Quote for the Day

Silence is not an absence of noise (though that sort of silence helps) but a limitless interior space. Silence is our natural state. Lack of silence erodes our humanity. ... Through intention we can teach our selves to default to silence; meditation is only a first and very minor step. — Maggie Ross, Writing the Icon of the Heart … [Read more...]

Silence: Doorway to Contemplation and Interfaith Friendship

I've just had a new article published on the website of Atlanta's Interfaith Community Institute. It's called "Silence: Doorway to Contemplation and Interfaith Friendship." In Psalm 46, God is quoted as saying, “Be still and know that I am God.” God, the Ultimate Mystery, is greater than human language, thought, or ideas. For this reason, language always seems to conceal God as much as it reveals God.While not, therefore, replacing the heritage of theological and mystical language that tes … [Read more...]

A Few Thoughts on Psalm 46:10 (Cedar Hill Blog)

Hello friends. I've recently written a post for the Cedar Hill Blog. Cedar Hill is a wonderful retreat center located in Gainesville, GA; I will be leading a day of reflection and renewal centered on contemplation and interfaith spirituality on Saturday, April 2. If you live within shouting distance (or, better yet, driving distance), I hope I'll see you there.Here's the link to the blog post: The Essential and Necessary Link Between Contemplation and Peacemaking.And here's a bit more about … [Read more...]

Silence & Writer’s Block

I have a friend who is struggling to complete a dissertation. Entire days can go by without writing a single sentence. Sitting at the computer is an exercise in fear and frustration.To say my friend has writer's block is — well, you know, just another label. But like so many labels, it has a measure of usefulness. It's interesting to read the Wikipedia entry on Writer's Block. It describes the condition not only as the inability to write, but also "as the affected writer viewing their work as i … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day (for Ali)

Believe me as one who has experience, you will find much more among the woods then ever you will among books. Woods and stones will teach you what you can never hear from any master. — Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, The Letters … [Read more...]

Concerning Spiritual Noise, (Lack of) Inner Silence, and Singlemindedness

AM writes: I find most of your posts on the contemplative life too congested with many labels and categories - mystics and non-mystics, oppositional thinking and non-oppositional thinking, Christian mysticism and ordinary Christian spirituality, Protestant mystics and Catholic mystics, mysticism and contemplation, etc. This appears to me not only an intellectual congestion but also a spiritual noise, a portrayal of a lack of inner silence. Somehow, I visit your blog ... to be nourished … [Read more...]

Concerning Merton, Spiritual Direction, and Lighting Candles

  I'm continuing the conversation with noted author and Anglican solitary Maggie Ross. If you're just joining the party now, read Maggie Ross on Scholarship and the Contemplative Life and Maggie Ross's Response to get the story thus far. What follows below is my response to her comments, as posted on my blog yesterday. ***** Dear Maggie,Once again I must say thank you — this time for leaving such a detailed and thoughtful response to my questions. I know you say you are o … [Read more...]


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