Inter-Religious Spirituality and the Contemplative Renaissance

My most recent column for Patheos is based on a talk I gave at Columbia Theological Seminary on April 15, 2012, as part of the Contemplative Interfaith Conference co-sponsored by CTS and the Interfaith Community Initiatives. My talk focused on the contemplative dimension of Christianity, but as part of the talk I discussed the role of interfaith dialogue in supporting the rebirth of Christian contemplation in the modern and postmodern era.Thomas Merton, Tilden Edwards, Bede Griffiths, Thomas … [Read more...]

Contemplation and the Bible

The latest installment of Let the Earth Keep Silence, my column for Patheos, has been published. It is a look at the evidence for contemplative spirituality in the Bible. You can read it by following this link: Let the Earth Keep Silence: Contemplation and the Bible.I'd love to get your thoughts on this column, since this question of "Is contemplation in the Bible?" seems to be a significant concern for many Christians, particularly those who are theologically conservative. … [Read more...]

In Florida

Fran and Rhiannon and I were in Florida last week, and had this snapshot taken of us.Fran took quite a few pictures over the course of the week. Here's one of a pelican that was flying near her one morning.And for those of you who might be wondering, "hmmm, Holy Week on the beach?!?" — well, we have no control over when the school system is out for spring break! And even though we were "on vacation," we certainly tried to keep it as, well, contemplative as possible! :-)This w … [Read more...]

Joyful Penitence and Easter Wishes

Here is a link to my latest column at Patheos: Joyful Penitence and a Continual Lent.My next post to this blog won't be until after the Sacred Triduum -- in other words, after Easter. So in the meantime, I wish you and yours a joyous Feast of the Resurrection -- may the blessings of the resurrected life be yours. … [Read more...]

Spirit and Standards

Certainly, Christians in the world cannot live precisely as monks. They can however live in accordance with the spirit and standards of monastic life. This will aid them greatly in preserving their own inner unity and balance while living in a troubled and anxious world.— Archimandrite George Capsanis, The Eros of Repentance:Four Talks on Athonite MonasticismHere is one of the most concise statements of the rationale behind Lay Cistercian spirituality, coming from an Eastern Orthodox monk o … [Read more...]

With Great Reverence and Above Reason

But now see what it is to adore God: it is, in the Christian faith, with great reverence and above reason, to gaze in the spirit upon God, the Eternal Power, Creator and Lord of heaven and earth and all that in them is.— John Ruysbroeck, The Seven Steps of the Ladder of Spiritual LoveThe Anglican contemplative Maggie Ross is well known for her advocacy of beholding as a core element of contemplative practice, as seen in the title of her most recent book, Writing the Icon of the Heart: In Si … [Read more...]

The Great Blue Beautifulness

After this he said nothing for a while, and I laid myself on the floor of his garret, and stared up and around at the great blue beautifulness. I had forgotten him almost, when at last he said, 'Ain't you done yet?' 'Done what?' I asked. 'Done saying your prayers,' says he. 'I wasn't saying my prayers,' I answered. 'Oh, yes, you were,' said he, 'though you didn't know it! And now I must show you something else.'— George MacDonald, At the Back of the North WindThe Apostle Paul enjoins his r … [Read more...]


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