The Legacy of Bridget Cleary

This morning I saw two sad stories online: one about a mother who killed her 6 year old daughter, believing she was possessed by the devil, and the other — from a few months ago — in which a man explained the killing of his two stepdaughters as the consequence of a "spell gone bad."Both of these tragic stories remind me of the horrible Burning of Bridget Cleary, a notorious 1895 murder in rural Ireland where a man attributed his wife's illness to the malevolent influence of the fairies, and bur … [Read more...]

Why Elephants Paint

Here's a fascinating website: of Asian elephants that are trained to paint. … [Read more...]

Benedict likes Benedict

Zenit has published an address by Pope Benedict XVI in which he commends the Rule of St. Benedict as a guide for Europe today. Click here to read it. … [Read more...]

Spring at the Monastery

My wife is on spring break this week, and so today she visited the Monastery of the Holy Spirit with her new camera in hand. Here are just a few of her photographs from the day's adventure:The Blessed Mother has a friend...... while the geese enjoy the monastery lake...... and in the Abbey Church, peace reigns. These photos are by Fran McColman. Please acknowledge her and provide a link back to this post if you use these. Thank you! … [Read more...]

What Christian Mysticism is Not

One way to understand Christian mysticism would be to begin by clarifying what things are commonly called “mysticism” but really aren’t — at least, not from an orthodox Christian perspective:Christian mysticism is not occultism. It’s not about uncovering some long lost secret, à la The DaVinci Code. Christian mysticism is not magic. It’s not about wielding spiritual power or engineering our own experience. Christian mysticism is not esotericism. It's not about learning techniques for psychic … [Read more...]

The Emerging Anam Cara

Here's an article worth reading: at The Ooze, Shane Tucker explores the connection between the Celtic soul friend tradition and the emergent conversation.The Emerging Anam Cara … [Read more...]

Mysticism: Theory and History

I am very pleased to announce the formation of an online study group that will be reading and reflecting on the writings of the great mystics.Sponsored by Christian Classics Ethereal Library, the group is called Mysticism: Theory and History, and is being moderated by yours truly. This group will be unpacking the great tradition of Christian mystical wisdom: understanding its history, looking at how it developed, and identifying the key themes and teachings. We will do this by getting to know … [Read more...]