Finding Spirituality in Suffering: Heather King’s “Stripped”


Stripped, Heather King’s new memoir on faith in the midst of a cancer diagnosis, brought to mind words from Viktor Frankl: “There is one thing I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings.” Pain and illness, loss and persecution, are moral and spiritual issues. They may drive us away from God. We may seek revenge on [Read More...]

Wherever There is Truth, God is its Source: On ‘The Gospel of Happiness’


Book Reflection: The Gospel of Happiness by Christopher Kaczor Can science and faith work together for the common good? Are the aims of psychology and theology similar in nature? Can psychology illuminate theology and theology support human flourishing as envisioned by psychology? Christopher Kaczor once saw faith and psychology as inhabiting two different and parallel [Read More...]

Mary as One of Us: A Conversation with Denise Bossert’s Gifts of the Visitation: Nine Spiritual Encounters with Mary and Elizabeth.


In her new book, Gifts of the Visitation, Denise Bossert chronicles her adventures in discovering the role of Mary as a spiritual guide and model for her own spiritual formation. Her journey takes her from evangelical Protestantism to an orthodox understanding of Roman Catholicism. Along the way, she encounters Mary as a unique spiritual figure, divinely [Read More...]

The Grace of Interdependence: A Response to Jamie Arpin-Ricci’s ‘Vulnerable Faith’


As a child growing up in the Salinas Valley in California, I grew up singing that grand evangelical hymn “Just as I Am,” popularized by the Billy Graham Crusades. Jamie Arpin-Ricci’s Vulnerable Faith brought me back to the revival meetings and evangelical theology of our small town Baptist church. While I no longer hold the [Read More...]

Saints Everywhere: On Brandon Vogt’s “Saints and Social Justice”


Although I am a progressive Protestant and by inclination feel some discomfort in setting apart certain people as saints, I found Brandon Vogt’s Saints and Social Justice: A Guide to Changing the World is an inspiring book. While many of the stories of saints belong more to legend than fact, what shines through is that [Read More...]

Order and Novelty in Family Spirituality: A Response to Tim and Sue Muldoon’s Six Sacred Rules for Families: A Spirituality for the Home


A well-known saying from Zen Buddhism notes: “Before enlightenment, I chopped wood and carried water. After enlightenment, I chopped wood and carried water.” Although deeply rooted in the Roman Catholic tradition, this is the essence of Tim and Sue Muldoon’s Six Sacred Rules for Family: A Spirituality of the Home. Quite often in life, the issue [Read More...]

A Monastery in the Heart – A Response to Judith Valente’s “Atchison Blue”


The healing and guidance we need, Valente aptly notes, may come from “simply listening to the voice of God.” That voice is everywhere, but it is found most especially in the monastery of the soul where God provides possibilities, insights, and the energy to embody them in the concreteness and bustle of life. [Read more...]