Back to the Mountain

Fran and I spent this past weekend in Sewanee, TN. "The Mountain," as it is affectionately called, is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been, a college town on the Cumberland Plateau nestled in forested land filled with caves, hiking trails, waterfalls, a natural bridge, and other wonders. It's the first time we've been back since my friend Bob's funeral, back in February of 2009. I lived in Sewanee from 1988 to 1993, running the campus bookstore at the University of the South. I left … [Read more...]

Christian Mysticism Class at Evening at Emory begins October 13

There's still time to register for the Introduction to Christian Mysticism class being offered through the Evening at Emory program. Continuing education credit is available for this 5-week class. To register, click here. Here's the course description from the Emory website: Introduction to Christian Mysticism Evening at EmoryHumanities and Cultural Studies The renowned twentieth century German theologian Karl Rahner said, “The Christian of the future will be a mystic or will not … [Read more...]

Preach it, Brother Stephen!

This was on Facebook the other day (thanks to Jack G. for posting it!). … [Read more...]

“Eleven years of Catholic education had told me nothing about Christian meditation.”

Here's an interesting article published the other day in the Utah Statesman by a fellow named Michael Sowder: Finding Home in India. The author tells the story of his spiritual journey, and it's a story I've heard again and again. Basically, it runs like this: born into a Christian family, Sowder (and countless others like him) finds himself befuddled by the sterile Christian education he received as a child. Eventually he  goes on to find meaning and insight in contemplative spirituality … [Read more...]

Meeting Jane Tomaine

Episcopal priest Jane Tomaine has written a wonderful book on Benedictine spirituality called St. Benedict's Toolbox. Tomorrow she is presenting a one-day workshop on "Benedictine Spirituality: Living Intentionally in a Distracted World" here in Atlanta, and alas, I won't be able to attend — I'll be busy co-leading a retreat at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit on "the Wisdom of the Christian Mystics." As much as I love leading retreats at the Monastery, I was a wee bit grumpy about not being … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

Then you should readily and trustfully commit yourself and all that concerns you to the unfailing and most sure Providence of God, in silence and peace. He Himself will fight for you, and will grant you a liberty and consolation better, nobler, and sweeter than would be possible if you gave yourself up day and night to your fancies, to vain and wandering thoughts, which hold captive the mind, as they toss it  hither and thither, wearying soul and body, and wasting uselessly alike your time and … [Read more...]

Simplicity and Prayer

In the simple promises for the junior lay associates (Lay Cistercians) of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, we promise, among other things, to live "life in simplicity and prayer." I love that juxtaposition. Prayer and simplicity go together so beautifully, it seems to me, that one of the best ways to cultivate in our hearts the space for prayer is by allowing things to be simple. I don't mean simple in the sense of not very smart, but simple in the sense of what Taoists call wu-wei, or "going … [Read more...]


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