In Memoriam: Kenneth Leech


I have learned of the passing of Father Kenneth Leech, who died on Saturday after a long illness. With his passing, we have lost one of the great contemplatives of our time, who was also a prophet for God's justice and mercy.He was born in 1939 and grew up in a secular home in the north of England. As a youth he was inspired by Alisdair MacIntyre (later famous for his renowned study of postmodern moral theory, After Virtue) who helped him realize that it is possible to have a critical, inq … [Read more...]

Rocking Justice & Spirituality: Like the Two Movements of the Breath


When I met the Anglican writer Kenneth Leech, who is one of my heroes, he told me a funny but sad story.I mentioned to him that one of my favorite books of his was The Eye of the Storm: Spiritual Resources for the Pursuit of Justice. I loved it (and still do) because it is an eloquent statement of why Christian spirituality necessarily includes a commitment to making the world a more peaceful and just place. He explained to me how he was inspired to write the book.At some point in the … [Read more...]

Flannery O’Connor on the Church and Politics

Flannery O'Connor: Spiritual Writings

I don't care what your political persuasion is, I bet you probably get frustrated from time to time with what Christian leaders have to say (or don't say) about matters of current concern.Here's a funny little quote from Flannery O'Connor that reminds us some things never change. It's from a letter she wrote in August 1959. About the Church's political actions. God never promised her political infallibility or wisdom and sometimes she doesn't appear to have even elementary good sense. She … [Read more...]

Prayer and Prophecy

Contemplation has a context: it does not occur in a vacuum. Today's context is that of the multinational corporations, the arms race, the strong state, the economic crisis, urban decay, the growing racism, and human loneliness. It is within this highly deranged culture that contemplatives explore the waste of their own being. It is in the midst of chaos and crisis that they pursue the vision of God and experience the conflict which is at the core of the contemplative search. They become part of … [Read more...]

Preach it, Brother Stephen!

This was on Facebook the other day (thanks to Jack G. for posting it!). … [Read more...]

Jesus was a healer. Are you?

A friend of mine from my church sent me a link to this video. It's an inspiring story about a church-run health clinic for low income folks. This is something I think every church ought to prayerfully consider: how can a ministry like this be established in your neighborhood?Or, go directly to the Church Health Center's Website. … [Read more...]

Progressive Christianity and Mysticism?

In just a few days I will head out to the Wild Goose Festival, where I will be speaking on "Contemplation as a Subversive Act" and participating in a dialogue on the question of "How can I truly love those whose values are hostile to my own?" (riffing on Matthew 5:44). I'm excited about this event, not least because many people I admire, from Richard Rohr to John Dear to Phyllis Tickle to Shane Claiborne to Brian McLaren, etc. etc. etc., will be there.The Goose is getting a lot of press, from … [Read more...]