The Reverend Mark P

One of my best friends from college, who is now a UCC minister in Vermont, has begun a blog. He's posting his sermons, mostly, although he told me that at some point he might post audio files of his sermons, which I think would be way cool. Pay him a visit, and if you leave a comment, tell him Carl sent you...The Reverend Mark Pitton's Blog … [Read more...]

Quotes for the Day

The tragedy of modern man is that his creativity, his spirituality, and his contemplative independence are inexorably throttled by a superego that has sold itself without question or compromise to the devil of technology....The contemplative seeks to liberate his soul from all external control, to purify and detach it from material, sensual, and even spiritual compulsions, and to surrender it to the truth and creative freedom of the Holy Spirit. — Thomas Merton, The Inner Experience: Notes o … [Read more...]

Patheos is Live!

If you haven't already been there, go visit I think the best way to describe this site is "Facebook meets the Library of Alexandria." It's a Web 2.0 social networking site embedded within an evolving, peer-reviewed library of articles about the world's major wisdom traditions, covering beliefs, spiritual practices, ethics, history and organizational structure. Basically, all you need to know to get a basic understanding of major wisdom and religious traditions from the world … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

Contemplation in the age of Auschwitz and Dachau, Solovky and Karaganda is something darker and more fearsome than contemplation in the age of the Church Fathers. For that very reason, the urge to seek a path of spiritual light can be a subtle temptation to sin. It certainly is sin if it means a frank rejection of the burden of our age, an escape into unreality and spiritual illusion, so as not to share the misery of other men. — Thomas Merton, The Inner Experience: Notes on Contemplation … [Read more...]

Thoughts on Abundant Living (John 10:10)

A friend of mine who is a theology student at Emory asked me this weekend how I understood John 10:10: In which Jesus says that he came so that we may have life, and "have it abundantly."This is my reply to her... Regarding your question, the Greek word for 'abundantly' is, as you know, perissos, related to peri from which we get words like "periphery" and "perimeter." This seems to have a connection with place and location, and my Greek dictionary suggests that it has connotations related to … [Read more...]

Come Alive! (Howard Thurman meets Michael Noyes & Fran McColman)

I'm delighted to announce that my good friend Michael Noyes has created a new work of calligraphy that features a photograph by my wife, Fran.The piece includes a wonderful quotation by the African-American mystic and theologian Howard Thurman, who was a mentor to Martin Luther King Jr., among others: Do not ask what the world needs.Ask what makes you come alive and do that.Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive! At the bottom of the print is a photograph of a … [Read more...]

Peace Through Music

Take an 11 minute break and watch this video. It's got a gentle but inspirational message.Here's a note from my friend CeCe Miles, whom I met through the Atlanta Chapter of the Ulster Project and who alerted me to this video: Included in this 10 minute video is a 4 minute segment on the Omagh Community Youth Choir which was formed in 1998 by a young musician in Omagh named Daryl Simpson to unite Catholic and Protestant youth after the atrocity of the Omagh bomb which killed 29 people and 2 … [Read more...]