The Archbishop and the Community Theologian

I've posted both of the following quotes in this blog before, but they are such wonderful quotes that I find myself going back to them again and again. Last night I taught a class on contemplative spirituality at an Episcopal Church in Gainesville, GA, and I used the first of these two quotes. It's from the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, on the occasion of his addressing the Catholic Synod of Bishops in Rome: the first time an Anglican Archbishop ever gave such an address. The … [Read more...]

Mysticism for those who don’t like “mysticism”

A reader writes:In the first chapter of The Big Book of Christian Mysticism you offer your sense that mysticism offers the serious practitioner the possibility of experience of God that is transforming and which then enhances the world around us. I firmly agree. But does that mean such a transformative relationship is not open to those who can't accept the value of mysticism, or is it that the depth of the relationship is potentially greater through the pursuit of prayer, meditation and … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

The contemplative discipline of meditation, what I will call in this book contemplative practice, doesn't acquire anything. In that sense, and an important sense, it is not a technique but a surrendering of deeply imbedded resistances that allows the sacred within gradually to reveal itself as a simple, fundamental fact. Out of this letting go there emerges what St. Paul called our "hidden self": "may he give you the power through his Spirit for your hidden self to grow strong" (Eph 3:16). … [Read more...]

More on the Proposed Contemplative Practice Group

Phil Foster and I met last night to talk about our proposal for a Contemplative Practice group. Here's what we're looking at doing:Reading and reflection on Sacred Scripture. We think we'll begin with the Gospel of John, and use N.T. Wright's John for Everyone commentary. The purpose is not to do "Bible Study" in the traditional Protestant sense, but rather a group practice of lectio divina with particular attention to the way in which the text supports contemplative practice in our … [Read more...]

“People of Christlike Love”

In A New Kind of Christianity, Brian McLaren ponders the question of what the church's "one mission, message, and quest" should be. In other words, here in our fragmented, postmodern world, where the church has splintered into so many different theological, ecclesial and cultural forms, what can Christians rally around as a unifying message to inspire the community of faith as we move into the third millennium? McLaren goes on: "What one great danger do people need to be saved from, and, more … [Read more...]

Meg Funk

One of the most respected of contemporary Benedictine spiritual writers is Mary Margaret (Meg) Funk, OSB. Her books include Thoughts Matter: The Practice of the Spiritual Life and Tools Matter for Practicing the Spiritual Life. She writes not only about Benedictine spirituality and contemplative practice, but also about interreligious dialogue, a pursuit she has been deeply involved in for some time now. I've just learned of her blog, which looks to contain all sorts of interesting entries. … [Read more...]


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