Personal Update…

Lots of fun stuff happening in Carl-world...The outline/table of contents of the big mysticism book is mostly complete. I meet again with the world's coolest spiritual director, Fr. Tom Francis OCSO, on Friday to go over the details. This is important because once the skeleton is done I can start hanging the meat on the bones. I probably have some 30,000 words written on the book — not to mention material from this blog that will eventually find its way into the book — but I have to have a wo … [Read more...]

Green Burial Interview

The "Forecast Earth" program on the Weather Channel recently aired a segment on green burials; they interviewed Billy and Kimberley Campbell of Memorial Ecosystems, who are managing the Honey Creek Woodlands green cemetery at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit.Follow this link to watch the "Forecast Earth" interview Follow this link to learn more about Honey Creek WoodlandsAlthough Honey Creek Woodlands is on land owned by the monastery, it is an ecumenical burial site where people of any … [Read more...]

Salvation and Sacrifice

Last night Fran and Rhiannon and I enjoyed the hospitality of three house church communities gathered for an intra-church conference this weekend in Lithia Springs. After a potluck dinner one of the church groups performed skits based on the wisdom of the letter to the Colossians. Much wonderful singing and heartfelt prayer and praise rounded out what was a delightful evening.As an active practicing Catholic, my spiritual life is oriented toward monasticism and sacramentalism rather than … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

Every year dairy cows are artificially inseminated to produce a calf to maintain their milk production. A little over half their calves are male. Since these males cannot produce milk and the need for work animals has been replaced by machines, they are useless to the dairy farmer. Such males would grow to a size of 1200 lbs. and live 20-25 years and the cost of feeding, housing, and cleaning up after them would be huge. Therefore, the male calves are killed within a few days of birth, … [Read more...]

With apologies to Nirvana…

"Here we are now, entertain us!"It may work as the refrain of a rock anthem, capturing the postmodern spirit of a generation weaned on cable TV and video games. But if this sentiment describes the future of Christian mysticism, then I need a new topic to blog about.Paul commended his readers to "Make your own the mind of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5, New Jerusalem Bible) and for contemplatives, this means to enter into the same Godly consciousness that characterized Christ himself (never … [Read more...]

The Choking Game

Here's a sobering news article: The "Choking Game" has killed at least 82 children.You can read more about the Choking Game (also called the Fainting Game and numerous other names) at Wikipedia's entry for the "Fainting Game." Basically, it's a daredevil game that adolescents and even younger children play in which they submit to choking or strangulation just long enough to get a "dreamy feeling." Obviously, this is a terribly inexact science and so dozens of youths have lost their lives … [Read more...]

Breaking the Mystical Thermometer

A reader named Judy comments on my Teresa of Ávila page thusly: ... as to the stages of mysticism, the less I know the better. I do not want that craving of evaluating or one could say taking their spiritual temperature ever again. That sneaky ego always popping up saying "well done". I am terrified of taking pride in what is "all God" and his work in me. I know myself and how quickly I can slide right down the chute, having done it several times. As for being "terrified" of pride, I'd like to … [Read more...]