September 25, 2013

  Autumn in Georgia is a mild and lovely season, marked by golden sunlight, cool mornings and temperate days. And even if we can’t boast the shock of gorgeous color that grace the trees in states like Vermont or Minnesota, we have enough yellow poplars and white oaks and other trees to remind the Georgia Pines that winter is coming. The first year of my formation as a Lay Cistercian, the colors at the monastery were particularly vivid — not… Read more

September 20, 2013

Once again, Alison Leigh Lilly wows me with the elegance, beauty and insight of her writing. The fact that her most recent blog post begins with something I tweeted yesterday is not only a delight in itself for me, but her reflections in that post are so rich and relevant to concerns that I am wrestling with in my own current writing that it seems, well, serendipitous. The piece is called Why I Cannot Tell You About My Gods. And… Read more

July 31, 2013

The motto of Benedictine spirituality is ora et labora — a deceptively simple Latin phrase that means “to pray and to work.” A variation of it, ora est labora, means “to pray is to work” — a sentiment handily embodied in the Latin words, where ora is actually part of labora. Prayer and work: the heart of Benedictine spirituality, and by extension, the heart of all spiritual traditions based on the Rule of St. Benedict, including the Trappist/Cistercian tradition. Plenty of books can be found… Read more

May 31, 2013

“Are you a monk?” I get asked that question a lot, especially when I’m at the monastery where I work and pray and lead retreats. Perhaps it’s because of my greying hair and scruffy beard. Whatever the reason, I always see it as a compliment, but of course, I’m not a monk. So I say, “No, I’m not; I’m what is called a Lay Cistercian.” “What’s that?” is the inevitable follow-up question. “I’m a layperson, like any other — I… Read more

May 29, 2013

Here are three brief excerpts from a talk I gave in Portland, OR, in October 2010 on the topic of Christian mysticism. They were filmed and produced by Cathy Zheutlin of Holy Rascals — a media company that produces videos and webinars for the spiritually adventurous. In the first one, I tell an amusing story of one of my monastic mentors, Father Anthony, who gave me some grief about the difficulty of defining the word “mysticism”… So in this next… Read more

January 17, 2013

First, the obituary… Retired Major John D McColman, USAF, 89, passed from this life in High Shoals, Georgia, on January 15, 2013. A lifelong sportsman and devoted family man, John touched many lives through his quiet but warm personality, dry sense of humor, and compassionate character. John D McColman (his birth certificate simply reads the initial “D” for his middle name, which was intended to be the name of his uncle, Dee) was born on June 15, 1923 in Avoca,… Read more

January 16, 2013

My father passed away yesterday. He was 89 years old. This was the end of a long journey of illness which began with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease almost 20 years ago; congestive heart failure and finally dementia also took their toll. Of course, these are all diseases of attrition, so it truly was a long, slow goodbye. But he maintained a positive, optimistic spirit pretty much through it all, and was truly loved by the nurses and CNAs who… Read more

December 21, 2012

Are you interested in exploring the richness of dialogue and interspiritual practice between Christianity and Buddhism? If so, then here’s enough literature to keep you going for a while. Each of the books on the following list has some sort of connection with both Christianity and Buddhism. Some of these titles are academic studies, some the writings of monastics, others geared toward the laity. Some are books by Christians about Buddhism, or by Buddhists about interfaith dialogue; by Christians who… Read more

December 7, 2012

Pick up any edition of The Cloud of Unknowing, and you are likely to find the following language a bit intimidating: Whoever you are possessing this book, know that I charge you with a serious responsibility, to which I attach the sternest sanctions that the bonds of love can bear. It does not matter whether this book belongs to you, whether you are keeping it for someone else, whether you are  taking it to someone, or borrowing it; you are… Read more

November 1, 2012

This post is aimed at people who blog, or have a podcast, or in some other way like to express themselves online. If you are not such a person, feel free to skip this, unless you’d like a peek into how book marketing works… My irrepressible friend Mike Morrell is a publicist who promotes progressive Christian books. One of the ways he does this is by seeking bloggers who would be willing to read his client’s books and write reviews on their… Read more

Follow Us!



Browse Our Archives