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On March 18, 2023, Dr. James Finley joined Saint Barnabas via livestream in our Sanctuary to lead us in a prayerful reflection on the healing stories in the Gospels that reveal and heal the truth of us as God’s beloved. We explored the mystery of God as a Presence that protects us from nothing yet unexplainably sustains us in all things.

Dr. Finley walked us through spiritual dimensions of the Gospels, showing us how they can guide and empower us to heal the traumas in our minds and hearts. In doing so, we can open ourselves to the Gospels’ spiritual depth of healing and our innate mercy toward ourselves, others, and all living things.

This event was hosted by our Contemplative Life Ministries at Saint Barnabas (Click here to learn more).

About Dr. James Finley

Dr. Finley lived as a monk at the cloistered Trappist monastery of the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky, where the world-renowned monk and author, Thomas Merton, was his spiritual director. He went on to become a clinical psychologist, Merton scholar, and sought-after retreat leader and teacher of contemplative living. His books include Merton’s Palace of Nowhere, Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God, and The Contemplative Heart.

Currently, Dr. Finley serves as a core faculty member, with Fr. Richard Rohr and the Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault, of the Center for Action and Contemplation’s Living School, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Dr. Finley, who lives in Santa Monica, California, is a gentle, reverent teacher with a love of humor and storytelling. Scroll down to view more videos of Dr. Finley at Saint Barnabas.

“If we are absolutely grounded in the absolute love of God that protects us from nothing even as it sustains us in all things, then we can face all things with courage and tenderness and touch the hurting places in others and in ourselves with love.”

-James Finley, Intimacy: The Divine Ambush (DVD, Center for Action and Contemplation, 2013)


Below, you can see his sermon from his visit in 2018.


About Saint Barnabas

Welcome to, our church community’s online expression of our life and mission. If you are looking for a place that feels like home, a place where friends remember your name and become excited when they see you across the patio, a place where members share the value of deep, life-changing faith in Jesus, you’ve come to the right place. All are welcome.