Quote for the Day

We are personally convinced that a 'Christian non-dualism', to borrow Vladimir Lossky's expression... is not to be dismissed on the basis of the Faith,... nowhere does Scripture make the slightest allusion to anything of this kind, at least explicitly, but is this sufficient reason to discard it? Scripture does not say everything and, moreover, does not need to. It teaches us only what is necessary for our salvation. — A Monk of the West, Christianity and the Doctrine of Non-Dualism (Hillsdale, N … [Read more...]

Two Monks

Last week I had two brief conversations with two different monks. One told me that, based on his years of contemplation, the entire point of the Christian life is communion with the Holy Trinity, God as three persons. The other monk told me his experience of God was impersonalist.On the surface, it is so tempting to try to dissect or deconstruct what both of these guys are up to. Whose experience is more valid, more authentic, more nuanced, better interpreted, more orthodox, more (dare I say … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

Speak only when your words are an improvement on silence. — Quaker proverb … [Read more...]

The Thread of Love

So today is Holy Saturday, when the liturgical churches commemorate Christ's descent into hell following his death on Good Friday. His underworld journey culminates in the bursting forth of the resurrection that we will commemorate tomorrow.Yesterday I wrote, "When Christ died and journeyed through hell, it was as if he were threading the thread of Divine Love through the needle of the death experience." In his "absence" from his disciples, he was performing a mighty act of salvation with … [Read more...]

Playful Mysticism

G. K. Chesterton said "Angels fly because they take themselves lightly," and Jesus warns his followers, "I tell you, whoever doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a little child, he will in no way enter into it." I don't know about you, but when I think of "like a little child," what immediately springs to mind is not only faithful trust, but also a spontaneous playfulness and love for all things fun, joyful and silly (the English word "silly" actually comes from a Germanic word that also m … [Read more...]

Fourth and Walnut

Plaque commemorating Merton's epiphany

The day before yesterday - March 18 - was the fiftieth anniversary of the epiphany Thomas Merton experienced at the corner of Fourth and Walnut street in Louisville, Kentucky. Merton immortalized that experience in his book Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (and which I quote at length on my Thomas Merton page). Conjectures was published in 1966, eight years after the epiphany took place; here is what Merton initially wrote about it, in his journal on March 19, 1958: Yesterday, in Louisville, … [Read more...]

Field Trip Mom

An Atlanta blogger/photographer who calls herself "Field Trip Mom" because she takes her children on adventures around the area recently visited the Monastery of the Holy Spirit and posted some lovely photos on her blog:Field Trip Mom's Visit to the Monastery … [Read more...]