Why Busy Christians Need to Learn from Thomas Merton

Merton books

The Catholic mystic Thomas Merton’s witness and wisdom can help those of us seeking to integrate contemplation and action today. Who would have thought that a cloistered monk, writing from behind the gated boundaries of the austere Cistercian order, would become a counter-culture hero, the “conscience of the peace movement,” as Daniel Berrigan called him, and a spiritual teacher to millions?Merton first published a spiritual autobiography narrating his conversion to Catholicism and the monas … [Read more...]

No Guru, No Method, No Teacher

garden

Returning to the place where my very first poem formed in my Spirit. I gaze at the trees' reflection and the words return: Look up stretching, never touching, the spindly treetops reach for the clouds Glance down In the rippling water, the treetops dive below the surface brushing the clouds and in the movement of the river, the branches sway slightly Look up tranquil, majestic, at peace in their stillness Penned over 7 years ago, the message of the cross has slowly revealed itself. The … [Read more...]

A Prayer for Black History Month and the Lenten Season

Loving God, who reigns on Earth as it is in HeavenFather God Whom the prophet Isaiah called the Mother of Zion,We come to you with humble and contrite hearts,Asking for the repentance of our sins, both known and unknown,Forgive us for our sins as well as forgive those who sin against us.We pray that we can experience reconciliation, truth, and peace,You, Oh God, are the God of Life, the Spirit of FreedomYou are the God of Moses, and the prophet Miriam, Harriet Tubman, … [Read more...]

Praying Dangerous Prayers

William Seymour Prayed dangerous prayers. His holiness, lead to the Pentecostal movement in America

 I am listening to Hillsong’s Oceans. It’s a beautiful song. I am sure some of you have just barfed a little in your mouth, because I triggered the abuse or hurt suffered at the hands of some charismatic or evangelical group. But for me, the song resonates in my soul.We can learn a lot from Evangelicals if we are willing to do so.Like praying.I know, I know- Maybe You hate all that stuff.Maybe we are like a super progressive railing against anyone who dares mention the su … [Read more...]

Once You are Real, You can’t be UGLY

spring

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of … [Read more...]

Could it be so easy to digest?

light to dark to light

I always wondered what people meant when they said they are spiritual but not religious. Sixteen years as a fundamentalist missionary then another ten years questioning my faith and now here I am… a wandering christian. I went from a strict diet (thinking I was in the light and holding an absolute truth yet suppressing my intuition) to an exuberant buffet of various foods (a place where I only have my intuition to follow as to when to stop and when to return for more).I went from a sinful w … [Read more...]

Living Life on the Inhale

Breathing

So which one are you?An I N H A L E R or an E X H A L E RI am an inhaler. I often desire what is not meant for me. I did not always know this about myself. It's the journey of a lifetime to really and truly know yourself fully isn't it? I had plenty of negative words bouncing around in my head to describe being an INHALER.Self-absorbed Selfish Stingy/frugal/cheap EgotisticalThese are ugly, horrid words that no one in their right mind would readily admit to. But here I am … [Read more...]

Prayer as Cracking Shins on Altars

Part 1 of 6 in a series on prayerReligious folks all too often relate to God through divided categories: sacred/secular, church/world, body/soul, matter/spirit, purity/impurity. This comes from a religious vision in which encountering God can only take place for certain people in certain places under certain conditions. The word “holy,” for example, has often designated beliefs or practices that are divided or “set-apart.”Take the ancient Judaism of Jesus' day. In those times, the entire … [Read more...]

Walk Towards the Light

DSC05502

A week ago Sunday I led an Adult Christian forum between services at a Denver church with a real heart for social justice. My topic was “The Gospel Imperative to Do Social Justice: Living into God’s Vision of Shalom.”I chose two Bible verses to highlight:ISAIAH 1:17 (NRSV)                         learn to do good;                    seek justice,                         rescue the oppressed,                    defend the orphan,                         plead for the wi … [Read more...]

Shifting Certainty

Nearly Full Moon and Star

It's colder now. The stars look brighter. The air is crisp and tastes clean. I've started wearing a coat when I go out to walk and pray at night. Orion, my bow tie friend, is no longer hugging the edge of the sky. He's ascended high overhead, because it's his time now. And I have begun to let this in.Tonight, I saw a new starry face, low toward the horizon, in the east. Bright, despite the light of the almost-full moon."Who are you?" I said out loud, "Jupiter or Saturn? I know it must be … [Read more...]


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