Means of Liberation and Internal Conversion

Yesterday at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit's lay associates gathering day, I attended a class in which we considered a document called Lay Cistercian Identity, drawn up at an international gathering of Cistercian lay associates in Spain two years ago. We particularly examined a list of "Cistercian values and practices" commended to laypersons as "a means of liberation and internal conversion." These values and practices include:Prayer and praiseConfidence and abandonment to … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

But did anyone ever tell you that Jesus' very first message in the Gospels, which is usually translated as "convert," "repent," or "reform" (Matthew 4:17, Mark 1:15) is the Greek word metanoia, which quite literally means to "change your mind"? Jesus' first word to us was "change!" — and mind change at that! What we have translated as "repent" is not a moralistic or even churchy word at all; it is a clear strategy for enlightenment for the world. Once you accept ongoing change as a central p … [Read more...]

A Political/Spiritual Experiment

Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it. — James 4:11I don't normally write about politics on this blog, for a number of reasons. I believe that the good news of Christian mysticism is for everyone, not just for people who see eye to eye with me politically, and so I am hesitant to alienate some readers with my political … [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...]

I Corinthians 2:16

At least three times this weekend, both online and off, I got into conversations with people about the word metanoia. The link is to its Wikipedia entry, which provides a succinct look at the different ways in which this delicious Greek word can be understood.Is metanoia about repentance (stopping doing things that are unloving, addictive/abusive, inimical to the grace of God), or is it about entering into a new mind: a heightened consciousness, a spiritual quantum leap?I don't think the … [Read more...]


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