The Kenosis of Clutter


True confession time: I'm a clutter bug. I always have been, with books, CDs, and other forms of media being my worst offenses when it comes to acquiring stuff that I never use or under-use. Recently I got library privileges at my local seminary, which has helped some, but I still have the addiction."Hi, my name is Carl, and I'm a bookaholic." Everyone in unison now: "Hi, Carl!"What's fascinating about all the books strewn (yes, no other verb will do) all about my house is that they … [Read more...]

Where to buy my books…

My friends, please forgive me for such a blatantly commercial post. File this one under "Yes, authors have to make a living, too."This morning someone asked me on Twitter, "Where can I buy your books?" And I realized, marketing genius that I am, that I didn't have one centralized "where to buy" page. So this post seeks to rectify that.Here, in one handy location, are links for each of my three most recent books — whether you want ebook versions (available in a variety of formats), pa … [Read more...]

The Evelyn Underhill Rosary

I've just finished reading The Letters of Evelyn Underhill (which were published in 1943 and edited by Charles Williams). It's such a wonderful book; I think anyone who is a spiritual director (or who sees a spiritual director), spiritual companion, or soul friend, would find much to treasure in this collection. Although the collection includes its share of love letters to her husband, "wish you were here" descriptions of her many holidays in Europe, and fan mail to authors she admired (such as … [Read more...]

“Does anyone read Thomas Merton any more?”

Yesterday I received a review copy of a beautiful new book: The Selected Essays of Thomas Merton, edited by Patrick F. O'Connell. This newly published anthology from Orbis Books includes thirty-three essays on a wide range of topics. I am confident that anyone who loves Merton, poetry, or contemplation will find much to savor here. Merely glancing at the table of contents is enough to make this reader practically salivate: with topics ranging from St. John of the Cross to Gandhi, from Boris … [Read more...]

Two New Reference Books For You (or Your Library)

Mysticism — whether Christian mysticism, or comparative (world) mysticism — is a vast subject, one to which you could easily devote your life without any fear of ever mastering (or exhausting) the literature associated with it. Recently two books have crossed my desk that should prove to be invaluable for anyone seeking to study mysticism on a scholarly level. But first, a word of warning: these books are priced for library or textbook sales, and so they are not cheap! If you're on a budget, you … [Read more...]

Carmelite Review reviews “Answering the Contemplative Call”

The latest (Winter/Spring 2013) issue of Carmelite Review includes a review of Answering the Contemplative Call. Here's the review.You can purchase a copy of the book by clicking here. … [Read more...]

Growing in Love and Wisdom

Readers of this blog know that my love and commitment to the Christian contemplative tradition is balanced by a heartfelt desire to learn more about other faiths, particularly the contemplative dimension of other traditions. Naturally, Buddhism, as a school of wisdom with many rich resources in the practice of meditation, is a particularly appealing tradition to me. I live only about three miles from the Atlanta Shambhala Center, so I've taken several classes there and have gotten to know some … [Read more...]