is the cultivation of relationship with God, other people, and all creation that is void of any dualistic concepts, categories, opinions or judgement, beyond the fact that God loves all people and all creation. Wisdom at its core is the development of eyes and hearts that see through the eyes of God and love as God loves, thus recognizing the sacred and redeemable nature of all people and all things. Wisdom states categorically that God is everywhere and the all creation is sacred. This is especially poignant during Lent in light of Jesus’ words.

And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." NRS John 12:32

Do you see the all-inclusive nature of Christ’s drawing as God’s Love is demonstrated for all to see and respond? Lent at its core is a self-reflective time when we allow ourselves to be drawn to the foot of the Cross and to become fully open to the contrast between human fear, hate and sin and God’s perfect love that calls us to a choose between the two. The cross calls us to choose between darkness and light. It is here that Wisdom can be rejected or embraced, ignored or become effective in our lives. Wisdom is not something. Wisdom is someone. Wisdom is the ability to a make a choice that is informed by Love, which is unfathomable, and whose riches are beyond anything we can know with our intellect. Wisdom cannot be taught, it can only be lived. Christ is drawing us to life with a demonstration of perfect Love as he calls us to the cross upon which he has been lifted up. Wisdom offers us the ability to understand that which is beyond understanding. Wisdom is beyond simple understanding, as this is only intuitive by nature, and beyond science as science is limited to learnable facts and measurements. Wisdom thus is not simple knowing or intuition as much as it is consciousness, and ultimate wisdom is ultimate consciousness. All this being said let’s try to make a few observations regarding Christian wisdom. Please ponder these and let me know what you think.

What is Christian wisdom? 1

Wisdom is and was in Christ before the incarnation of Jesus. Wisdom was and is in Christ who is the eternal Word. Wisdom becomes manifest within the context of the perichoretical union of God and humanity, as first occurred in Jesus Christ. As divinity unites with humanity Wisdom, which is in Christ, becomes effective and accessible in human beings by the mind of Christ. This is what Paul was referring to when he wrote…

"For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ. NRS

1 Corinthians 2:16

Wisdom in its fullness is the ability to perceive and discern all things in and through a unified (transformed) consciousness, thus directing us toward the good, acceptable and the perfect.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God-- what is good and acceptable and perfect. NRS Romans 12:2

Wisdom is realized in the now of the moment as a contemplative/mystical experience in dialog and embrace with an intellectual struggle, forming a fluid dance where the two move in, about, and through one another forming a third thing we call wisdom. From a Trinitarian perspective we might say that Wisdom is the essence of divine knowing, which exists within the perichoretical union of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, made available to humanity as we step into, what Richard Rohr has referred to as, the Divine Dance.

1 Excerpted from The Awakening Institute class on Christian Wisdom to be held this Fall.

Save the Dates


Lectio Divina (3 hour seminar and practice)

April 29th from 9:00am-12:00noon

Introduction to the Enneagram (6 hour seminar)

May 20th from 9:00am to 3:00pm with 1 hour break for lunch

Centering Prayer (3 hour seminar and practice)

June 24th form 9:00am to 12:00 noon

Please email for details

Coming in the Fall of 2017

Introduction to the Enneagram Eleven Week Course

This is an Eleven week (27.5 hour) course into the fantastic world of the Enneagram.

This class will include an in-depth look into all nine spaces as well as their subtypes, wings, triads and Holy ideas, with emphasis on its usefulness within the context of spiritual direction and self-care.

Syllabus is now available;

Want to learn more about the important practice of spiritual direction, or are looking for a spiritual director to walk with you in your spiritual journey?

Contact “The Awakening Institute”

321-298-8801 or visit our website

Coming this Fall

Christian Mysticism in Today’s World

Course Description: This is an 12 week course, (2 1/2 hours per session), designed to help the student discover the most important dynamics of Christian Mysticism, both in its historical context as well as the many ways it has, and continues to develop today. We will use a three-fold approach, which includes 1) Defining mysticism historically and what it means for disciples today. 2) Answering the question, “Who is a mystic?” and 3) the way of the mystic.

Syllabus now available, email:

Upcoming Classes and Seminars

  • Introduction to Spiritual Direction

  • Contemplative Listening

  • Lectio Divina

  • Centering Prayer

  • Exploring Spiritual Dispositions

  • Introduction to the Enneagram

And much more…

Request a free syllabus today:

To register please call 321-298-8801

Or visit our website for a complete listing of available classes and a free syllabus for a class of your choice.

Community Bible Experience

This is an encounter with God’s Word designed for those who wish to experience the Scriptures at a deep heart level, as a way to inner transformation.

Coming in the summer of 2017

The Gospel of John

Watch for details

Do you know someone who would like to receive “Awakening” every Friday?

Send us their email address and we will make it happen.

Some recommendations for excellent spiritual guidance…

If you have others to share with our readers please send them to

Something to Ponder

Our spiritual and mystical destiny is to “awaken” to the fire that is within us, our happiness depends on the harmony-in-conflict that results from this awakening. Our vocation is a call to spiritual oneness in and with the logos.

Thomas Merton,

The Behavior of Titans, New York, New Direction, 1961,76

“Knowing as We Are Known: An Exercise in Inner Stillness”, by Eugene T. Yotka,

Imagine Seeing Yourself as God See’s You; The True You.

Imagine Living in Full Awareness of The Lord’s Presence in Your Life

Imagine Having a Deeper Sense of Being One of God’s Beloved Children

Imagine Hearing God’s Still Small Voice in a More Profound Manner

We all long to live from the center of an authentic self. Gene Yotka has provided an important resource for helping us identify and express a spiritual life from that center. His book is a gift. – Dr. Steve Harper, Professor of Spiritual Formation, Asbury Theological Seminary

Gene has demystified contemplative prayer and made it accessible to the average believer. – Dr. Stephen Seamands, Professor of Christian Doctrine, Asbury Theological Seminary

From Gene’s book I learned a lot about how to truly pray. -- Salvatore Buttaci, Author and Poet

Eugene Yotka's book changed my life. I have struggled with years of feeling lonely even though I had people in my life that I felt connected with and having been saved since I was 3 years old and felt I had a relationship with the Lord. But this book and practicing inner stillness brought me to a place of knowing God like I have never known Him before. I no longer feel alone and feel empowered to practice inner stillness daily to continue this awesome relationship with God. --Wanda, Amazon review

“Knowing as We Are Known: An Exercise in Inner Stillness”, by Eugene T. Yotka, offers a way to experience the true self where God speaks to our spirits telling us we are God’s children. We are created to live in the Presence of God, here and now, and to know inward stillness, peace, and tranquility as a way of life.

Available for $12.00 from The Awakening Institute for Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Direction and Soul Care

Immerse yourself in that still place within, in which God speaks to the true self that you have been created to be. This book is more than simply information about inner stillness; it is a guide into the experience of inner stillness itself. This is the author’s journey to that place where God speaks to our spirits and calls us children. This is a call not so much to do something as much as it is a call to be who God created us to be.

A Gathering of Spiritual Directors

This coming spring The Awakening Institute will host a gathering of spiritual directors. The reason for the gathering is to come together in prayer and to seek discernment regarding ways we can, together, raise awareness within the church of how spiritual direction can be a vehicle by which God’s presence and voice can be more deeply felt and more clearly heard, at both individual and congregational levels. If you are a spiritual director and would like to join in this conversation please contact Gene Yotka at 321-298-8801 or email for additional details.

Recommended Reading

(Additional to our daily Scripture reading)

  • Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer, by David-Steindl Rast

  • I Am A Follower, by Leonard Sweet

  • Becoming Human, By Jean Vanier

  • Knowing As We Are Known, by Eugene T. Yotka

  • Let Your Life Speak, by Parker Palmer

  • Desiring God’s Will, by David Benner

  • Walking In The Light, by Steve Harper

  • Thoughts in Solitude, by Thomas Merton

  • Incarnation: The Surprising Overlap of Heaven & Earth, by Will Willimon

  • The Mystic Way of Evangelism, by Elaine A. Heath

  • A Hidden Wholeness, by Parker Palmer

  • The Return of the Prodigal Son, by Henri Nouwen

  • Way of Love: Recovering the Heart of Christianity, by Norman Wirzba

  • Falling Upward, by Richard Rohr

  • Between the Dark and the Daylight, by Joan Chittister

  • New Seeds of Contemplation, by Thomas Merton

  • Love Henri, by Henri Nouwen

  • New! The Divine Dance, by Richard Rohr

Have Something You Would Like to Share?

Awakening would be blessed to receive original articles, poems, or artistic work that would be helpful and edifying for those interested in Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Direction, and/or Soul Care for future publication.

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