Patheos & the Wild Goose

Today Fran and Rhiannon and I are driving up to North Carolina for the second annual Wild Goose Festival. Will we see you there? We'll be there all day Friday and Saturday and at least part of the day Sunday. I'll be speaking on Celtic Spirituality Saturday evening, and on "Contemplation as a Subversive Act" Sunday morning.Of course, my Internet access will be spotty and confined to my iPhone over the next few days, so I don't anticipate spending much (if any time) on this blog, or Facebook, … [Read more...]

The “Overplus” of Reality

Indeed that which, beyond all else, spiritual genius never fails to give us, is  this realistic sense of the overplus of Reality; a perfection exceeding in its totality and splendor all possible human apprehension.— Evelyn Underhill, Man and the SupernaturalI stumbled across the quotation from Evelyn Underhill the other day in an anthology of her writings (Daily Readings with a Modern Mystic) and was immediately struck by the whimsy of the word "overplus." Clearly this was written before Ge … [Read more...]

The Spirit of George and Jack

This past weekend I led a retreat at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit called "The Spirituality of George MacDonald and C. S. Lewis." Following Lewis's longstanding nickname, I affectionately referred to our topic as "The Spirit of George and Jack."Weekend retreats at the monastery typically include five conferences: one Friday evening, three on Saturday, and on one Sunday. Friday evening I gave a brief introduction to George MacDonald, generally regarded as the father of modern fantasy and … [Read more...]

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father's Day! To celebrate, Fran and Rhiannon gave me this card which they made themselves. I thought it was so pretty I decided to share it with the world. … [Read more...]

Coming back from the desert

No longer are such centres of solitude and critical reflection located only in the remote regions. The last decade has seen the growth of urban contemplatives, communities of Christian women and men who seek to live lives of prayer and silence within the urban scene. It was a movement predicted over twenty-five years ago by the Jesuit Jean Daniélou:'The Constantinian phase in Christian history is coming to an end ... The flight into the desert was a revolutionary innovation, lasting from the … [Read more...]

The Point of Mystical Writing

Now because the Holy Spirit speaks through Isaac's mouth, the words of this thrice-blessed saint are matchless in their beauty and are fired with a divine spark. That is why, even though he writes so much, he makes a holy silence come to rest within our spirit, just as if there were no one speaking, but we only heard the distant echoing of a sea hidden from our sight.—Photios Kontoglou's Encomium for Isaac the Syrian,in The Ascetical Homilies of Saint Isaac the SyrianThe above quotation is … [Read more...]

The Shattered Cup

For my latest column at Patheos, I take a rather whimsical look at the legendary/hagiographical story of Saint Benedict and the poisoned cup. The story goes that Benedict had been asked to serve as the abbot of a monastery, but the monks of that community soon decided they wanted to be rid of Benedict, and so summarily tried to poison the man, not once but twice! Benedict was smart enough to bless his food before eating or drinking, and in both cases, the blessing led to his being saved: when he … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X