Finding the Monk Within

Finding the Monk Within: Great Monastic Values for Today By Edward C. Sellner Mahwah, NJ: HiddenSpring, 2008 Review by Carl McColmanEd Sellner is known primarily for his writing on various aspects of the Celtic Christian spiritual tradition (such as Wisdom of the Celtic Saints). And indeed, one of the most beautifully written chapters in Finding the Monk Within concerns Brigid of Kildare, well known as an Irish saint but also remarkable for being the Abbess of a mixed gender monastery. But in … [Read more...]

Christianity, Islam & Buddhism (or, Two Conversations)

I had two conversations yesterday with two different people. While on the surface they seem to be entirely different conversations concerning different matters, on reflection I see that they are two aspects of the same discourse. They both involved the question of how Christianity (and individual Christians) ought to be relating to other religious traditions (and the practitioners of those traditions). Here's what happened:First, someone forwarded to my wife an alarmist video about projected … [Read more...]

What I’m reading right now…

I always enjoy finding out what people are reading. So I thought I'd share with the world what's on my nightstand right now. It's actually an uncharacteristically short stack of books. When I'm in hardcore writing mode, I might have 30 or more books going at a time, but my current list is only a fraction of that. Here goes (in no particular order):Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim's Tale by Ian Morgan Cron Monastic Practices by Charles Cummings, OCSO Thomas Merton: Essential Writings selected with … [Read more...]

More on the Fortress and the Beacon

Sometimes I'm a slow learner. My "fortress and beacon" analogy (see yesterday's post) emerged out an email correspondence I'm having with a Catholic laywoman who is feeling called to the contemplative life, but also feels the tension with mainstream Catholics who are afraid of, or hostile to, contemplative and centering prayer, because of their alleged new age or eastern mystical characteristics (as I've said repeatedly on this blog, I think such fears/hostility are groundless and based on … [Read more...]

A Fortress or a Beacon?

Is Christianity a fortress or a beacon?In other words, is the primary function of Christianity to defend the good guys from the bad guys, or is its primary function to shine a light that will illuminate everyone, the good and the bad alike?It's a good question. But maybe this question poses a false dichotomy. We could just as easily say that Christianity is meant to be both "a mighty fortress" and the "light of the world." I agree, let's not get dualistic here. Nevertheless, where should we … [Read more...]

Earth Abbey

The ever-vigilant Mike Morrell sent me this link — to Earth Abbey, a British-based community that describes itself as... ... a movement of people helping one another to live more in tune with the earth. We work to promote:A rich relational life between human beings A compassion toward the earth and its creatures A sense of interconnectedness of all life Wisdom and justice in relationships Human fulfilment and the nurture of the inner life A way of living that leaves the earth better than … [Read more...]

A Vegan Christian Website and Blog

I have just learned about a website and blog of a vegan Christian who recognizes a link between her faith and her diet: All Things New: A Christian Conversation on Food … [Read more...]