Quote for the Day

God loves without limit and this puts a loving person most securely at peace. — Blessed John Ruusbroec, The Spiritual Espousals … [Read more...]

A Gaelic Priest and Front Row Seats

One of the wonderful things about working in a monastery bookshop is that I get to meet all sorts of interesting people. Just yesterday I met Fr. Ross Crichton, a young priest from Scotland with bright eyes and a warm smile. Fr. Ross is in Georgia this week visiting friends, and they brought him by the monastery and made a point of introducing him to me (I make no secret of my love for all things Celtic). Fr. Ross and I hit it off immediately, and my admiration for this young priest only grew … [Read more...]

Christian Meditation in the Fourth Century

If there is any monk who wishes to take the measure of some of the more fierce demons so as to gain experience in his monastic art, then let him keep careful watch over his thoughts. Let him observe their intensity, their periods of decline and follow them as they rise and fall. Let him note well the complexity of his thoughts, their periodicity, the demons which cause them, with the order of their succession and the nature of their associations. Then let him ask from Christ the explanations of … [Read more...]

On the Vatican’s Visitation of American Nuns

Early this year the Vatican launched a three-year, anonymously financed "visitation" of American women religious (i.e, nuns). This visitation apparently has two dimensions: first, an effort to assess the quality of life of the sisters, which apparently extends to exploring why there has been a drop in the number of women entering religious life. But there is also an investigation being conducted of the leadership conference that represents the vast majority of American nuns — addressing concerns … [Read more...]

Meditation Minutes

"Seven times a day I praise You." — Psalm 119:164 I took a class on spiritual formation from the Shalem Institute in Washington, DC, back in the mid-1980s. The instructor, Isabella Bates, led us through a variety of meditative and contemplative practices. We met every Saturday morning from November through May for two and a half hours. It was a wonderful class. One thing that Isabella said, toward the end of the class, has stayed with me over the past 25 years. Commenting on the relationship b … [Read more...]

That which is different

My brother Don and I were chatting this morning, and I mentioned an evangelical friend of mine who has a "secret" interest in Catholic mysticism. Don, who describes himself as an "agnostic hedonist," made the following fascinating observation: You know, the evangelical movement could do so much good, but people's fear of that which is different just screws things up. Now, in their defense, the fear of "that which is different" is not unique to evangelicals (or to Christians in general). In fact, … [Read more...]

New Books on Christian-Buddhist Dialogue

Three new books have recently come to my attention, all of which look quite tasty; all of which are concerned with the great conversation between Buddhism and Christianity. I've begun reading the one by Alan Wallace, and so far it's wonderful. I plan on blogging more about these titles as or after I read them, but I thought I'd post them now to recommend them to all of you who share my interest in interreligious dialogue and in the spiritual practice of learning about other faiths as a way of … [Read more...]