The 2016 Presidential Candidate Prayer Challenge: Are You In?


As a blogger, I tend to avoid politics like it's radioactive. Not because I don't have political views (I do, and they're rather strong), but because of my conviction that contemplative prayer is for everyone — not just people who hold the same political views as I do. Unfortunately, the way the Internet echo-chamber works, far too many readers tend only to read writers with whom we agree (and ignore, or argue with, those with whom we don't). Since my goal is to promote silent prayer, if I star … [Read more...]

Entering the Year of Mercy: Are You Willing to Take the “Rahner Challenge”?

Karl Rahner in 1974. (Copyright Info goes here)

So today is the fiftieth anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council.It's also the beginning of the Jubilee Year of Mercy as declared by Pope Francis. Which is a wonderful way to honor Vatican II — a year devoted not only to seeking God's mercy, but to reflecting on how the Body of Christ can be mercy, can bring mercy to a world that seems increasingly fraught by violence, fear, and injustice.What does it mean to be God's mercy, to bring's God mercy to a world where mass sho … [Read more...]

Five Things I learned from Phyllis Tickle

Phyllis Tickle in 2009. Photo by Courtney Perr, used i accordance with Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

September 2015 has turned out to be a rough month, at least for awesome Anglican writers. First Kenneth Leech passed away on the 12th, and just ten days later Phyllis Tickle followed him into the silence of eternity.That's two authors I considered role models, both of whom warmly supported my own work. In fact, my forthcoming book Befriending Silence will feature an endorsement from Phyllis — the third time she offered praise for something I had written.I feel like one of the elves in M … [Read more...]

Atlas and Aurora

Over the past weekend, stunned and saddened like everyone else over the violence in Colorado, I took time to watch the movie Of Gods and Men for the third time. This was in preparation for an upcoming retreat.Watching that movie, about the monks of Our Lady of the Atlas Mountains, who were martyred during the Algerian Civil War in 1996, gave me a new and, I hope, contemplative perspective on both the shootings and how ordinary people might respond to them. The monks of Atlas lived Christlike … [Read more...]

The Atheists’ Gift to Christmas

An interesting column: a Rabbi reflects on atheists who are unhappy with public nativity scenes. Thoughtful and compassionate in its tone, and well worth reading: The Atheists' Gift to Christmas.  … [Read more...]

The Spirituality of the Budget Crisis

David Brooks over at the New York Times wrote an interesting opinion piece on the current budget crisis and how it relates to our fear of death and our faith in science and medical technology to delay death. Here's a few provocative snippets: This fiscal crisis is about many things, but one of them is our inability to face death — our willingness to spend our nation into bankruptcy to extend life for a few more sickly months. ... As Daniel Callahan and Sherwin B. Nuland point out in an essay in T … [Read more...]

How Do We Treat Our Guests?

I received an email this morning quoting the following letter, written by Fatma Al-Lawati, PhD., a distinguished scholar who is also a Muslim woman. She is a Fulbright scholar at the University of Virginia, and is committed to Muslim/Christian interfaith work. She recently experienced just how willing some Christians are to discriminate against Muslims. I think every contemplative Christian needs to read this as a grim reminder of just how easy it is for Christians to mistreat practitioners of … [Read more...]