For all who seek to develop their spiritual practice…

This question showed up in my email inbox this morning: If you could select three books to recommend to all who seek to develop their spiritual practice, what would they be? It's a tricky question because of the word "all." Two of the the three books I'm recommending here are Christian in origin and scope, but I believe all three can be profitably read by both Christians and non-Christians. Anyone with an ideologically rigid understanding of Christianity (either for or against) will have trouble … [Read more...]

Atheism and Anger

I had a conversation with a friend last night — the same friend I've written about before — who is undergoing a crisis of faith. He told me last night that reading the "new atheists" — folks like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens — makes him so angry. "I came to see that I have been duped by the church, and that the church is in the business of duping people."My friend is a good and honest man, sincere in his zeal to find truth. Perhaps a bit too zealous, for I fear that he … [Read more...]

Family Portrait

Here's a snapshot of me and my family, taken by my brother-in-law Jerry last month.Carl, Fran and Rhiannon; December 2007. … [Read more...]

Mystery of the Missing Camera

Here is a fun story about a couple in NYC who found a lost digital camera and located its owner — an Irishman living in Australia — merely by deciphering clues from the photos in the camera's memory.Think twice before you start deleting photographs from your camera. … [Read more...]

Protecting the Babes

But Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. — Luke 18:16 Yesterday's post (We're looking for a few good contemplatives) inspired some interesting commentary, including further exploration of the question regarding whether beginners in the spiritual life ought to be exposed to contemplative prayer. Here is one opinion that was expressed yesterday: The danger, I believe, is act … [Read more...]


Last night I bought a bass guitar. It's an Ibanez GSR190: a beginner's bass. It's "low end" not only in the sound it makes but in the money it costs. It's strictly no frills, but I'm already in love with it.Yes, I know: that hardly seems to be a very "contemplative" thing to do. Although within minutes of plugging it in and messing around with it (I'm musically illiterate, and won't start lessons until March, so I basically have the next six weeks to gleefully make noise like a five year old … [Read more...]

Whey Out Chocolate

My friend and business associate Joy Reid has just launched a new online store called Whey Out Chocolate. She is selling home-made "confections that are safe for people with food allergies and sensitivities." Her website goes on to say: If you have food allergies, then you know what it’s like to be excluded at parties because you can’t eat the cake or ice cream; or to walk down aisles of seasonal treats in the stores that look so delicious but are totally forbidden; or to look longingly at dis … [Read more...]