Not a Comfortable God

A God who is mystery, who is unpredictable, who disturbs the status quo, who conceals in the process of revealing, who demands not only that we choose whether or not to be in relationship but also to take responsibility for that relationship; a God who offers salvation as infinite, unpredetermined possibility — such a God is not a comfortable God. Such a God offers security in the form of risk and faith, and self-fulfillment in self-forgetfulness.— Maggie Ross, The Fountain & the Fur … [Read more...]

Norwich Cathedral: Stained Glass and a Green Man

I am often asked about the beautiful image of Julian of Norwich that I use on my Julian of Norwich Prayer Cards. It's an image from a stained glass window in Norwich Cathedral. I know just enough about photography to know that shooting a stained glass window is a tricky matter, so I tip my hat to the photographer who took this particular shot: he goes by the moniker of Ian-S on Flickr (and yes, I did ask for, and receive, permission to use this image; this image can be used, with attribution, … [Read more...]

Tell the Truth

One of the ways we can learn to grow in the spiritual life is by simply learning to tell the truth. The truth of what we think, certainly, but I think a more powerful truth is the truth of how we feel. Sometimes what we think is an elaborate cocoon we spin to distract us from what we feel. Telling the truth can be a way to put all those glorious thoughts into perspective and get down to the nitty gritty of what's really going on. … [Read more...]

Prayer and Presence

The life of prayer and contemplation is simply to realize God's presence in the depth of our being, in the depth of every being, and at the same time beyond all beings, beyond all that is within and all that is without.— Abhishiktananda, PrayerOne of the monks who teaches our Lay Cistercian group has called Abhishiktananda's book Prayer "one of the best books on the subject" he's ever read. High praise indeed. I've just started the book (based on that recommendation!) and barely 10 pages i … [Read more...]

Patheos Column, and Upcoming Events

Good morning! Just a few notes of interest for you...My second Patheos column has been published: A Medieval Mystic SuperstarI've set up a Featured Upcoming Events page to highlight some fun things I have scheduled. I hope you'll join me at one or both of these: a spirituality weekend in Charlotte, NC, or a webinar on mysticism next Thursday evening. To learn about these events, click here.Also, a reminder to my Atlanta/Decatur friends: I'll be speaking at Oakhurst Baptist Church on … [Read more...]

The Marvelous Melody

I saw the Lord take no place of honor in his house, rather I saw him rule royally there, filling it full of joy and mirth. He himself presided by endlessly gladdening and entertaining his very close friends with every warmth and courtesy, with a marvelous melody of endless love in his own fair blessed face. For it is to see the glorious Godhead in this way, face to face, that fills the very heavens with such joy and bliss.— Revelation of Love, chapter 14It's no secret that I adore Julian of N … [Read more...]

Peace Be With You

For Christians to view 9/11 and the world of terrorism through the paschal mystery of Christ's death and resurrection will be difficult and complex. Such a stance does not mean condoning or ignoring what al-Qaeda did on September 11, any more than God, in Christian belief, ignored or condoned the sinfulness of humanity in crucifying his Son. No, forgiveness must mean, as the South African activist Maluis Mpumlwana suggests, helping our adversaries recover their humanity. ... The only foreign … [Read more...]