The Three Streams of Celtic Spirituality (and Three Lessons We Learn from it)

Friends, I am in the process of writing a book about Celtic spirituality. This will be the first book on Celtic wisdom that I have written since becoming a Catholic in 2005. Over the next few weeks I hope to post excerpts from the manuscript to this blog, both to share with you what's on my mind these days but also to garner any comments or feedback you'd like to share. Please remember that this is "unvarnished" writing — the book itself will be carefully edited and revised, so the text that you … [Read more...]

How Julian of Norwich Changed My Life

Julian of Norwich, the author of Revelations of Divine Love, had a series of visions on May 8, 1373. Or maybe May 13, we're not entirely sure.[1] Nevertheless, today is a day that people around the world honor as a memorial of Julian's extraordinary encounter with Divine Love.And it was 33 years ago on this date — May 8, 1984 — that I attended a one-woman play about Julian of Norwich, at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. I went to that play because I was interested in Julian; but tha … [Read more...]

Following the Good Shepherd

A Meditation for Good Shepherd Sunday (May 7, 2017)So I suppose the obvious topic for a reflection on Good Shepherd Sunday is… well… sheep!But I am not a farmer, I have never lived on a farm, in fact I don’t know that I have ever lived particularly near a farm. I’m a vegetarian, so I don’t eat mutton. Really, my knowledge of sheep pretty much begins and ends with a couple of nice wool sweaters that I own. And in Georgia, you don’t even need to wear those very often!But I’m not just tr … [Read more...]

Compline — Prayer for the Closing of the Day

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QolGKCEaCtoThis video presents a service of Compline, sung live by the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, England, under the direction of Graham Ross, recorded in Clare College Chapel.It includes an Introit by the sixteenth century composer, Robert White (1538-1574), Christe qui Lux es et Dies. It also includes an anthem by the nineteenth century composer, Josef Rheinberger (1839-1901), Abendlied.Compline is the final liturgical prayer office of the day … [Read more...]

Essential Writings from Two Important Living Catholic Authors

Orbis Books has a long-standing collection of books called the "Modern Spiritual Masters Series." With over sixty titles to date, this series anthologizes writings from key spiritual authors of the 20th and 21st centuries, ranging from Thomas Merton to Evelyn Underhill, from Dorothy Soelle to Howard Thurman. While the featured authors are mostly Christian, other significant figures appear as well, such as Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama. Modern Spiritual Masters Books are excellent … [Read more...]

How the Deserts of Egypt Inspired the Saints of Ireland

In the Celtic lands, you’ll find places with names like Dysart or Dysert. There’s Dysart in Scotland, a suburb of Kirkcaldy, where a Celtic holy man named St. Serf once lived. Or there’s Dysert O’Dea in Co. Clare, Ireland, the site of a monastery said to have bene founded by St. Tola in the eighth century.Others can be found, sprinkled across the land, often with some sort of connection to a saint or monastery of old.These places are named for the Gaelic word díseart, which means “hermita … [Read more...]

When a Jesuit talked to a Franciscan (Video)

Check out this video, where two of my favorite living Catholic authors — Fr. James Martin, SJ and Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM — have a chat together at a religious education congress a couple of years ago.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_H8C3ldzM8James Martin is a Jesuit and is an editor at large of America magazine; Richard Rohr is a Franciscan and the director of the Center for Action and Contemplation. Both are widely admired, not only within the Catholic Church, but also beyond it. … [Read more...]