Quote for the Day

Goodness of will in a person is God's infused love, with which a person practices the things of God and all the virtues. Goodness of will is God's grace and our own supernatural life, with which we struggle against every sin and win the victory. United with God's grace, a good will sets us free, raising us up above ourselves and uniting us with God in a contemplative way of life. In turning inward to God, a good will is a spirit crowned with eternal love, while in turning outward it is the … [Read more...]

Sorry, but I’ll be a little late…

Recently I signed on to be part of a "blog tour" — in which different bloggers would read and reflect on Tony Jones' new book, The Teaching of the Twelve: Believing & Practicing the Primitive Christianity of the Ancient Didache Community. I was supposed to write about this book on December 7. Alas, the gremlins of miscommunication did their work, and I did not receive my copy of the book until Tuesday — the day after I was scheduled to offer my .02 to the trans-blogged conversation. My apo … [Read more...]


Today is the feast day of Juan Diego: the visionary of Mexico who received the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe in1531.In Mysticism: The Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness, Evelyn Underhill has a chapter called "Voices and Visions." Julian of Norwich was a visionary. So was Birgitta of Sweden, Hildegard of Bingen, Catherine of Siena, and Francis of Assisi. Receiving visions seems to be very much part of the stock in trade of the mystical life.The prophet Joel, whom Peter … [Read more...]

Three Preachers

Three ministers — a Baptist, a Presbyterian, and an Episcopalian — were having lunch one day. One of them posed this hypothetical question: "If you knew you only had a week to live and could only preach one last sermon, what would your topic be?"The Baptist enthusiastically said, "I would preach on the absolute necessity of each person to make his or her own free decision for or against Christ."The Presbyterian countered, "I would preach about the absolute sovereignty of God and recognizing t … [Read more...]

My Kindle Wish List

I've asked Santa to bring me a Kindle for Christmas. I'm not sure if he will, but it never hurts to ask, right?One of the reasons why I want a Kindle is because there is a growing selection of — you guessed it — mystical and contemplative works available electronically. And so here is a list of some of those books. If you have more luck with Santa than I do, then I hope you'll refer to this list when choosing books for your Kindle.Revised Standard Version of the Holy Bible, Catholic Edi … [Read more...]

The Eucharistic Prayer of John Ruusbroec

The following prayer comes from the 14th century Flemish mystic John Ruusbroec, also known as John Ruysbroeck. I think it's one of the loveliest examples of eucharistic spirituality that I have ever come across. It comes from his work called "A Mirror of Eternal Blessedness" and this translation is taken from The Spiritual Espousals and Other Works, published by Paulist Press. Lord, you have said, "Without me you can do nothing." You have also said, "unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, … [Read more...]

Christmas Every Day, Easter Every Day

When I was a teenager I used to attend the Fisherman's House charismatic prayer and praise meeting in Hampton, VA. This was a non-denominational, neo-pentecostal Christian youth group, evangelical in its theology. On the meeting just before Christmas, the leader of the group commented that "we don't particularly observe Christmas, because any day can be the day when Christ is born in someone's heart."That observation has always stuck with me. And even though I love the liturgical year and am … [Read more...]