Philip and the eunuch: A Reflection on Acts 8:36-38

Today’s daily meditation in Living Faith is one of mine. The reading is: As they traveled along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look, there is water! What is to prevent my being baptized?” Then he ordered the chariot to stop, and Philip and the eunuch both went down into [Read More...]

Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures: A Reflection on John 6:27

Today’s daily meditation in Living Faith is one of mine. The reading is: Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. — John 6:27 It’s the bit before “I am the bread of life.” Here’s part of my reflection: [Read More...]

The Integrity of Creation

The Earth seen from Apollo 17 (Source: NASA; image in public domain)

My science-loving atheist dad introduced me to the wonders of nature in our months-long summer camping vacations. I didn’t have the language then, and he didn’t use it, but he was showing me what awed him, what he saw as divine: canyons, redwoods, still mountain lakes. Several decades later, high in the Rockies at Estes [Read More...]

Pope Francis to Remind Conservatives Again Foot Washing Is About Humility Not Piety, and Not Patriarchy

The guideline of only washing the feet of men was invented in 1955. 1955! Before that, washing the feet of women was not uncommon. It was traditionalists who changed and politicized things, to underscore their point about women being ineligible for the priesthood. Pope Francis, who embraces the servant leadership model to his core, is reminding us that this tradition is supposed to be about humility, not piety, and not patriarchy. [Read more...]

Ronald Rolheiser’s Sacred Fire: A Challenge for Deeper Spiritual Maturity

Ronald Rolheiser's Sacred Fire

Most books about the spiritual journey focus on the first steps — on awakening to an awareness that there’s more going on than your own limited perspective and tuning in to the divine in and around you. Sacred Fire assumes the reader has already made headway in these areas and looks instead at what Ronald [Read More...]

Religious Freedom in America Isn’t Threatened — Not Even Close


This month’s topic in the Patheos Public Square is: “Is Religious Freedom Threatened?” Please read and comment on my opinion, and read the others too. Here’s my response: No. Not even close. There are two dynamics at play in this idea that religious freedom (that is, Christian religious freedom) is under siege in America. The [Read More...]

Young Nun Singing on The Voice; Says “God Doesn’t Take Anything Away from Us” [VIDEO]


A cute young nun, Sister Cristina, auditions for the Italian version of The Voice, singing an Alicia Keys song. Of course comes the stupid question, “What does the Vatican have to say about your auditioning for The Voice?” Her perfect response (translated into English): “[Pope Francis] always says we should go out and evangelize telling people that God doesn’t take anything away from us but will give us more.” Watch the video… [Read more...]

Gaudete Sunday: “If there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things”


Gaudete Sunday gets its name from the first word in Latin of its liturgy, which begins, “”Rejoice in the Lord always.” This season, despite (or because of) any of the challenges we may face, let us follow the guidance offered in Philippians 4 from which this line is taken: “if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” [Read more...]

Reading Scripture Contemplatively with Lectio Divina


Lectio divina has become much more popular in recent years, and it’s a traditional practice during Advent. So every year around this time, I’m asked by friends and colleagues for guidance or recommendations on the subject. Here is an introduction to lectio divina, with a helpful bullet-point list of the stages and essential aspects of the practice. [Read more...]

God does not need our obedience and rituals; those things help us: A Reflection on Psalm 50:14-15

Today’s daily meditation in Living Faith is one of mine. The reading is: Offer to God praise as your sacrifice and fulfill your vows to the Most High; Then call upon me in time of distress; I will rescue you, and you shall glorify me. – Psalm 50:14-15 Here’s part of my reflection: A key [Read More...]

The Big Lie is that we are all alone: A Reflection on Psalm 3

Today’s daily meditation in Living Faith is one of mine. The reading is: Many are saying of me, “There is no salvation for him in God.” But you, O LORD, are my shield. – Psalm 3:3-4 Here’s part of my reflection: The psalmist’s adversaries wield words. They tell him his situation is hopeless. This is [Read More...]

Pope Francis and the little boy who wouldn’t leave the stage [VIDEO]


Seriously, Pope Francis’ natural impulses just always seem to be humble, playful, loving. Watch this video of how he reacts to a little boy who won’t leave the stage, and check out his playful solution. [Read more...]

Hurricane Sandy, the relative nature of suffering, and the fragility of urban community

Looking uptown from within the downtown New York blackout caused by Hurricane Sandy.

A reflection, at the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy’s landfall in New York, on experiencing the downtown Manhattan blackout, on how I did not feel the deprivation that many experienced, and about the isolation and anonymity of city life which makes urban community fragile. [Read more...]

Russell Brand and reality-based dialogue [VIDEO]


Russell Brand is basically my favorite public person on the planet. If Russell Brand were running for office, or starting a political organization in the States, despite the fact that I’d probably disagree with half his preferred policies, I’d vote for him or join it in a second. Watch this BBC clip and tell me what you think about his diagnosis, not his prescription. The fundamental thing about Brand that excites me — which I believe is rooted in or at least highly complementary with his mystical faith practice — is his insistence on basing his thinking and his dialogue in reality. Not “reason” but reality. Totally different thing. [Read more...]