Wisdom and the Wild Goose — Coming to the Mountains of North Carolina this July

Friends, I’d like to invite you to join me at a special event called “Wisdom Camp” which takes place in western North Carolina this coming July 13 — the first day of the 2017 Wild Goose Festival. For that matter, I’d like to invite you to the Wild Goose Festival as well. Let me tell you about both events. Wisdom Camp asks the question “Is there a higher, deeper, or more joyful way to pursue the healing of our world?”… Read more

“Even the Depths of God” — A Brief Meditation

Here are two verses from the New Testament for your consideration. First: For the Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God. — I Corinthians 2:10 And: Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. — Romans 5:5 Please join with me in reflecting on these two verses. First, the Holy Spirit of God is a gift, given to us. This is… Read more

Holy Wells: “Icons” of Celtic Spirituality

In my last post I made several references to Holy Wells as thin places. From the Chalice Well in western England, to Tobernault in northwest Ireland, to countless wells throughout the Celtic lands dedicated to St. Brigid or other much loved saints — Holy Wells (water sources that serve as places of prayer and veneration) are icons of the Celtic spirit. There is no “standard” Holy Well — they come in many forms. Some are wells are in the traditional sense, complete… Read more

Thin Places: Are they Celtic, pre-Celtic, or Universal?

I first heard of the notion of Thin Places the first time I visited Glendalough, the ancient monastery nestled in a glacial valley south of Dublin. We were there on a crisp October day, the forest filled with hardwoods dancing with autumn colors. Even as I stood in the carpark after first arriving, I could sense something special about the place; and when our tourguide told us about “thin places,” my eyes danced with the gleam of recognition. “Glendalough is… Read more

The Three Streams of Celtic Spirituality (and Three Lessons We Learn from it)

Friends, I am in the process of writing a book about Celtic spirituality. This will be the first book on Celtic wisdom that I have written since becoming a Catholic in 2005. Over the next few weeks I hope to post excerpts from the manuscript to this blog, both to share with you what’s on my mind these days but also to garner any comments or feedback you’d like to share. Please remember that this is “unvarnished” writing — the book… Read more

How Julian of Norwich Changed My Life

Julian of Norwich, the author of Revelations of Divine Love, had a series of visions on May 8, 1373. Or maybe May 13, we’re not entirely sure.[1] Nevertheless, today is a day that people around the world honor as a memorial of Julian’s extraordinary encounter with Divine Love. And it was 33 years ago on this date — May 8, 1984 — that I attended a one-woman play about Julian of Norwich, at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. I… Read more

Following the Good Shepherd

The sheep obey Jesus not because they’re stupid, not because they’ve been trained the right way, but because they know his voice. They trust him. Read more

Compline — Prayer for the Closing of the Day

This video presents a service of Compline, sung live by the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, England, under the direction of Graham Ross, recorded in Clare College Chapel. It includes an Introit by the sixteenth century composer, Robert White (1538-1574), Christe qui Lux es et Dies. It also includes an anthem by the nineteenth century composer, Josef Rheinberger (1839-1901), Abendlied. Compline is the final liturgical prayer office of the day. It represents the final prayers that anyone praying the Divine Office (the Liturgy of the Hours) prays before… Read more

Essential Writings from Two Important Living Catholic Authors

Orbis Books has a long-standing collection of books called the “Modern Spiritual Masters Series.” With over sixty titles to date, this series anthologizes writings from key spiritual authors of the 20th and 21st centuries, ranging from Thomas Merton to Evelyn Underhill, from Dorothy Soelle to Howard Thurman. While the featured authors are mostly Christian, other significant figures appear as well, such as Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama. Modern Spiritual Masters Books are excellent introductions and career-spanning overviews of some… Read more

How the Deserts of Egypt Inspired the Saints of Ireland

In the Celtic lands, you’ll find places with names like Dysart or Dysert. There’s Dysart in Scotland, a suburb of Kirkcaldy, where a Celtic holy man named St. Serf once lived. Or there’s Dysert O’Dea in Co. Clare, Ireland, the site of a monastery said to have bene founded by St. Tola in the eighth century. Others can be found, sprinkled across the land, often with some sort of connection to a saint or monastery of old. These places are… Read more

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