Contemplation and the Unreal World (Why Contemplation is Revolutionary, Part Three)

This is part of a series. If you’re just joining the conversation, begin with The Archbishop and the Community Theologian and then proceed to Why Contemplation is Revolutionary (Part One) and (Part Two).Today we're looking at the third of ten points drawn from what Archbishop Rowan Williams and Father Kenneth Leech have said about contemplation. Today's point, quoting the archbishop directly: contemplation is "the only ultimate answer to the unreal and insane world that our financial syst … [Read more...]

Contemplation in a Consumer Society (Why Contemplation is Revolutionary, Part Two)

This is the second part of a series. If you're just joining the conversation, begin with The Archbishop and the Community Theologian and then proceed to Why Contemplation is Revolutionary (Part One).Today we're looking at the second of ten points drawn from quotations on contemplation from Archbishop Rowan Williams and Father Kenneth Leech. Today's point, quoting the archbishop directly: contemplation is "the key to the essence of a renewed humanity that is capable of seeing the world … [Read more...]

Why Contemplation is Revolutionary (Part One)

In yesterday's post (The Archbishop and the Community Theologian) I quoted two renowned living contemplatives — emeritus Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and author/community theologian Kenneth Leech — both speaking of the communal and social implications of contemplative prayer.Naysayers, stand aside. Contemplative prayer is not about navel-gazing or self-absorbed "spiritual experiences." Indeed, anyone who explores contemplation only out of a desire for mystical experience or per … [Read more...]

The Archbishop and the Community Theologian

I've posted both of the following quotes in this blog before, but they are such wonderful quotes that I find myself going back to them again and again. Last night I taught a class on contemplative spirituality at an Episcopal Church in Gainesville, GA, and I used the first of these two quotes. It's from the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, on the occasion of his addressing the Catholic Synod of Bishops in Rome: the first time an Anglican Archbishop ever gave such an address. The … [Read more...]

My First Article in Contemplative Journal, or, How to Be a Faithful Christian While Embracing Interspirituality

Contemplative Journal is the loveliest and most promising new website to come along in quite some time. Unlike some of the more prominent inter-religious websites, this start-up is dedicated to the contemplative dimension of the spiritual life, with a decidedly interspiritual presence. Early contributors included a variety of well-known and intriguing voices in the contemplative world: Judith Simmer-Brown, Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Mirabai Starr, Thomas Keating, and many others. According to its … [Read more...]

Some Lovely Music for You

I've loved the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams every since I was in high school. Yesterday I found these lovely recordings of my three favorites works of Vaughan Williams on Youtube. Hope you enjoy them.First up, Ralph Vaughan Williams' sublime Mass in G Minor, sung by the choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, directed by Stephen Darlington.Next up is the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrew Davies, performing Vaughan Williams' "Fantasia on a Theme By Thomas … [Read more...]

Our Words, Our Breath, Our Bodies, Our Spirit

Once again, Alison Leigh Lilly wows me with the elegance, beauty and insight of her writing. The fact that her most recent blog post begins with something I tweeted yesterday is not only a delight in itself for me, but her reflections in that post are so rich and relevant to concerns that I am wrestling with in my own current writing that it seems, well, serendipitous.The piece is called Why I Cannot Tell You About My Gods. And yes, "Gods" is meant to be plural, for Alison is a Pagan, her … [Read more...]


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