The Lenten Walk


“Jesus walked this lonesome valley/he had to walk it by himself/O nobody else could walk it for him/he had to walk it by himself.” These old words from a gospel song are the words that arise for me in the Lenten season. It is about walking for me this year. It is not that I [Read More...]

On Opening the Door


We arrived at the retreat house mid-afternoon on a sunny, but blustery, day. We had not traveled far, but the approach up the driveway took us in to another world altogether, one without very good cell reception, daily newspapers, television screens. As we drove up, the door opened, or so it seemed, and she was [Read More...]

On Boundaries


I have been flummoxed and baffled about the question of boundaries in a community of faith and in my own personal life. Recently I have been reminded of what happens in companies where boundaries have not been observed, ending in disarray and damage for all concerned. I have been wrestling with the discerning work of [Read More...]

Entering Sabbath


“On the Sabbath we cease from our work, so that God can do God’s work in us,” says John Calvin.  After the crunch, comes a time for rest and restoration. Marva Dawn in her book, Keeping the Sabbath Wholly, has limned four planes or movements for the Sabbath experience: Ceasing, Resting, Embracing, Feasting. I am [Read More...]

In Crunch Time: A Spirituality


Sometimes it just all piles up–the deadlines, the endings, the “one-thing-necessary,” the unexpected phone call, the drop-in visitor, the expiring appliance! And how does one keep gathering one’s self under the eye of the Holy when everything seems intent on resisting any attempt at collecting, amassing or grouping? This week I am trying to practice [Read More...]

Looking Back, Looking Ahead


A New Year is a ripe occasion for spiritual practice, a chance to look back at what the past year has offered, and a chance to dream and to hope about what could be in the year ahead. The look backward is sometimes called the Examen, a prayer practice that asks these questions: “where is [Read More...]

Light Appears!


And now the Light for which we have been waiting dawns! I am so glad! I have longed for that Light this year, maybe more intensely than I ever have, because the darkness has seemed so opaque. I am looking for the places that the Light reveals itself, with my prayer that the eyes of [Read More...]

Almost There


The last Sunday before Advent gives us all the Light we will get before the Coming of the Light on Christmas. It is so much brighter than it was when we began four weeks ago, but we still are in semi-darkness. I can’t quite see everything that is there for me in the light. So [Read More...]

With Two or Three


This year for the first time in a long while, I am observing Advent and celebrating Christmas with a community of which I am a part. It is a lovely gift-instructive and comforting. While I cherish the solitude that is part of my every day routine, I am swept up in the shared wakefulness that [Read More...]

Paying Attention


Second week of Advent, and the the words keep popping up: Wake up! Watch! Keep Alert! To which of them am I supposed to attend?  There are so many sounds, sights, aroma, textures in the air, on the ground, all around. The glut of  son et lumiere overwhelms me and makes me soporific. Which sign informs [Read More...]