No Cause for Celebration: Question Five of Ten

   Taking The Dave Test during the Holidays                                     Question Five: “Can I give up trading in magic and superstition?”                                               Introduction to the series Much of the last year was thread through with considerable loss.  My brother, Dave, battled a fatal brain cancer for nearly eight years and he died this last January as the result of a fall that was due in large part to … [Read more...]

No Cause for Celebration: Question Three of Ten

     Taking The Dave Test during the Holidays                                     Question Three: “Can I avoid using stained glass language?”                                               Introduction to the series Much of the last year was thread through with considerable loss.  My brother, Dave, battled a fatal brain cancer for nearly eight years and he died this last January as the result of a fall that was due in large … [Read more...]

“Teach your children…”

Teachyourchildren

A midday appointment took me home through the neighborhood in which we live.  Driving along I noticed a lemonade stand operated by four little girls.  I have a weak spot for drink stands operated by children.  My brother and I spent a summer pulling a Radio Flyer through a construction site selling small bottles of Coca Cola, and I delight in supporting their efforts. When I stopped to buy my lemonade, the girls handed me a card, explaining that they were giving their profits to a program … [Read more...]

Awareness: A Practice looking for a Purpose

Freedom

There are more than enough articles, books, and websites out there offering guidance on the practice of living in the moment, or awareness.  But a good deal of that literature never asks the most important questions: Aware of what, why, and to what end? Some will respond, of course, that to ask that set of questions undermines the practice of awareness from the get-go.  We should be open to whatever may present itself in the moment.  That’s a fair criticism --- to a point.  But it is … [Read more...]

Kneel, Sit, Stand: The Embodiment of Spirituality

Worship

We used to joke about the dilemma that visitors to an Episcopal church typically face.  Do you “kneel, sit, or stand?”   I’ve been in a few parishes that have even tried to help with the question.  Unfortunately, far too many of the efforts focus on practice and practicalities.  Not enough of them focus on the inner logic of worship.  Spiritual practice is not just about the mind or the soul.  We are not “Tinkerbell” trapped in bodies. We are body, mind, and soul --- an … [Read more...]

Letting Go…

SFS.LettingGov2

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The Spiritual Dimension of Music

Music

Some years ago I had the privilege of chairing a search committee charged with the task of identifying a new professor sacred music.  As lover of music of all types (or most of them, anyway) and as someone who had been surrounded by the best of musicians and choristers at the National Cathedral, I accepted the responsibility with relish and enjoyed every minute of it --- not least of all, the conversations with the candidates themselves. We had great success.  We invited a fine musician to … [Read more...]

The Unspoken Prayer

unspokenprayer

Formulas and language are so much at the forefront of our conversation about prayer, that the mystery of a conversation with the living God is all but lost.  Add our preoccupation with intercession and petition and the mystery disappears completely.  God has become like a stranger --- accosted on the sidewalk --- forced into our homes without prelude or introduction, without relationship or experience, gang-pressed into service, meeting our needs. Don’t get me wrong. I am not opposed … [Read more...]


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