I arise today through the strength of heaven…

Courtesy of the good folks at Beliefnet, here's a wonderful flash-animated "meditation" built around St. Patrick's Lorica prayer:Christian Morning Meditation: The Prayer of St. Patrick of IrelandThe music — a Gaelic ode to Brigit sung by Katy Taylor — is particularly lovely and haunting. … [Read more...]

Punk Monk

Punk Monk: New Monasticism and the Ancient Art of Breathing By Andy Freeman and Pete Greig Ventura, California: Regal Books, 2007 Review by Carl McColmanFirst, a confession: I fell in love with this book the moment I heard of its title. Bands like the Clash and the Jam provided the soundtrack to my undergraduate years, so I guess I have a soft spot for the punk world (even though I was never much of a punk myself). And while a title like this could easily signify a book that is more cutesy … [Read more...]

An Ecumenical Resource for Contemplatives in Atlanta?

Yesterday was the final session of my class on Julian of Norwich offered at the Central United Church of Christ in Atlanta. After class, I joined Cliff and Marjorie, two of the participants in the class, for lunch at a nearby burrito joint. Our conversation kept coming back to the question of how to foster more resources for aspiring contemplatives and students of Christian mysticism in the Atlanta area."I'm frustrated this class only lasted three weeks," said Marjorie, "and I'm sure there are … [Read more...]

Ooooh, that smell; can you smell that smell?

Death seems to be in the air this week, even though Samhain and All Saints/All Souls days are still over a month away.First, there's the buzz surrounding the new Sean Penn-directed movie Into the Wild, about the true story of a young man who dies in the Alaska wilderness while on a trip to find (or prove) himself. The youth in question, Christopher McCandless, hailed from Annandale, VA, where several of my best friends in college were from and not far from where I went to graduate school; he … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

As I have often said, happiness consists in knowing what you want, and then knowing you have it, or you are on the way to getting it. What we want is God. Our hearts will not rest until they rest in you, O Lord. Our minds seek infinite truth. Our hearts are made for infinite love. The purpose of the structures of our life — of going apart from the world in silence and solitude — is so that we can keep alive, at that level of knowing, who we are and what we really want. Through contemplative pra … [Read more...]

Mystics, Heretics and Saints

Consider this list of Christian mystics and theologians (if you're not familiar with any of these figures, do some research and add their writings to your reading list):Clement of Alexandria (second century CE) Origen (third century) Evagrius Ponticus (fourth century) Pelagius (late fourth/early fifth century) John Scotus Eriugena (ninth century) Marguerite Porete (late thirteenth/early fourteenth century) Meister Eckhart (late thirteenth/early fourteenth century) Jeanne Guyon (late … [Read more...]

Welcome LiveJournal Friends

Last night I finally got around to fixing my RSS feed through LiveJournal. For almost a year now it had been pointing to my old blog URL (from when my blog was hosted at SquareSpace) which means that none of the subscribers were getting my new posts. But now it's fixed. So there are sixty-some (and counting) "new" readers of this blog ("new" is in quotes because many of you were reading me back when I was active on LiveJournal, from mid-2003 through early 2006). Welcome to my Wordpress blog, you … [Read more...]