Summer Slowdown

Photo by Teresa Blythe

Warm weather invites us to slow down but how many of us really accept that invitation? Our jobs certainly don’t slow down just because the summer is here.  We just slog through at the same high-speed pace even as our bodies cry out for a break. It is hard spiritual work to listen to our [Read More...]

Five Ways to Deepen a Conversation

direction session

Spiritual directors have five conversational tools we use to help the person we are talking with share more deeply. These aren’t secrets and you don’t have to be a spiritual director to use them. They are especially helpful if the person you are talking with feels safe with you and wants to talk about important [Read More...]

New Life: The Heart of Spiritual Direction

People sometimes wonder if Christians of the progressive, liberal, contemplative persuasion (like me) believe–really believe—in resurrection. Although I don’t usually share Christological perspectives in this blog, I’m making an exception this week. It doesn’t matter to me how Jesus of Nazareth lived on after the crucifixion. What matters to me is that new life is possible. [Read More...]

Spiritual Direction in the New Year

Perhaps one of your goals for 2015 is to explore spiritual direction. Here’s what you need to know to get started. Spiritual direction is a confidential monthly one-on-one session devoted to your relationship with the Divine. The spiritual director’s job is to accompany you as you explore life experiences–challenges, questions, blessings, insights and awareness. Your [Read More...]

Praying through Advent: Imagining the Nativity

This is the final day of Advent. Tonight is Christmas Eve and tomorrow is Christmas. We conclude our Advent prayer series right where we began—Praying the Nativity. In today’s imagination prayer, we find ourselves spending time with Mary, the new mother. Mary is sometimes known as Theotokos, a Greek word meaning “God-bearer.” Each of us [Read More...]

Praying through Advent: Lectio Divina on Matthew’s Nativity

There are only two stories of Jesus’ birth in the Gospels—Luke’s and Matthew’s. For this prayer, we will be using lectio divina (praying with scripture) with Matthew’s nativity story. When praying scripture, it is more important that you allow the scripture to speak to you than it is to intellectually understand it. There is a [Read More...]

Praying Through Advent: Praying our Experience

If you feel you are losing yourself in the busy-ness of this Advent season, this prayer can help ground you in the present. It’s really a meditation technique for people who have trouble with the usual meditation instructions (following your breath; using a mantra; concentrating on an object). This simple technique is a way of [Read More...]

Praying through Advent: Praying the Nativity

Our Advent imagination prayer is getting closer to the manger! Today’s passage has the angels departing for heaven and the shepherds taking to the road to Bethlehem to check out this birth for themselves. As you imagine yourself part of the shepherd’s caravan, see if you can catch the emotion in the scene. The Practice [Read More...]

Praying through Advent: Praying the Benedictus

One of the most beautiful passages in Luke’s gospel is the prophecy of Zechariah, a poem known as the Benedictus (Luke 1:67-79).  Zechariah was a priest married to Elizabeth and in their advanced age they conceived a long awaited child—a boy who would become John the Baptist, a relative of Jesus. Zechariah didn’t believe the [Read More...]

Praying through Advent: Imagining the Heavenly Host


As we continue our Advent imagination prayer with Luke’s birth narrative, we spend more time today with the shepherds, angel and the multitude of the heavenly host. Imagination prayer has a long history.  St. Ignatius of Loyola built his Spiritual Exercises – a set of meditations, reflections and practices to draw a person’s heart deeper [Read More...]