Week 2 Day 6: Contentment

Question: Are you content right now?

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Transcript of Video:

One of the ancient words in the monastic vocabulary is contentment, which is incredibly counter-cultural. Contentment: from the Latin contentus, which means enough, it means sufficient. It’s the opposite of a kind of appetite of acquisition. But it’s rather saying: now is what is most important, not what is new but what is now. One of the downsides of this capacity we have to be virtually present all over the globe is distraction actually pulling us away from where we really are now. But the Psalm says, “Be still and know that I am God.” And the Psalm says, “My boundaries enclose a pleasant land.” Contentment is about staying where you are, looking at it more deeply and realizing with deep gratitude that this is enough, and for this I am thankful.

-Br. Curtis Almquist


  1. Dennis on March 7, 2020 at 09:51

    Contentment has never been an issue for me. Even though I haven’t always been where I want to be, I’ve learned to make the best of what I have and where I am at any particular time.

    I have to say that now, I am very content.

  2. Dennis on March 6, 2020 at 15:52

    Yes, Very. This hasn’t really been an issue for most of my life. Though I haven’t always been where I want to be I make the best of each situation.

  3. Janet on April 7, 2019 at 19:33

    I am content, it’s new. It didn’t happen without serious introspection on: work, health, love, play, spirituality and the poetics of illness (cancer.) I realize that I will not be content in the future, but it is exactly this kind of meditation that we are doing together that guides me. Being part of a community of care is essential for me to be content.

  4. Jaan Sass on March 15, 2019 at 14:23

    I guess in my life the passion to want more is a controlling factor. For me it shows up in the acquisition of music movies and electronic gadgets. Especially during my manic episodes I buy a lot of useless junk.To let go and be content with myself and possessions and my progress in life still eludes me.

  5. Carney on March 14, 2019 at 06:56

    Presently, I am recovering from my second rotator cuff surgery. The time period around my first surgery was during a very difficult time for me, and I was far from content. It was one of those life periods that you simply have to put one foot in front of the other and endure. Remarkably I had discovered SSJE about a year prior to that surgery. I had been practicing the daily word meditations and sermons faithfully. I gave thanks and continue to give thanks to this organization for their presence in this world. With this second surgery, I feel contentment. Is it that I only have two shoulders or is it that I am mentally, emotionally, and spiritually in a different place? Who’s to know? All I know is that I want it (whatever “it” is) to stay with me and carry me through to the end. Amen.

  6. Brenda on March 12, 2019 at 21:45

    Yes I am.

  7. Gwedhen Nicholas on March 12, 2019 at 11:10

    I would say that I am content now, to be where I am. For years I struggled against what I had, wanting something different in my life, to be something more. I am finally humble enough to thank God for what I have and what I am. A far as material things, and where I live and what God wants for me, I am content with what I have now, and the boundaries which contain my life. I can live out of them now, accepting them for what they are, and what I am, and what I am capable of.

    • Eileen Harakal on March 12, 2019 at 13:02

      I often pray with the phrase, “My boundaries enclose a pleasant land.” Part literally: living on miles of parkland and Lake Michigan in the heart of Chicago, the best of urban and rural. And my home in the sky with views that change hourly. More deeply, my “land” is now old age, and it has many blessings and rewards. One is to have become tough enough for the physical challenges, knowing that angels line the route. Mostly it is living into each day’s small comforts, finding joy in the smallest of moments. When I was young and angst abounded, I never imagined that I would be so content in the end phase of life. More often than not, laughter and relaxed sighs abound. Always, and all ways, with gratitude to God deep in my mind and heart.

  8. Rosemary on March 12, 2019 at 07:38

    This is a tough one for me. Am I content? Across-the-board I’d say no. However it is this drive that keeps me going. Keeps me working. Keeps me trying to be a better mom a better wife a better business person . However I know that this drive is also my downfall. It stops me from a lot of things. It stops me from gratitude. It stops me from being present. I struggle with this issue every day. I feel if I reach contentment I will stop.

  9. Kimber on March 5, 2015 at 16:26

    Yes, today, I can honestly say that I am content. There are many reasons for me to not be content. I found out that a co-worker got an assignment that I had wanted. I’m feeling stretched financially. My house is a mess. I’m grieving the loss of a couple of friendships that meant a lot to me. And I’m battling a few personal demons, including depression. But I’m also thankful for what I have, which is so much—a wonderful husband, dear family members, a supportive and challenging faith community, many God-given talents, etc., etc., etc. So, yes, I am content. I’ve gotten to that stage of life when I’m wanting to simplify my life, minister where I am, take time for myself and God, and in general be rather than do. (Now, tomorrow that may all change. According to human nature, I am a fickle being, so….)

  10. shawn on March 2, 2015 at 10:56

    At the moment I am restless, irritable and discontent and not sure why. I do pray and meditate faithfully, read scripture, attend church regularly, study in EFM, joined Lent Madness and work hard in counseling and other self help activities. Something is amiss.

  11. Craig Sugden on March 1, 2015 at 20:58

    I have worked my whole life to get to be where I am now. I am living a life in which I am growing and learning new things all the time. I am living a life of challenges to serve others. I am content when I am allowed to explore and do the things I wish and not what is forced upon me.

  12. Karen on March 1, 2015 at 18:57

    I’m not content right now because I’m always thinking, “I should and I ought…” In addition, I haven’t accomplished my dearest dreams. But I am very grateful for where I am now, happily married with a good job and the ability to support my mother.

  13. Susan on March 1, 2015 at 17:27

    Whump. Super question. The first answer is, “no, I’m fretting, I’m rushing, I’m behind, maybe I’m overwhelmed.” Not content, not even thinking contentment. Doing what has to be done. Then, “but might I be? Does the notion of contentment ring any bells for me? It is enough.” Oh, yes. Yes. I have been content and actually I have a sense that contentment is available to me in each day, pretty well. But the question helps me think about my orientation. Also, mind you, about how I spend my days, my life.

  14. Elizabeth S. on February 28, 2015 at 23:57

    Yes and No. I’m inconsistently content. Things come along that shake my contentment. Or I’ll think or say that I am, but my behavior doesn’t reflect it.

  15. Mark on February 28, 2015 at 23:17

    Yes I am content but should I be?

  16. Sophfronia on February 28, 2015 at 20:36

    Right now? No, I am not content right now. I’m not content because I’ve been doing exactly what Brother Curtis described: looking outside of my own space and realm. When I’m focused on my own work I am content to plod along and craft the best writing I can. But when I look around and see what seems like so many other projects coming to fruition, I feel frustrated and impatient. I want to go faster, to push something to happen. However I know the work that would come of such emotions would only reflect those emotions. So I’m taking a cue from Brother Curtis. I will come back to my desk and be grateful for the time and space I have right now to work. All is well right now, in this moment. I will wait upon the Lord and know my work will prosper in its own time.

  17. David Cranmer on February 28, 2015 at 20:04

    Several years ago I came to understand that the struggle is the gift. And then more recently I came to realize that what comes my way comes through the filter of God’s providence and will be used to shape me to be like Jesus and to serve more effectively. Because I know these things, I am content, even though I would like to be more like Jesus. I know that God is working in my life His will, and that makes me content.

  18. Judy Hulse on February 28, 2015 at 19:58

    I am content maybe for the first time in my life and I am approaching my 6th decade on this wonderful earth. I am thankful each new day and I let God know this. There is peace deep within my soul and it is such a good feeling! The road here has been very long and winding but I can say it was all worth it. Judy

  19. Martha on February 28, 2015 at 17:43

    I woke up this morning (2/28) not content, despite a wonderful evening last night. I felt wistful and sorry it had passed. And I focused on little things that I felt had gone wrong (not that anyone else would notice) I had some other things on my mind. But then I stopped to think how blessed and lucky I was to have the friendships I have I and I found my way back to some contentment. I can only find that when I consciously set aside my emotional script, which tends to take me to the dark side of things.

  20. Gail on February 28, 2015 at 13:39


  21. Louise on February 28, 2015 at 12:29

    I AM content. And I am so thankful. I have a great husband who loves me, although we often seem to exist in parallel worlds (maybe from living apart for several years before retirement). I have a liveable retirement income that keeps me mostly free from financial stress. I have a small, but cozy home that I enjoy being in. I live in a beautiful area with wonderful weather year-round and beautiful scenery. I am near the ocean where my heart has always pulled me. I have come to the realization that “less is more”, so I no longer feel the need to “acquire things”. Most importantly, I have good health. Praise be to God for all my blessings and the contentment they have brought!

  22. Susan Dredge on February 28, 2015 at 11:41

    This was a wonderful part of the Lent course for me. Yes I can honestly say I am content. Daily I thank God that I am healthy, am able to do things, enjoy things and help. After many years of working I am now blessed with a “comfortable” retirement with my lovely husband. Our home, although not huge, is sufficient for our needs and we are blessed to have its warmth, comfort and safe sanctuary. We do not have large, impressive material items but, again, blessed with enough for our needs and a little over to share with others less fortunate. We are blessed with a happy and healthy family and good friends. I thank God for the blessings he has bestowed on me and inwardly as well as outwardly I am content.

  23. Kenneth Knapp on February 28, 2015 at 09:31

    As I am in a state of transition to retirement, I would describe my condition as “expectant” rather than “content.” One of my hopes for retirement is that I will find contentment in the ability to chose to work on those things that are important to me, and to ignore those things that are not.

  24. Tom on February 28, 2015 at 05:52

    The message today is very well stated, and, yes,…I am very content.

  25. Jenny on February 28, 2015 at 05:04

    I’m grateful to say that right now I am content: able to be at peace and know what is good. It’s a little landmark in today’s journey of healing. So much of my life has been tainted by focus on lack and what’s wrong. I’m giving thanks to God for the chance to know His goodness more.

  26. Lissa Davis on February 28, 2015 at 00:49

    Mostly. When I start getting whiny, I remember all I’ve seen as a missionary and that helps. What helped me was realizing I was created to be content. Disorder is contentment’s antithesis.

  27. Karen Fast on February 27, 2015 at 22:59

    Today was a day of contentment. It came from serving clients at my parish food bank. I was reminded how much I have, how secure I am, how incomplete I am without sharing and without receiving from others what I cannot give myself.

  28. Richard payne on February 27, 2015 at 22:39

    It’s 10:30 p.m. I’m sitting in my favorite, very comfortable Norwegian chair. My dog, Tassie is asleep on the couch. I’m about to start practicing on my beautiful new ukelele which my daughter gave me. All is well even though I am working my way through a 2nd round of C-Diff. Praise the Lord.

  29. Helen Chandler on February 27, 2015 at 21:34

    I am content!

  30. Verlinda on February 27, 2015 at 20:25

    I’m content at this present moment–my struggle is remaining that way. I find that all the distractions in this life focus me more on being discontent, on wanting more–not for any good reason–but just because it’s more.

    God, help me learn to be content in all things.

  31. Christine white on February 27, 2015 at 20:13

    I am content with some things and not with others. I am presently trying to figure out my next path, work especially. I know I will be ok because my Lord is with me every step of the way.

  32. Margaret Der on February 27, 2015 at 20:00

    Yes, I am content. The good Lord has given me more than I could ask or imagine. He has only given me the best. Thank you Lord.

  33. Michelle H on February 27, 2015 at 19:01

    Contentment…yes I have learned over the years to be happy and content with what and who I am. Our precious time on this earth is too short to worry about what you do and/or don’t have or who you are or are not.

  34. Jackie on February 27, 2015 at 18:09

    I love these thought provoking questions which beg us to examine ourselves, our lives, and our spirituality. When I think of contentment, I don’t consider my “things” that I have gathered over the years, but rather the overall feeling of my life and the answer would be Yes, I am content. A loving family structure; some whom have passed on that nurtured me to be the person I am today, the precious gift of children that mean more to me than life itself, and God’s presence in my life to guide me through the challenges that come with every new day. There will always be the obstacles and crossroads of life that present us all with the fears of what’s ahead, will it turn my world upside down. Nothing in life stays the same, but contentment to me is knowing I have a loving God with me every step of the way and he climbs those mountains with me to reveal whatever lies ahead in his plan for me.

    • Ruth West on February 27, 2015 at 22:25

      Jackie, your post explains my sentiments better than I can. Thanks! I, too, am content knowing that God is watching over me day by day. He is my strength, my ultimate love and tremendous blessing. Praise be to His holy name!

  35. carole on February 27, 2015 at 17:45

    At the moment, with my cat, yes

  36. Mary Ann on February 27, 2015 at 17:35

    “Je suis content” reads the sign outside a cabin on the St. Lawrence River. It has always helped me to be thankful for the many blessings in this earthly life.
    I am content.

  37. Abby on February 27, 2015 at 16:40

    Yes, I am. I am at a place in my life where I wake up in the morning and I can really and honestly say that I am happy. I am content. I am ready for to go forward with my day and the rest of my life. I have had enough of negativity (although I know it won’t go away). I will take what I have learned and go forward.

  38. laura ricard on February 27, 2015 at 16:07

    Say yes to as many young people as you can, the young people who may even frighten you, the twenty-somethings who may project alienation, but who actually want and desperately need you to show kindness: Offer a smile, a coffee card, a positive comment of any kind (“I love your tattoo! What does it mean?), a quarter for the meter, encouragement. Give, give, give, empty yourself, give more. In that you will find contentment. Thanks be to God, for this is from God.

  39. Clare Keller on February 27, 2015 at 15:53

    I read the question first, and wasn’t sure how I would answer, but after hearing Br. Curtis’ meditation I can say truthfully, Yes I am content. And I am thankful for all who share and for the Brothers who ask hard questions and assist in birthing our deeper understanding of ourselves and others.

  40. Lynn Adams on February 27, 2015 at 14:02

    Materially. there is not a lot that I really want that I cannot have. My husband and I are retired and living on modest income in a home that we own, mortgage paid off. We have nearby friends and family. My creative interest does not require any monetary investment, so I am very fortunate and profoundly blessed.
    However, I am not very content with my own performance as a human and a “creative.” In my life I have wasted vast amounts of time, and been irritable. I am discontented with my progress so far in using time well and keeping my temper.

  41. Lisa on February 27, 2015 at 13:32

    I am more content at this time in my life than I have been in the past. I have continually struggled with feeling that I need to make a difference in this world “If not now, when….if not me, then who??” I struggle with my fellow retirees that seem very focused on their own needs and that give very little to the world out there. It always seems there is something more, something I need to “accomplish”. Doing versus being is an ongoing struggle……

  42. Deb on February 27, 2015 at 13:30

    Sometimes yes then no only when I get my false ego in the way

  43. Charlotte Williams on February 27, 2015 at 13:15


    The point of view of the video on being content reminds me of George Fox, seventeenth century Quaker, theologian, social evolutionary, and passionate lover of God. Fox perceives of God as a Universal God, one who loves every person and who died for each and every person. He also perceives of Him as a particular God. One who loves each and every person the best.

    Because we are created in the Image of God and Christ enlightens us we have great value. One of the ways in which we are valuable is that we can be aware of God. Everyone can be a mystic and know God. (Christ in the male and female also shows this.) All we have to do is turn our minds away from the world and inward to God. We must turn our minds away from the created world, of all externals and concentrate on worshiping the Living God, Christ, the Light and try to acquire things above. We are to know our pure mind which deals with things that are true and actually exist in each of us.

    A pure mind is one that focuses inward towards God, without any distractions of earthly things.

    Fox gives us a hard thing to do then shows how it can be done. He knows that the Lord God Almighty will be with us and will renew and regenerate our creative minds and keep us turned to Himself to worship and serve him.

    Benediction: The Lord God Almighty be with you all and keep you turned to God to worship the Creator and serve him, not the creature.

    ( I think , like all people who have thought about living in a continual state of being aware of God and loving Him – in other words being CONTENT – make it sound much easier than it is,)

  44. Susan Dowds on February 27, 2015 at 13:08

    I just realized that the time I am most content is when I am listening deeply to someone with a concern, large or small, and responding with a new perspective that frames that concern in a different and possibly more creative way. So many times I am stuck in the mud, dealing with my own persistent discontents and issues. I feel that God is present and supporting me when I listen this way. It takes me out of my discontents, and is probably my one and only spiritual gift.

  45. Harold Pound on February 27, 2015 at 12:55

    I am contented right now. I am a reader of Richard Rohr and one of his books is titled ” The Naked Now, Learning to see as the mystics see.”

    I find when I live in the Now, I am content. I realize that Now is all there is. God is right now. Time is an invention of humans. We need to have time to keep track of the past and the future. Some humans try to live in the past, there they try to create a happy past and then choose to live there. Others focus on the future because the present is too filled with fear and hate. They forget that is future in undefined.
    Living in the Now is a place of contentment. It is hard to do but it can and must be done.

  46. Pati on February 27, 2015 at 12:23

    Bless the Lord my soul …. it IS enough …YES !

  47. Linda on February 27, 2015 at 12:17

    No, I am not content … I guess I have to look at being content a lot differently than I have in the past. I am constantly striving to learn more, do more, and enjoy more … but I now know that that contentment is in the present and not so much about the future. It does not mean not striving to be more for my Lord but being content today that I am all that I can be for today – content that I have the Lord in my life and he is with me right now …. ahhhhhh contentment I love it!

  48. KB on February 27, 2015 at 12:04

    “This is enough. And for this I am thankful.”
    What a lovely sentiment. The idea that our ability to be spread all over the globe through our technical devices, resulting in a lack of contentment, resonated with me. It makes me wonder if those who thoughtfully choose how they will use technology, instead of allowing technology to subsume them, will be the ones most content in this crazy world. Contentment … an idea worth contemplating on this lovely Lenten Friday.

  49. Alison Vogel on February 27, 2015 at 12:00

    Content? This is difficult to answer. Yes, I have enough and to spare. I live a privileged life. I would like to be able to answer “yes” without regard for my circumstances. But how will I really know unless, like Job, I lose it all? I am filled with yearning for God, for being truly awake, for becoming fully human as Jesus was. And yet there are moments when the kingdom of God draws near, and that feels complete, sufficient, good.

  50. Catherine Boyd on February 27, 2015 at 11:31

    Yes. A gift from God.

  51. Penny Nash on February 27, 2015 at 11:30

    I really had to stop and think about this question. In many ways I am content and in probably just as many ways, I am not. I still have moments of “not enough” and yet I also am beginning, at this stage in life, to really feel that I have “too much.” I am wanting to shed “things” and also habits, to slow down, to have less and do less. I see that I need to really pay some attention to this question in the days and weeks to come.

  52. Sharon on February 27, 2015 at 11:23

    Content and grateful but always searching.

  53. Nancy on February 27, 2015 at 11:11

    Yes, I am content!

  54. Jenny on February 27, 2015 at 11:08

    Yes, I am content and thankful. At this place in time and moment.

  55. Jane on February 27, 2015 at 11:01

    For the first time in my life, I can say that on a daily basis, I do feel content and have an abiding sense that everything will work out in time…. Of course I have times during the day when I wish things would happen faster or differently, but I return to my place of contentment much for easily and quickly these days.

  56. Linda B on February 27, 2015 at 10:59

    I am content more than I am not. But it is very hard to just “be” in the present. It is hard to say I am enough. We live in a culture that demands “more and more” and is new content. So for me it requires that I focus on being content and believing that I am enough.

  57. James on February 27, 2015 at 10:52

    I am “content but not satisfied.” I have plenty of evidence that God has watched and is watching over us, but I still need to be watchful as well. And not satisfied with the status quo.

  58. Jose L. on February 27, 2015 at 10:37

    I am content for the first time possibly in decades not as a result of my own balance but as a tangible repercussion of the grace of God. The sensation of God carrying me through the scariest months of my life (last year, due to a health issue), aware of my absolute inability to go it alone, left me overflowing with gratitude…and gratitude is a fertile environment in which contentment blossoms!

  59. Nicki on February 27, 2015 at 10:25

    A am content right now, This is an amazing question, and I’m grateful to be able to answer it so quickly. I think being in Lent has a lot to do with it, because committing to certain Lenten disciplines, with other people puts me where I want to be; making an in depth contact with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit through journaling and absorbing these daily homilies is a precious gift.

  60. Kathy B on February 27, 2015 at 10:21

    It is nice to read others’ answers, and find that I am not alone in how I feel!
    Yes, I am content – I have enough, and my boundaries are quite pleasant. I do get frustrated and distracted about things, but there is always an underlying deep contentment in which I can (and do) rest. Part of it comes from my wonderful family, but most of it comes from knowing I am loved wholly and completely by the God who is always with me.

  61. Michele on February 27, 2015 at 10:06

    Short answer: yes. I don’t often feel content but in truth I am – I have enough. For that I am thankful and feel overwhelmed with God’s blessing.

  62. Kim on February 27, 2015 at 10:03

    Yes. I feel that in the past couple of years, the things which are truly important to me have revealed themselves, like layers of an onion being peeled back. Though I push myself within my endeavors (it is my nature), I am content with my position at work (and its trajectory, though I am not in a rush to get where it leads), with my financial situation (though modest, it is enough), my home life, and my ability to pursue recreational activities.

  63. Melinda on February 27, 2015 at 09:55

    P.S. – There are also times I must learn to be content with my discontent…realizing and accepting that it is where I need to be at the moment in order to prompt me to grow/change:)

    • Bobbi on February 27, 2015 at 12:28

      Thank you for that thought, Melinda. To be content with my discontent.

    • Lisa on February 27, 2015 at 13:42

      This is an important clarification. We are all discontent from time to time – and our emotions are messengers from God. What meaning do we make?

  64. Ginny on February 27, 2015 at 09:45

    A wonderful remember that I am enough–just as I am, not because of what I do. I am a precious child of God, loved and cherished with His great abundance of this life, surrounded by beauty and joy and serenity. I am enough for God to use for His plans for today, not perfect, but willing, available and enough. Yes, this is contentment. Amen!

    • BetsyA on March 9, 2015 at 11:50

      “I am enough for God to use for His plans for today, not perfect, but willing, available and enough.”

      So important to remember. This shouts contentment!

  65. Melinda on February 27, 2015 at 09:44

    For me this means an acceptance of myself, my situation and other people, places & things as being where we/it need(s) to be right now….in this moment. It is trusting (not just believing) that God is present and is in charge. I do not find contentment in the past or the future….only in the now.

  66. Sallie on February 27, 2015 at 09:40

    it is hard to feel contentment when you feel pressured by so many things that have to be tended to as I do right now.
    It is hard to think of contentment when you are widowed. But some places in your life can be content and for that I give thanks.

    Roderic don’t worry about a CPAP machine. They are no probelm and you will wuickly get used to it. It is just one more way of taking care of yourself and the gift God gave to you

  67. gwedhen nicholas on February 27, 2015 at 09:29

    Yes, I am content right now. It has taken me a long time to be content- content with who I am, and the situation in which I find myself. I was always longing to be someone else, to do something which I felt would be more important than what I was doing. I was always longing for a different situation. Over the years however I have learned that what I do is important and very enjoyable and the situation in which I find myself is very good. “My boundaries enclose a pleasant land.”

    • BetsyA on March 9, 2015 at 11:42

      Totally relate to your comments here, although I’m not quite past the “should I be doing something more important?” thing – really wrestling with that these days, but continue to be reassured, in so many different ways, that I am enough just the way I am, no matter what I do or don’t do.

  68. Judy on February 27, 2015 at 09:13

    As my Mother lay dying three years ago, she suddenly asked if I were happy. I replied that I was very content with my life. It pleased her so much to know this and said “I have never thought about life that way. See, I can still learn a new thing!”.

    • bob on February 27, 2015 at 12:56

      Thanks you Judy. That’s such a brilliant memory to hear

  69. John on February 27, 2015 at 09:12

    Despite the distractions to which the brother referred, when I stop and reflect, I am generally content…

  70. Jonathan Chesney on February 27, 2015 at 09:10

    Yes. 🙂

    I’m a new priest in a wonderful church so I am very content right now.

  71. beth on February 27, 2015 at 09:04

    Yes and no. In some areas of my life I am very content. In other areas I am having a lot of difficuty and in those I am not content.

  72. Daniel on February 27, 2015 at 08:59

    What an excellent question!

    And yes, insofar as I consider my place in the universe, for myself, I am content, resting in and on God’s assurance. I feel surrounded by divine, human (and even feline!) love.

    When I look out at the rest of the world, I of course feel the frustration of not being able to wave a magic wand and fix everything. To the extent I can I try to show kindness. Further, I continue to have faith that most people are working for the good. That too is a source of contentment, since (I believe) it reflects God’s message and purpose for us.

  73. Elaine on February 27, 2015 at 08:51

    As I ponder this question, early in the morning, I think I am content now, in this moment, but know that later in the day I will not be content. Meetings and reports enter my life and it becomes rushed and tiring. This question will stay with me today. I wonder if there will be a time when I will always be content?

  74. Terri on February 27, 2015 at 08:48

    I am not contented. I am working on it by seeking a new job to alleviate my stress of meeting my financial obligations. Otherwise, I am content with the state of my family. Both my daughter and son have graduated with master’s degrees and are gainfully employed. My husband is content with his job and is looking forward to retiring sometime in the near future. I am still finding my way through the workforce.

  75. Rodger Patience on February 27, 2015 at 08:38

    I, too, have a sleeping cat on my lap as I write this. His boundaries (my lap) enclose a good and pleasant land.

    This Lent, I happen to be in between jobs. I am reflecting on how it may be time to shift from 10 years spent traveling to work that is rooted closer to home.

    It has occurred to me that my hotel room has served as a monastic cell — predictable, orderly, always there (!).

    Perhaps now is the time to look closer to home for that same solidity, even while so much else is changing.

    Life here at home is good. I trust life here more often will be good.

  76. N on February 27, 2015 at 08:36

    You know – at this very moment, I am content and grateful, even though I know that the chaos of the day is about to be unleashed. ‘This is the day that Lord has made – let us rejoice and be glad in it.’
    (Thank you for defining ‘contentment’, Brother!)

  77. MB on February 27, 2015 at 08:28

    I once told someone I was content with my life and he interpreted that as a negative – that “just” being content meant there was something lacking. So for a long time I shied away form saying that I was indeed content – with a sigh too deep for words content. Now that I am retired and have found 2 new ministries that fulfill me greatly I can once again say I am indeed content and so much more so reading here how others have embraced contentment as well. Interesting how many write of the quiet stillness of morning and the indescribable joy of a curled up cat. I live in the woods on a mountain and nature and my cat have shown me a profound contentment I could have never imagined.

  78. Judith on February 27, 2015 at 08:26

    Am I content? Interesting question – for much in my boundaries I am content – I like the comment about complacency – not confusing the two attitudes… I also found the comment about looking for where one can find contentment within areas of discontent helpful…. I am grateful to be starting these mornings with these simple but complicated questions …. they stay with me all day.

  79. Julie E on February 27, 2015 at 08:18

    I am definitely learning how to be content, yet still ambitious to do Gods work. This Lent I am finally getting there. Like everything else, it comes with time & maturation.

  80. Ellie K on February 27, 2015 at 08:17

    I see a lot of “yes” and “no” answers, which seems a good thing. Yes, I am content with things as they are now, but I am always “becoming” and so I know I won’t be the same in the future. Contentment can stay with me each day, though, as I change and “become”. God bless.

  81. Jeff Lowry on February 27, 2015 at 08:14

    A very good question; especially as I approach my 50th birthday in a couple of months. In terms of the now: Yes. I am secure ib the knowledge of the love of God. I have food, shelter,peace and good friends. Contentment in the context of the future is a different story. True, I will have the love of God and the aforementioned other things. Yet the future puts uncertainties in my path. Presntly I am taking care of my ageing mother. A year ago, my wife discovered that marriage is just not for her. Yes I know things could be MUCH worse.

  82. Roderic Brawn on February 27, 2015 at 08:14

    At exactly this moment I am worried about having to take on a CPAP machine. In the rest of my life, there are other things I need to accept.

  83. Vicki on February 27, 2015 at 08:10

    Right now I’m working so not entirely content! But with my life in general, yes, very much so. There are a few big events in my life that are happening / have happened this year and they have made me really value and appreciate my life and what I have.

  84. Jennifer on February 27, 2015 at 08:07

    Some of these humbling comments are bringing tears to my eyes! I am praying for you, my companions on this journey of Lent! And you are blessing me.

  85. Louise Howlett on February 27, 2015 at 08:07

    Yes, very content! Thankful to be so. Periodically my spouse and i consider what we would like to do and be differently on a large scale, and we always come back to where we are and feeling thankful for it. We sing to ourselves the Bruce Cockburn song: “If this were the last night of the world, what would I do? What would I do that was different? Unless it was champagne with you.” I am also finally coming to understand that in God’s eyes I am good enough and I don’t have to strive so hard to please God, I can just rest in love and gratitude more often. That is contentment for me.

  86. Christopher Engle Barnhart on February 27, 2015 at 08:05

    It is very early in the morning. It is the time I spend in study of the daily lectionary and other prayers and mediations. It is the silence in which I find contentment.

  87. Margie Faulkner on February 27, 2015 at 07:49

    Yes I am content when I be still and know that He is God and He is with me in everything. My mind wanders sometime and I feel that I need so much more. At those times I am learning to put all my wants at His feet. When I truly take the time to do that and be still and feel His presence I am content. I love that feeling and try to work on this discipline daily. It is such a blessing.

  88. Norm Anderson on February 27, 2015 at 07:44

    I am content at this moment, right now, in the stillness of the morning. And I am grateful!

  89. JGlow on February 27, 2015 at 07:42

    I am often seeking opportunities for bigger and better jobs. But I find that this year and maybe next I am content with where I am. It is enough.

  90. Sarah Acland on February 27, 2015 at 07:41

    Yes, I am content “even though”.
    Even though I get up in the night for a cranky old dog, even though I run out of energy mid-morning, even though words get lost in my head.
    With the sun coming up that hopefully might even melt the snow today, my life is enough. I can be really thankful.

    • Leslie on February 27, 2015 at 08:14

      “Even though”; very perceptive. After a week, I am still arguing with these reflections, “but you don’t understand my life!”

  91. Jana Everett on February 27, 2015 at 07:39

    I am content. Mostly I’m grateful for all my blessings–my family, my job, my friends.
    I guess I’m not always content–I want things to go my way.
    Mostly I don’t want more “stuff” I have way more stuff than I need.
    I am not content about all the injustice in the world. But I can see that I need to separate working to address suffering and wanting to be loved, recognized, praised

  92. Nancy W. Del Borgo on February 27, 2015 at 07:36

    There have been profound changes in my life in the past 21 months. Yet I can say, now, through my connection with my church, that I am not only learning the depth of God’s love, but also that I am content. Completely content.

  93. Nancy on February 27, 2015 at 07:31

    These reflections are so simple and yet deep. I’m really enjoying them and the “homework” and reading others comments especially.
    Yes I am usually content and sometimes sad but usually happy. Life has not turned out the way I dreamt when I was young. That’s when I am sad. Yet god is with me then and now and always, sharing the sorrow and reminding me of my good life. Yes, I can be and am content which does not keep me from dreaming/praying for miracles.
    Thank you Brothers.

    • bob on February 27, 2015 at 12:54

      The simple question that makes me think deeply is so good, and the brothers are experts in this. Thanks for identifying what makes these so satisfying

  94. Mary Frost on February 27, 2015 at 07:29

    Yes, and grateful.

  95. Virginia Brooks on February 27, 2015 at 07:24

    For me, an attitude of contentment is both a spiritual discipline and a matter of faith. If I can believe and accept that God gives me everything I need on a daily basis, then I have a shot at being content. When I can maintain a state of gratitude, for gifts given and lessons learned, rather than wanting more or trying to bypass those lessons, then I can experience contentment. When I look for the beauty in the small things – a child singing on his way to daycare, holding his father’s hand, walking by piles of snow twice his size and experiencing the moment with all his heart and voice, I can feel contentment. I think it’s a state of grace in many ways. Along with contentment comes serenity, but I think that is something different.

  96. Linda H. on February 27, 2015 at 07:18

    Oh, yes, very content. As I was listening to the Brothers description of contentment, I was reminded of the word Hindu or Sanskrit word bastante, often Bas for short that means enough or full or stop. It’s a word that we really don’t have or use that often in English. My contentment comes from giving to God those things I cannot control..

  97. Christopher Epting on February 27, 2015 at 07:06

    I am fortunate enough to be retired but in good health with just enough work/ministry opportunities to keep me active and engaged. There are certainly challenges but, yes, “it is enough.”

  98. Jennifer on February 27, 2015 at 06:53

    Fundamentally, yes.

    Not long ago, I was faced with the possibility of losing something precious. Since then, other illusions have been stripped away, too–perfect health, a perfect child, financial security, immortal parents. I’ve realized first-hand that I must have “enough” within me–God within me–to be content in any and all circumstances, as Paul says. To appreciate the blessings God has given me, just as they are, though they may change tomorrow. “It is enough, my Lord, enough indeed.” (from that beautiful hymn, “Here, O My Lord, I See Thee Face to Face”)

  99. Bill on February 27, 2015 at 06:48

    I must say that after my first year’s retirement, in Cambridge, I am as contented as I could have ever imagined. Thanks be to God.

  100. Agatha Nolen on February 27, 2015 at 06:42

    Thank you for this insight that “contentment” isn’t really about being happy, but the feeling of “having enough.”. I feel I do “have enough” and no longer need to strive for more or better. God is enough and gives us that freedom.

  101. Dean on February 27, 2015 at 06:28

    I don’t think we can ever be completely content. I know for myself as an artist/musician I’m always trying to do things better. Recently, I was able to remove a great deal of stress in my life thru the grace of God and am feeling more content than I have felt in many a year.

  102. Lois Keen on February 27, 2015 at 06:27

    Yes. At this moment, yes.

  103. Martha on February 27, 2015 at 06:01

    Yes I am content today.

  104. Muriel on February 27, 2015 at 06:00

    I would say that I am content but on closer examination there are always distractions to ‘add’ more, do more ans the need to see more. Still, I get the point that one should find contentment in the ‘here ‘ and ‘now’, to give thanks .

  105. Lee on February 27, 2015 at 06:00

    It is very early in the morning. The house is dark and quiet. It’s just me, the cat and my precious devotionals. I am overwhelmed and thank-full. His presence is unmistakable, His presents bountiful. As the day begins, am I content?
    There must be a word beyond that but it escapes me.
    Thanks be to God.

  106. NA on February 27, 2015 at 05:31

    In some ways, yes. In others, no. However, there are ways I can find contentment even within the overarching situations with which I am not content, by focusing on something good in it, a moment, a need met, a grace given or received.

    I think, though, that it is essential for me to explore the definition of contentment alongside that of complacency so that I do not confuse them. I might be in acceptance of where my life is right now and feel contentment concerning certain aspects while still not being complacent about the things rightfully needing change. Perhaps that means I am content with the fact that my life is in a place of changes, growth, and new healing, even though that process can hurt a lot at times.

  107. M on February 27, 2015 at 05:30

    Yes and no. I am content in that I know I am blessed. I do not feel the need to acquire things, enough is enough. The no comes from wanting more for my children – wanting them to go further in school, wanting them to get to a point of independence.

  108. Danielle on February 27, 2015 at 05:25

    Content? Yes and no. I am resting in my faith, but strive always to try harder at life & be better to myself.

    • David Bowring on February 27, 2015 at 11:22

      Yes and no for me too. I am pretty content about where my life has come to, but not with the arthritic pains.

      • Ruth West on February 27, 2015 at 22:50

        David, I used to have much arthritic pain, but I discovered a wonderful over-the-counter med which has virtually cured the pain. At the risk of sounding like Dr. Oz, please allow me to recommend Glucosomine/
        Chondroitin. I hope you will ask your M. D. about it, and try it. It has been a miracle for me.

  109. bob on February 27, 2015 at 02:45

    Do you know, brother? I am. Thank you for clarifying what contentment really is.

  110. margaret nunn on February 27, 2015 at 02:42

    Oh yes! It has taken me most of the 70 years of my life to get to this point, but I AM content. Praise the Lord! I am at last walking close to my loving heavenly Father, living in His peace, finding my joy in His strength and trusting Him to forgive the past and guide the future. I have never felt so content before.
    I urge everyone who reads this to have absolute faith and confidence in our loving awesome God and very simply rest in Him.
    God bless you Brothers for your thought provoking series.

    • Pati on February 27, 2015 at 12:16

      Thank you for your loving words ..

    • Susan Dredge on February 28, 2015 at 11:35

      Thank you for those wonderful words Margaret, a real inspiration and I can join you in that contentment and also with thanks to the Brothers.

  111. Jana on February 27, 2015 at 01:52

    With a sleeping kitty at my side it is easy to be gratefully content right now. Blessings.

    • NA on February 28, 2015 at 12:55

      Now there IS a picture of contentment!

  112. Reberta on February 27, 2015 at 01:19

    I’m content in many ways but not completely, I need to look at my life and discover what I think is missing.
    This question seems to stir up the most emotion within me of all the postings, thank you for asking.

    • Walter Edgar on February 27, 2015 at 10:39

      I wish I were content, but am too busy for my own good. Because of this series I have made a determined promise to myself and to my wife to slow down–to just say no to the demands of others for some of my time. These morning reflections right now ARE my quiet time and have given me a quiet moment of reflection before the busy-ness intrudes into my daily life.

    • Bobbi on February 27, 2015 at 12:16

      This, too, has stirred me up. It’s not a new question, and yet I am hearing it again for the first time. I’ve never considered contentment and enough together, but when I think of them in the context of prayer and God’s call, I can begin to say, “Yes, I am content.” I join you in thanking the brothers for asking the question.

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