Concerning Contemplative Prayer and Spiritual Xenophobia

Contemplative spirituality is a spirituality in which, in the words of Richard Rohr, "everything belongs." It's a spirituality of inclusion, rather than exclusion. It seeks to build bridges rather than walls. To me, this is part of the towering beauty of contemplation. But we live in a world where not everyone sees things the same way, and contemplation, like anything else, has its critics. Generally speaking, my experience shows that the critics of Christian contemplation reject it for two … [Read more...]

Interfaith Dialogue, Interspirituality, and Holy Daring

Recently I spoke at a church located about an hour north of where I live. As I drove to the church, I chatted on the phone with my brother who lives in Florida. We were making plans for me to come visit him on the weekend of our birthdays (his is a day later than mine). I mentioned that while I was there, I wanted to attend a training weekend at the local Shambhala Center.My brother, who is a confirmed agnostic, surprised me with his response. "Are you sure that's wise?" he asked."What … [Read more...]

Our Words, Our Breath, Our Bodies, Our Spirit

Once again, Alison Leigh Lilly wows me with the elegance, beauty and insight of her writing. The fact that her most recent blog post begins with something I tweeted yesterday is not only a delight in itself for me, but her reflections in that post are so rich and relevant to concerns that I am wrestling with in my own current writing that it seems, well, serendipitous.The piece is called Why I Cannot Tell You About My Gods. And yes, "Gods" is meant to be plural, for Alison is a Pagan, her … [Read more...]

Interfaith 9/11 Memorial Service in Decatur, GA

Several hundred people of various faiths, ethnic backgrounds, and nationalities gathered together at the Decatur Hotel Ballroom in downtown Decatur, GA yesterday evening to commemorate the tragedy of September 11, 2001 — and to celebrate and work toward a brighter future based on cooperation, dialogue, peace and understanding. Sponsored by a consortium of organizations including the Faith Alliance of Metro Atlanta and the Interfaith Community Institute, along with an assortment of Buddhist, C … [Read more...]

Catholic Teaching on Inter-Religious Dialogue

The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks clearly about the need for positive inter-religious encounters. It sees part of the mission of every Christian to include "a respectful dialogue with those who do not ... accept the Gospel. Believers can profit from this dialogue by learning to appreciate better 'those elements of truth and grace which are found among peoples [of other faiths], and which are, as it were, a secret presence of God'" (CCC, #856).Respectful dialogue and appreciative … [Read more...]

Of Gods and Men: Of Martyrs for Life

Of Gods and Men, the award-winning French film about Cistercian monks who lived at the Monastery of Tibhirine in Algeria and who were killed in 1996 during the Algerian civil war, will begin showing in Atlanta next Friday, April 1. I had the privilege to attend an advance screening sponsored by Sony Pictures today. The film has already been screening in New York, Los Angeles, and other major cities, so you can fairly easily find reviews of it online. And for the most part, it's getting plenty of … [Read more...]

WSCA Interview Tonight

Tonight I'll be interviewed by Deidre Hebert on WSCA 106.1 FM in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, for her "Pagan FM" program. Dee is doing a series on Paganism in conversation with other faiths, and I suspected I was selected to be the Catholic on the show because of my former sojourn in the Pagan community. So the conversation should be interesting: not only about why I am a Catholic, and how I see Catholicism in conversation/dialog with Neopaganism, but also perhaps looking at the dynamics of my own … [Read more...]


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