Lyra Skywalker

So we went to see The Golden Compass last night. And now I am more convinced than ever that Bill Donohue needs to get a life. The guy is worth millions of dollars but all he does is fuss about movies he doesn't like. Sheeesh.Granted, the word on the street is that The Golden Compass suffered the same fate as The Da Vinci Code: all of the most controversial elements in the book were disemboweled from the screenplay. Sure enough, the Magisterium comes across about as blandly sinister as the … [Read more...]


One of my desires as a Christian contemplative — and as a writer about the mystical life — is to celebrate the orthodox heart within Christianity. By "orthodox" I mean engaging with key elements of Christian tradition, including the teachings regarding the Holy Trinity, the Incarnation, salvation and the Passion, the Sacraments as means of grace, and the Church as Mystical Body. I try to safeguard against several forces active in our world today that would pull against such an understanding of Ch … [Read more...]

Forever Young

This photograph of my mom and dad was taken on December 29, 2003. They were both eighty years old at the time, and had been married just over 58 years. They were married on December 14, 1945, so today is their 62nd anniversary.Here is a snapshot taken on December 14, 1945, the day they got married.They only knew each other for about six months when they married, and for much of that time, dad was stationed away from mom so they courted through the mail. As for the big day — well, they e … [Read more...]

Centering Prayer and the Healing of the Unconscious

Centering Prayer and the Healing of the Unconscious By Murchadh Ó Madagáin New York: Lantern Books, 2007 Review by Carl McColmanThis introductory book on the practice of centering prayer is distinctive in that it has a strong apologetic tone. Although its title suggests it is a book about the healing qualities of centering prayer, I think what the author really is doing is trying to heal some of the ways in which centering prayer's critics misunderstand the practice. In addition to discussing w … [Read more...]

750 Words

Here is one way of describing my spiritual journey — in 750 words: I was born into a very typical white, suburban, middle class, late twentieth-century American family. We were protestants and attended our local Lutheran Church. When I was sixteen I had an amazing spiritual experience that transformed my relationship with Christianity from conventional to charismatic. I began to participate in the highly experiential and emotionally hyper-charged world of neopentecostalism. Initially I felt b … [Read more...]

A (thoughtful) Christian review of The Golden Compass

My very wise (and talented) friend Joy Reid has written what is probably the most common-sensible review of The Golden Compass that I have yet come across, especially written by a practicing Christian. You can read it here. Her daughter's comment regarding people who are "easily influenced" by films is priceless. … [Read more...]

“They talk of days for which they sit and wait and all will be revealed…”

Yes, I know their music has the subtlety of an aircraft carrier and their lyrics are often teeth-grindingly sexist — but I grew up listening to Led Zeppelin, and so the part of me that will always be a naive 16-year-old will always love them. And now, I'm one of the twenty million or so fans who are fascinated by their reunion gig this past Monday night at the O2 in London. And the fact that the show has received rave reviews and everyone (except for the band, of course) is talking about a tour … [Read more...]