Concerning Sheep, Goats, and the Unconditional Love of God

I received this email today. Thought it might be worth exploring here on the blog.Hi Carl.Just listened to your two interviews and was blessed ... You said in your interview that you didn't like the, what I would call, the "us and them" attitude in evangelical circles like "I'm saved and you're not." And though I agree that we should not look down on others and be proud for we can't claim any credit for being a follower of Christ, yet does not the Bible make a distinction between the "sheep … [Read more...]

Simplicity and Silence

This message came to me the other day.Hi Carl. Love reading your blogs. From one who is a struggling contemplative can you tell me what form of contemplative prayer you do and why? Also can one do more than one form of contemplative prayer? ie, will one complement the other?Two questions here. First, what does my own daily practice look like? And secondly, what do I think about using more than one method of contemplative practice?First, about what I do. I'm assuming you simply want to … [Read more...]

Purity

Purity does not lie in separation from but in deeper penetration into the universe.— Pierre Teilhard de ChardinI stumbled across this quote from Teilhard while reading an essay by Annie Dillard called "Flying in the Middle of Art." She doesn't provide the original source, and I googled it and couldn't find it that way either. So I'm not sure exactly where or when Teilhard said this. And I suppose it doesn't matter. It's one of those lovely "words" of wisdom, similar to what a Desert Father m … [Read more...]

Spiritual Orientation

My latest column has been published on Patheos. It's called Four Compass Points for the Spiritual Life.It grew out of an idea I have for this website (www.anamchara.com). It seems to me that there are four key dimensions to the spiritual life, no matter whether we are beginners or seasoned practitioners. And while I wrote the Patheos column specifically with "beginners" (of all ages) in mind, in truth one of the paradoxes of the spiritual life is that the further we travel on the journey, … [Read more...]

The Spirit of George and Jack

This past weekend I led a retreat at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit called "The Spirituality of George MacDonald and C. S. Lewis." Following Lewis's longstanding nickname, I affectionately referred to our topic as "The Spirit of George and Jack."Weekend retreats at the monastery typically include five conferences: one Friday evening, three on Saturday, and on one Sunday. Friday evening I gave a brief introduction to George MacDonald, generally regarded as the father of modern fantasy and … [Read more...]

The Mystic Way of Evangelism

...there are other, deeper indicators of a loss of vitality in the American church. The accommodation of the church to the consumerism, competitiveness, and individualism of postmodern culture is pervasive, from the opulent lifestyle of prosperity gospel preachers to the ubiquitous "worship wars" to pseudoevangelistic "transfer growth" as churches cater to Christians who shop around for a better deal. The fruitlessness is experienced by renewal-minded pastors who are appointed to dysfunctional … [Read more...]

Body and Blood, Indeed

Yesterday was the feast of Corpus Christi — the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. To celebrate, the Episcopal Cathedral of Saint Philip in Atlanta hosted a very special Eucharist indeed. This week the cities of Atlanta and Decatur are hosting the 2012 International Gathering of L'Arche — the federation of communities founded by Jean Vanier (and lovingly written about by Henri Nouwen) in which persons with intellectual disabilities and non-disabled volunteers and assistants create homes to … [Read more...]


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