Norwich Cathedral: Stained Glass and a Green Man

I am often asked about the beautiful image of Julian of Norwich that I use on my Julian of Norwich Prayer Cards. It's an image from a stained glass window in Norwich Cathedral. I know just enough about photography to know that shooting a stained glass window is a tricky matter, so I tip my hat to the photographer who took this particular shot: he goes by the moniker of Ian-S on Flickr (and yes, I did ask for, and receive, permission to use this image; this image can be used, with attribution, … [Read more...]

Snow at the Monastery

Here are some pictures of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit under several inches of snow — most unusual for us southerners. These photos are by Haven Sweet. … [Read more...]

Relations, Integrally

Happy New Year, everyone. May this be a year of good and beautiful dreams come true.The other night at a Christmas party I had an interesting conversation with my friend Joe and a couple of young men who are students at the Art Institute of Chicago. We spoke about the relationship between art and politics. One of the students was very interested in this connection, and felt that "justice" was a category that could be applied to how we understand pretty much any kind of artwork. Does any given … [Read more...]

The Two Faces of Restlessness

Yesterday at the Lay Cistercian Gathering Day we had a class on the monastic vow of stability (Cistercian monks have three vows: Stability, Obedience, and Conversion of Life). The brother who taught the class spoke at one point about restlessness as a tendency within us to undermine stability. I shared with him and the class that I wasn't entirely comfortable with this idea, because, it seemed to me, that restlessness comes in more than one flavor. Certainly, there is the kind of restlessness … [Read more...]

Her Morning Elegance… and Dreaming about Dreams

This video by Oren Lavie has been watched almost ten million times, so I imagine many of my readers will already be familiar with it. But I just discovered it this morning, and it seemed worthy of passing on.I am reminded of the passage from the prophet Joel that we used to quote to each other all the time back when I was immersed in charismatic spirituality: Then afterward I will pour out my spirit upon all mankind. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, … [Read more...]

Discipline

Check out my to-do list:I want to lose about 25 pounds. I want to learn to play the bass guitar (and, for that matter, the regular guitar, but first things first). I want to de-clutter the garage (ay yi yi) — and come to think of it, there's plenty of clutter inside the house that needs dealing with as well. I want to complete two new book proposals, and edit one of my out-of-print books for the publication of a new/revised edition. I want to improve my daily fidelity to contemplative p … [Read more...]

On Learning a Musical Instrument as a Metaphor for Contemplative Practice

I'm a beginner with the bass guitar. I bought an inexpensive Ibanez bass the January before last and took about four months of lessons, but then stopped as I got more involved in writing my book on Christian mysticism. Now, over a year later, the book is on my editor's desk and I've resumed working with the bass. Thanks to a rather lucrative freelancing job I had earlier this year, I've upgraded my gear and am now learning with a Rickenbacker bass (I am not worthy to be playing such a wonderful … [Read more...]


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