Anticipating Joy–Advent III

More light dawns in this Advent III week! One more candle on the wreath, and the texts from the lectionary begin to rejoice! Some traditions call this Sunday Gaudete Sunday or Rose Sunday, when a pink candle is lighted. For me, Mary, the mother of Jesus, while she retreats with her cousin Elizabeth, exemplifies of this movement [Read More...]

Real Spiritual Practices for People Who Age: A Book Review

Book Review for A Season of Mystery by Paula Huston, now featured at the Patheos Book Club A fresh voice is added to the chorus of writers who are helping those of us in what we are calling the “second half of life” find our spiritual moorings. Paula Huston in A Season of Mystery uses her [Read More...]

Obstacles and Distractions

I get bumped off the journey with regularity. This week was rife with what seemed like spanners in the works, bumps along the road. When I was traveling in Ireland a few weeks ago, being stymied by a flock of sheep in the road seemed like a lark, an interesting happening on the pilgrimage. Here [Read More...]

Traveling Mercies

In the last days before a trip, things can fall apart. A rear-end accident, a delayed document, a change in the prognosis of an illness. The size of the shoes don’t fit the size of the feet. The airline server goes down. Someone’s crying, Lord. So I cling to this Gaelic blessing as I go [Read More...]

To Be A Pilgrim

It is my season of pilgrimage again! The signs are all around me. The last two books that I read have opened with a reference to John Bunyan’s old hymn, All Who Would Valiant Be: All who  would valiant be ‘gainst all disaster, let them in constancy follow the Master. There’s no discouragement shall make them [Read More...]

Choosing a Life Story

I sat with a companion this week to say farewell to the journey of five years we had taken together in spiritual direction, and I could not keep myself from smiling as we rehearsed the moments and milestones together. Surely there had been disruptions, disappointments, uncharted roads and unexpected turns. But as I listened to [Read More...]

Our Old Stories

Telling the old stories can be endlessly entertaining: “Remember the time she said…?” “Did I tell you about the time when…?” “I’ll never forget the moment at which he announced…”  At a celebration last night, the stories flowed along with the libations being poured. And there was joy in hearing those old, old stories. Laughter [Read More...]

Hearing a God Story


Telling our own story is a great challenge sometimes. Listening for God’s story that intersects our lives can be even more challenging. One of the hopes we share in spiritual direction is to develop the practice of listening for the authentic presence of the Holy One in our lives. The noise fields around us fill [Read More...]