The Rule, the Discipline, and Spiritual Growth

I bet if I took a poll, almost everyone who reads my blog would agree with this statement: "I want to grow spiritually."Readers of spiritual blogs want to grow in their faith and practice the way that readers of marketing blogs want to expand their business, or the readers of investment blogs want to make more money. It's part of the nobility of being human: we see areas in our lives where we want improvement, and we try to gain more knowledge, more skill, more discipline in order to reach … [Read more...]

The Intelligent Person’s Guide to Prayer

Like so many folks in the blogosphere, I was fascinated by the story of Leah Libresco, atheist blogger who in 2012  surprised all sorts of folks by converting to Catholicism. I haven't been a regular follower of her blog, either before or after she entered the Church, but the few times I've checked it out her writing struck me as articulate, intelligent and thoughtful.So when Libresco's first book, Arriving at Amen was published, I jumped at the chance to review it. And I'm happy to say t … [Read more...]

A Prayer for Contemplatives

O Divine Beloved, you are the source of life and the fountain of all goodness.In the mystery of your silence we recognize who we are, for we are created in your image. You are beautiful, for you are Love. You are wisdom, for you are Truth. We worship you and ask that you restore in us the fullness of your likeness. Forgive us for all the ways that we have failed to embody your love, and heal us so that we may bring your mercy to others.Grant us the grace of discipline in prayer, that we m … [Read more...]

Contemplation and Grieving

A reader named Monika wrote the following comment and left it on one of my blog posts:I recently lost my husband of 49 years to a sudden brain tumor. I sold our home and cafe for economic reasons. I always wanted to live in quiet contemplation when the right time came. I think that it is here and I have nothing but grief blocking any inner peace I am looking for. Where do I start?All your posts seem so moving and joyful.ThanksThank you, Monika, for your comment. I am so sorry to hear ab … [Read more...]

Rocking Justice & Spirituality: Like the Two Movements of the Breath

When I met the Anglican writer Kenneth Leech, who is one of my heroes, he told me a funny but sad story.I mentioned to him that one of my favorite books of his was The Eye of the Storm: Spiritual Resources for the Pursuit of Justice. I loved it (and still do) because it is an eloquent statement of why Christian spirituality necessarily includes a commitment to making the world a more peaceful and just place. He explained to me how he was inspired to write the book.At some point in the … [Read more...]

Why We Need Contemplation

I am troubled by the idea that it's harder to be a child today than it was when I was young. Is that just my personal angst, the anxiety of someone moving rapidly through midlife? Or is there some truth to my worrisome intuition?Well, consider the following sobering statements, all culled from recent articles on respectable news websites.It is reported that one in three children is the victim of bullying at school, and with a growing number of young people online today, cyber bullying is en … [Read more...]

Making (and Keeping) a Personal Rule of Life

Every January, lots of folks make New Year's Resolutions. This year I will lose weight, exercise more, improve my diet, pay off my credit cards. Sadly, though, it seems that by Valentine's Day (if not before) most New Year's Resolutions are long forgotten.New Year's Resolutions point to two basic truths about being human. First, to be alive is to seek to grow, to improve, to make improvements in our health, our relationships, our quality of life. But the second truth is the tough one: we … [Read more...]