Concerning the Heart and the Skeleton of the Body of Christ

Following last week's post Bhakti Jesus, I've been pondering the relationship between devotionalism and contemplation. In Centering Prayer, Narcissism and Relativism I considered the dangers of a contemplative practice cut off from a devotional framework. For example, engaging in a centering prayer practice without relying on discursive practices like the Daily Office, or even lectio divina, places the seeker at risk of getting lost in a kind of spiritual funhouse where one's own "experiences" … [Read more...]

The Magdalene Relic

My dear readers, the veneration of saints' relics is not a central part of my spirituality, Catholic though I may be. And I'm cynical enough to wonder if any 1st century relic can ever really be accepted at face value (I mean, just how many relics of the "true cross" are there?). However, with this disclaimer and caveat in mind, even I have to say that this is really, really cool:The relic is only in the United States for a limited time and the Monastery is fortunate to host it for a day. … [Read more...]

Chasing Francis

Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim's TaleBy Ian Morgan CronColorado Springs: Navpress, 2006Review by Carl McColmanFrancis of Assisi might not be the first figure who comes to mind as a mentor and inspiration for a twenty-first century evangelical pastor, but in this enjoyable and thought-provoking teaching novel by Ian Cron, Francis turns out to be just the figure to both encourage and challenge a "successful" pastor who is dealing with issues related to burnout. The hero of this tale is … [Read more...]

Douglas Kmiec on Obama and the Catholic Blogosphere

...Right-wing Catholic bloggers, acting as a thinly disguised political front for the GOP, remain fixated on the goal of precipitating an unnecessary war between the Holy See and America’s next administration. It is dismaying to see a few American prelates and their “anonymous” Vatican commentators acting as witting or unwitting coconspirators in this divisive action. Obama himself has written that the golden rule tells us that we “need to battle cruelty in all its forms, [with] the value of lov … [Read more...]

The Real Reason Why Some Evangelicals Dislike Contemplative Prayer?

Here's an interesting article from the Louisville, Kentucky Courier-Journal: David Harris, a former Baptist minister, next month will be ordained a Catholic priest.What I found particularly enlightening was the role that mysticism, Thomas Merton, Cistercian monasticism, and especially contemplative prayer had to play in the Rev. Harris' process of conversion.One of the joys of being a convert to Catholicism is my deeply held belief that God's grace flows abundantly everywhere — a person c … [Read more...]

Drench Anger with Forgiveness

Feminist Catholic theologian Elizabeth Johnson recently gave a truly inspiring keynote address at a conference for Religious leadership in Denver. In her talk she addresses the question of progressives who are angry at the entrenched patriarchal power within the church. Her advice: "Drench anger with forgiveness."National Catholic Reporter covered the talk and you can read their story about it here. Her recounting of Bernard Haring's sermon on the prodigal son is alone worth the read. On a … [Read more...]

The Vatican in the news

Mike Morrell has his ear to the ground (or, at least, his eyes on his keywords) and has brought to my attention several interesting news tidbits concerning the Vatican this week.First, we learn that Benedict XVI is interested in issuing a conciliatory statement about Martin Luther — while I wouldn't go so far as to believe the pope intends to "rehabilitate" the man who unleashed the Reformation, I do think this is a hopeful sign for future ecumenical dialogue. I suppose it took having a German … [Read more...]


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