Moving from the darkest of days to the light of Christmas.

During the dark, heavy days of late-fall and winter, I find myself retreating within, spending more time at home, often in contemplation. It’s the time of year when I enjoy curling up with a good book, though the types of books I read are different from other seasons. I’m attracted to stories that don’t just [Read More…]

A 10-step guide to starting your own spiritual practice. (No church required.)

Are you serious about your spirituality? Would you belong to a church or religion if you could just find one that wasn’t tied to stale traditions and dogma or an out-of-touch holy book? It may be time to start your own spiritual practice. If you classify yourself as “spiritual but not religious”, you may have [Read More…]

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Rewriting Jesus: A New Take on the Gospel of Matthew.

Earlier this year, Thomas Moore published The Book of Matthew: A New Translation with Commentary in which, as the title indicates, he reinterpreted one of the four Gospels. His aim was to make Matthew more accessible to the modern reader, improving “the flow” and using new words for a few key terms that he believed [Read More…]

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A 10-step guide to being “spiritual but not religious”.

In a few weeks I will be writing about the brand new book from Thomas Moore, a modern-day translation of one of the New Testament gospels, The Book of Matthew. But as I did a little research on that book, I was reminded of Moore’s previous release, the groundbreaking A Religion of One’s Own. If [Read More…]

Thomas Moore, Aretha Franklin and the Meaning of Soul.

Thomas Moore writes about it. Aretha Franklin sings with it. But even though they’re approaching it from two different perspectives, they share a unique ability—to touch the deepest part of our being, our souls, through their art. What is soul? According to the dictionary, it’s “a person’s moral or emotional nature, their sense of identity”—but [Read More…]

Let’s put Santa back into Christmas.

It’s that time of year again—the time when many Christians begin whining that the true meaning of Christmas is being lost. “Let’s put Christ back into Christmas!” shouts the sign at the Knights of Columbus hall down the street from me. But I’d like to propose that what we really need this Christmas is a [Read More…]

Were Jesus and Mary Magdalene a couple?

I’ve been reading a book titled Jesus Behaving Badly, and it reminds us that the Jesus of the New Testament exhibited more than a few human traits. Author Mark L. Strauss calls them “the puzzling paradoxes” and they include Jesus losing his temper (Matthew 23:33), Jesus railing against families (Mark 10:29-30) and Jesus being vengeful [Read More…]

Five Steps to a Better Day: Starting a Morning Ritual.

I was recently listening to a podcast by the author Tim Ferriss (The Four Hour Work Week) and was reminded of just how important it can be to establish a morning routine. With regular practice, it can help you get each day off to a fresh, clear-minded start, better prepared for the challenges and opportunities [Read More…]

Life is too short to be “busy” all the time.

I recently listened to a podcast with a great riff by the author Tim Kreider on how we seem to pride ourselves on our “busy” lives. Tim points out that while this busyness makes us feel important, there’s also a huge downside to our nonstop activity—it takes away from our ability to be lazy. Now, [Read More…]

Can you be a spiritual person and still have a wild streak?

I consider myself a spiritual guy. Though I’m a lapsed Catholic, I believe in God. I meditate and pray daily. I like nothing better than to spend an hour or two reading a good spirituality book. Oh, and I write the Wake Up Call column here at Patheos. Yet, there is a side to me [Read More…]