Fran and Rhiannon singing at the Friends of L’Arche Atlanta

Here are links to videos of Fran and Rhiannon singing at the Friends of L'Arche Atlanta coffeehouse on June 26, 2010 (our anniversary). I'm sorry I don't have the videos embedded — they're not on Youtube and I can't figure out if there's a way to embed them from the Photoshop website. I'll ask the guy who filmed them to put them on Youtube, and if he does, I'll embed them here. But for now, please just follow the links. They're both great fun, and I'm just as proud as can be. I'll Fly Away ( … [Read more...]

Into the Silent Land

Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation By Martin Laird Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006 Review by Carl McColmanHere is one of the loveliest, most poetic, and most useful books on the practice of mature Christian prayer that I have ever read.First of all, what this book is not. It is not a comprehensive guide to Christian spirituality, or even to Christian prayer. The author does not bother discussing the sacramental or liturgical life of the church, or … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

Stand guard over your spirit, keeping it free of concepts at the time of prayer so that it may remain in its own deep calm. Thus he who has compassion on the ignorant will come to visit even such an insignificant person as yourself. That is when you will receive the most glorious gift of prayer. — Evagrius Ponticus, Chapters on Prayer, 69 … [Read more...]

Would you give a book to a monastery, please?

A couple of weeks ago, one of my dearest monk friends (who gets written about on this blog all the time, usually anonymously — see this post, for example) brought in to the Abbey Store a check that a friend of his had written to him. Typical of the monks, he used the money to benefit someone other than himself: he bought a copy of The Big Book of Christian Mysticism to send to the monks of Our Lady of Gethsemani — the monastery where Thomas Merton lived.I did not put him up to this. As is so of … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

Were we to have the tiniest glimpse of God, we would lose desire for anything else. — Ruth Burrows, Guidelines for Mystical Prayer … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

To understand contemplation correctly, we need to go back to its original meaning. Step out in the dark night, raise your eyes to the starry sky, and you will experience what contemplation was before it had a name. Since prehistoric times humans have looked up to the stars and have longed to measure up to that cosmic order. The root meaning of temp is “measure,” and the temple was originally a measured-out area in the sky. The temple below was meant to be a reflection of the perfect order abo … [Read more...]

Julian of Norwich: A Contemplative Biography

Julian of Norwich: A Contemplative Biography By Amy Frykholm Brewster, MA: Paraclete Press, 2010 Review by Carl McColmanStories are important. Spirituality is a field that can easily get lost in the most arcane types of discourse: philosophy, theology, psychology, scholarly prose. Such writing, no matter how well done, always seems to have a quality of abstract otherness that fails to fully engage the reader. By contrast, a heartfelt story: someone's autobiography, a parable, or even a … [Read more...]