Falling Upward

Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life By Richard Rohr San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2011Richard Rohr's newest book unpacks a simple, and yet profoundly important, idea: that the goals and purpose of the spiritual life evolve over the lifespan; in other words, what is important and necessary in the first half of life might actually impede our spiritual calling in the second half. While even a cursory knowledge of developmental psychology can make this idea seem like mere … [Read more...]

A Chat with a Methodist Minister

The other day at the Abbey Store I struck up a conversation with a Methodist minister who was making a short retreat at the Monastery. We chatted up books and authors and it became apparent that we had a similar interest in contemplative spirituality."So tell me," I asked him, "What is it like to advocate for contemplative spirituality in your congregation?"He smiled ruefully. "It's not easy," he said."Are people afraid of it?" I wondered, mindful of the small but vocal presence of … [Read more...]

The Spirituality of the Budget Crisis

David Brooks over at the New York Times wrote an interesting opinion piece on the current budget crisis and how it relates to our fear of death and our faith in science and medical technology to delay death. Here's a few provocative snippets: This fiscal crisis is about many things, but one of them is our inability to face death — our willingness to spend our nation into bankruptcy to extend life for a few more sickly months. ... As Daniel Callahan and Sherwin B. Nuland point out in an essay in T … [Read more...]

Something I wrote for Amazon.com

Amazon.com offers authors the chance to write something personal about their book(s) to appear on Amazon's website. This morning I finally wrote such a statement for The Big Book of Christian Mysticism. I thought I may as well post it here, so readers of this blog could enjoy it as well. The following text should be published within the next few days on The Big Book of Christian Mysticism's page under the heading "From the Author." When I was eighteen years old, a friend of mine loaned me a copy … [Read more...]

The Jewel and the Setting

In response to my post yesterday of Annemarie S. Kidder writing on the relationship between postmodernity and the rediscovery of mysticism, one commenter writes: Her insights resonate with me, both in words and practice. What I wonder though, is what kind of church this individual movement will form. How will the creeds be written or will creeds be simply experienced in similar ways? How will be able to share with the youth from our own inward experiences? I understand where we are, but I feel … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

People in the postmodern era have lost confidence in the idea of perpetual progress advanced by the sciences and technology. They have become distrustful of and disenchanted with authority, which includes that of the church. They value experience over against outside authority, a faith based on experience over against one that is ecclesiastically pre-formulated, and a plurality of voices that are of equal value over against a singular voice that makes all final decisions. Authenticity, being … [Read more...]

A Brief Julian of Norwich Bibliography

A Facebook friend has asked me to draw up a list of recommended books on Julian of Norwich. While I have done this previously (see my page on Julian), it had been a while since I had updated it, and there are some worthwhile new books available. So it seemed worth revisiting. Here, then, is my updated list. Happy reading! A Brief Julian of Norwich BibliographyEditions of Julian's book, translated into modern English:Julian of Norwich, Revelation of Love, tr. John Skinner (the translation I … [Read more...]


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