The Mystic Way of Evangelism

...there are other, deeper indicators of a loss of vitality in the American church. The accommodation of the church to the consumerism, competitiveness, and individualism of postmodern culture is pervasive, from the opulent lifestyle of prosperity gospel preachers to the ubiquitous "worship wars" to pseudoevangelistic "transfer growth" as churches cater to Christians who shop around for a better deal. The fruitlessness is experienced by renewal-minded pastors who are appointed to dysfunctional … [Read more...]

Craving, Avarice, and Deadly Sin

Had an interesting exchange on Twitter over the weekend. It began with I made the following tweet:According to Dorothee Soelle, the Christian "deadly sin" of avarice equals the Buddhist concept of craving.Here is the quote from Dorothee Soelle which inspired my pithy little comment.Possessions are often regarded as a kind of life-threatening drug, impeding the power of judgment. 'Sloth and cowardice creep in with every dollar or guinea we have to guard.' Having contributes to rendering … [Read more...]

Images from my Lay Cistercian Life Promises Ceremony

On May 6, 2012, I made my Lifetime Promises as a Lay Cistercian of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit, affiliated with the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, GA. It's been quite a journey, the culmination of a five year formation process (and several months of discernment prior to that). Here are a few photographs taken on that happy day. If you want to learn more about Lay Cistercian spirituality, click here.  … [Read more...]

Body and Blood, Indeed

Yesterday was the feast of Corpus Christi — the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. To celebrate, the Episcopal Cathedral of Saint Philip in Atlanta hosted a very special Eucharist indeed. This week the cities of Atlanta and Decatur are hosting the 2012 International Gathering of L'Arche — the federation of communities founded by Jean Vanier (and lovingly written about by Henri Nouwen) in which persons with intellectual disabilities and non-disabled volunteers and assistants create homes to … [Read more...]

Mary, Martha, and Meister Eckhart

The story of Mary and Martha of Bethany — where Martha is busy serving the guests while Mary sits with Jesus, leading to the point where Martha complains about her sister not helping out with all the work that needs to be done, only to have Jesus defend Mary for choosing "the better part" (Luke 10:38-42) — has long been regarded as a story about how the contemplative life is "higher" than the active life. The Cloud of Unknowing forcefully makes this traditional argument. But in her book The Sil … [Read more...]

Patheos x 2

Last week I never got around to posting a link to my Patheos column here at my blog, so this week you get two links. Both are continuing my exploration of Cistercian spirituality, a topic that I imagine I will continue to examine at Patheos for at least a few weeks to come. So here you go:Beyond Merton: Exploring the Riches of Cistercian Literature — A surprising number of Cistercian authors, from the past and the present, have contributed to the literature of contemplative spi … [Read more...]

Before We Face the Monkey Mind

A reader has written to me with the following question:I make my living as a psychotherapist & most of my work is spiritually oriented counseling with Christians.  I have long been trying to introduce clients to contemplation through encouraging brief periods of silence, solitude and openness  (15-20 min).  I also taught an introductory  course through my church.  Finally, I am preparing to lecture other therapists on using contemplation in therapy.As I have tried to introduce others we … [Read more...]


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