The Beloved Community: From Formation to Action

If you live in Atlanta, are thinking about moving to Atlanta (you know who you are!), or are simply interested in helping progressive Christianity to prosper in the Atlanta area, this event looks mighty tasty: The Beloved Community: From Formation to Action which is scheduled for October 10-11, 2008. According to the "Progressive Christian Cooperative" website, this event will be a networking opportunity for those who are interested in living out an inclusive theology with an emphasis on … [Read more...]

Humanae Vitae, 40 years later

Today marks the fortieth anniversary of the controversial Papal encyclical Humanae Vitae, in which the Catholic Church hierarchy dug in its heels and refused to regard artificial birth control as anything other than a "grave evil."To mark this date, a coalition of dissenting Catholic organizations placed an ad featuring the following letter in a high-circulation Italian newspaper:An Open Letter to the PopeToday, July 25, 2008, the Catholic church marks the 40th anniversary of Humanae … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

I have found heaven on earth, since heaven is God, and God is in my soul. — Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity … [Read more...]

Nuns in the Outfield

Beth Patterson over at the Virtual Teahouse alerted me to this wonderful article at the ESPN website about Atlanta's own Dominican sisters and their ministry, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cancer Hospice. Naturally, living in Atlanta I knew about OLPH (it's been part of the Atlanta Catholic Community even longer than the Trappists have) but I've never been there so I didn't realize how close it was to Turner Field — or how such a bond has emerged between the caregiving nuns and the baseball c … [Read more...]

The Feast of St. Benedict: Ad Deificum Lumen

Today is the feast of St. Benedict.This morning at mass, Fr. Tom Francis (who works with me at the Abbey Store) preached on the Rule and on his life experience as a Trappist monk for over 50 years now. During the sermon, he mentioned a conversation that he and I and another Lay-Cistercian had a while back about a phrase in the prologue to the Holy Rule of St. Benedict: et apertis oculis nostris ad deificum lumen, which is often translated as "Let us open our eyes to the light that comes from … [Read more...]

So what does Centering Prayer have in common with Rock and Roll?

When I was in high school, I used to hear charismatic Christians talk about how rock and roll music conjured demons. "It's in the drum beat," they said. "It's the same drum beat that witchdoctors use in primitive cultures to call up their evil spirits." Basically, if you listened to rock music, no matter what your intentions may have been, you were (according to these folks) unintentionally making yourself vulnerable to the malevolent influence of opportunistic spirits.It's interesting how I … [Read more...]

Meg Funk

One of the most respected of contemporary Benedictine spiritual writers is Mary Margaret (Meg) Funk, OSB. Her books include Thoughts Matter: The Practice of the Spiritual Life and Tools Matter for Practicing the Spiritual Life. She writes not only about Benedictine spirituality and contemplative practice, but also about interreligious dialogue, a pursuit she has been deeply involved in for some time now. I've just learned of her blog, which looks to contain all sorts of interesting entries. … [Read more...]