Pacem in Terris: Anchoress Comboxes Closed for Lent

What I am already discovering in this first day of Lent is that I am being drawn out, into the desert. The first word in the Holy Rule of Saint Benedict is "Listen" and I am being asked to rediscover silence and learn to listen again. To slow down and look at beautiful things, too.Because this is so, I have already let folks in social media know that -- while I will still be posting Patheos work and interesting headlines to Facebook and Twitter -- I will not be participating in FB discussion … [Read more...]

Holder Hospitalized: “Lord, the one you Love is Sick…”

Attorney General Eric Holder has been hospitalized with symptoms of what could be a heart attack, or a panic attack.Stress is a killer and the whole nation is under stress right now, and that's a thought I may consider and flesh out later, but for now, let's whisper up a prayer for his good.I know, it's not always easy to pray for someone toward whom you may not have warm feelings, but we are called to it, and a good way to enter into any prayer with humility is through scripture. … [Read more...]

When We Truly Love, We Model God to Each Other – UPDATED

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A while back, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Mother Dolores Hart, OSB about her book, and she talked of breaking off her engagement in order to enter the Abbey:He was furious. Oh, He was so upset. But he said a very unexpected thing which was, ‘you know all love relationships don’t end at the altar, and I will be faithful to you in this.’ Well, I thought that was a head-trip too. I didn’t see how in the world he could do that, but in effect, fifty years later, Don did stay with m … [Read more...]

Science Proves It: Creation Actually Sings Praise!

Image courtesy of shutterstock.com

There is a moment in the dawn -- and it comes again in the gloaming, the evening twilight -- when a stillness falls, and for just the merest second it seems like the veil between heaven and earth has thinned out and may be more easily pierced. The birds chirp; the leaves rustle; the crickets cheep. It is a moment. If you happen to be taking part in Lauds or Vespers at that time, you can particularly feel it slip in and then away. A moment of singularity; one-ness with creation.As weakly as I … [Read more...]

Craving Silence to Hear: Atchison Blue

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If I am late coming to a review of Judith Valente's new book -- which is currently being featured in the Patheos Book Club, it is only because the pope keeps all of us very busy these days, and Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home and a Living Faith is too good for a slap-dash mention. After reading, it needed time for absorption, and even some revisits, to do it justice.People are fast to make comparisons between Atchison Blue and Kathleen Norris' beloved modern classic, … [Read more...]

The Key to Pope Francis

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The Holy Father continues to speak with a sharp sense of urgency:“Yes, you have to come to know Jesus in the Catechism – but it is not enough to know Him with the mind: it is a step. However, it is necessary to get to know Jesus in dialogue with Him, talking with Him in prayer, kneeling. If you do not pray, if you do not talk with Jesus, you do not know Him. You know things about Jesus, but you do not go with that knowledge, which He gives your heart in prayer. Know Jesus with the mind - the … [Read more...]

Prayer and Fasting for Christians in Near and Middle East

This morning, I read this and felt a huge interior push to take up a fast and prayer for these brothers and sisters of ours:The silence of our friends – the extinction of Christianity in the Middle EastThe last month and a half has seen perhaps the worst anti-Christian violence in Egypt in seven centuries, with dozens of churches torched. Yet the western media has mainly focussed on army assaults on the Muslim Brotherhood, and no major political figure has said anything about the s … [Read more...]

God in the Balance; Loving Dark and Light

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Regardless of our religion -- whether we are Catholics or Evangelicals or Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist -- the spiritual life challenges us to find balance. One of the reasons I was attracted to the Rule of Saint Benedict was because in ora et labora there is a prescription for balance. In the recitation of the Divine Office, we not only sanctify our time but we also set a pace for the whole day of prayer; work; prayer; work until -- if we are good Benedictines (and I am not one) it all flows … [Read more...]

Pillar of Cloud, Water of Life: All of a Healing Piece & Peace

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For a little while longer, we are still in Christmas, but every day the mysteries of the season seem to wither a little, like the leaves of the poinsettias; the expectation of Advent seems far away, and in just a few days we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord, and enter -- with some sense of refreshment, because after a time we long for the comforts of what is routine and regular -- into Ordinary Time.The Baptism of the Lord is being presaged in the readings and prayers of the Divine Office. … [Read more...]

My Prayer at Adoration

When I go to Adoration, it is such a privilege and such a humility. I go there in poverty -- unworthy of anything, but willing to be open, because I trust that all God wants of us is our willingness. Always with the reminder jangling in my brain: Weakness is sown, strength rises up.It is part-and-parcel of the great paradox: when I am weak, then I am strong.I am weak, often at my weakest, when I go to Adoration. But I know my prayer there -- even though I have nothing of myself, am … [Read more...]


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