Concerning Sheep, Goats, and the Unconditional Love of God

I received this email today. Thought it might be worth exploring here on the blog.Hi Carl.Just listened to your two interviews and was blessed ... You said in your interview that you didn't like the, what I would call, the "us and them" attitude in evangelical circles like "I'm saved and you're not." And though I agree that we should not look down on others and be proud for we can't claim any credit for being a follower of Christ, yet does not the Bible make a distinction between the "sheep … [Read more...]

Michael Nugent understands idolatry but gets heaven wrong

The Irish atheist Michael Nugent has some interesting things to say about the use and abuse of faith in a recent opinion piece published in the Irish Times. Faith ceases to be a virtue when it has little connection with facts of reality, he asserts, and points out that placing our faith in secular "gods" (like the banks or capitalism in general) can be as irrational as placing faith in religion or priests. He goes on to make an interesting statement: "all 'gods', whether religious or secular, … [Read more...]

A Message from a Dream

Last night I had an interesting dream.In it I worked at a large bookstore, like a Borders or a Barnes & Noble. I had a small office off of the main sales floor where I worked, and in the dream, I walked in to my office to find three or four customers standing there, waiting to make purchases. I didn't have a cash register, so I escorted them out on the main floor to the cashier's station, where to my surprise and delight I found Kitty, my assistant manager from the bookstore I ran up in … [Read more...]

Taken Up

Today is the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. What I find interesting about this idea of the assumption is its implications for those of us living here on the earth today.Morning prayer today includes this Responsory: "Today the Virgin Mary was taken up to heaven." Now, if we can agree that heaven is all about being in the presence of God, and if we can also agree that God is omnipresent, then it seems obvious that we can be "taken up to heaven" right here and right now. No … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

If you want to find your soul, look at what you love. That's where your soul lives, just as it lives in your body, giving it life. And that's why if we want to go to heaven spiritually, we don't need to strain our spirits in any direction, up or down or from one side to another. Whenever we love, we're already there. — The Cloud of Unknowing, Carmen Butcher translation … [Read more...]

The Contemplative Life is a Heavenly Life

Blessed John Ruusbroec says, toward the end of his masterpiece The Spiritual Espousals, that "the contemplative life is a heavenly life."In The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, I describe mysticism as "living in heaven consciousness." (We'll see if that phrase survives the editing process, but I like it, so I think it will).I just read on Twitter where somebody quoted Thich Nhat Hanh as saying "The peace movement can write very good protest letters, but they are not yet able to write a love … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

Heaven: the place where the pursuit of happiness leads to when you stop pursuing it. — Andrei Codrescu on NPR, October 9, 2008 … [Read more...]


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