Meditating on Words from Merton

Merton

My friend Paul McKay posted these words from Thomas Merton and I’ve been meditating on them ever since: In our age everything has to be a ‘problem.’ Ours is a time of anxiety because we have willed it to be so. Our anxiety is not imposed on us by force from outside. We impose it on our world and upon one another from within ourselves. The word meditate comes from the Latin, meditatio, which --- among other things --- means “to ponder.”As much as I like the word “ponder,” it is helpful think … [Read more...]

Men and their Fathers

WalkwithDad

 One of my favorite pieces of art is a linoleum print by New Mexico artist Jack McCarthy, entitled “A Walk with Dad.”  Based on the Old Testament story of Abraham and Isaac, it portrays a frightened Isaac held and muzzled by his father, a knife poised for the sacrifice.  Only the one eye betrays Isaac’s fear.  Abraham’s expression is without emotion.Over the years my conversations with men have convinced me that there may be no relationship that exercises greater influence on men than their r … [Read more...]

Life Prayers

Life Prayer

In our search for spiritual direction we often look for the exceptional and the extraordinary.  That is understandable, particularly in an increasingly materialistic world where what is most real is what we can sense --- see, feel, hear, touch, and smell.  It is also understandable, given our tendency to think of that world as a world devoid of God’s presence.Far too often we assume that if God does exist, God likely lurks just beyond the last material reality that we have discovered and und … [Read more...]

Mary, Men, and Women

Mary

Poor Mary.It’s not like being the Christ bearer wasn’t hard enough.  She has to tolerate our deeply mixed motives for loving her.For men, among others, it’s the need of a mother.  For women she’s a rallying point for women’s rights and empowerment.There are arguments to be made for both points of view, but she was and is so much more.There’s not a lot to go on in the Gospels and it’s hard to know how much another version of projected needs were already at work in the first telling … [Read more...]

Venomous and Poisonous

snakes

My wife is reading a novel --- a novel about Scots and the English.  So, the author cares about language and along the way he makes some pretty fine distinctions.  One of them, she tells me, is the difference between venomous and poisonous.They might appear to be the same, but they aren’t.  If something bites you and it makes you sick, it’s venomous.  If you bite into something and it makes you sick, it’s poisonous.  In one fairly humorous passage a snake escapes into the privy and there’s a … [Read more...]

The Embodiment of Prayer: Joe Cajero

JoeCojera.Embodiment

Sculptor Joe Cajero was raised on the Jemez pueblo in New Mexico and his work is informed by his Pueblo religion.  Here is how he describes his work, which he calls “The Embodiment of Prayer”: My creative energy is often spiritual in nature.  Each of my sculptures invariably represents some aspect of praise and appreciation for life’s beauty, ebb and flow.  “The Embodiment of Prayer” is a created image that specifically captures what is a reflection of my spirituality.  Since my Pueblo religion … [Read more...]

Fly Fishing and the Spiritual Life

Fly fishing

Last week I learned to fly fish on Hermosa Creek in southwest Colorado and the experience has me thinking about the lessons of fly fishing that also apply to the spiritual life.  Here is some of what I’ve learned.  I’ll let you make your own inferences.Lines get tangled.Patience often provides enough space and focus to untangle them.But sometimes an intervention is needed.The best results are often found in deep water.It’s fun to catch.  It can be even more fun to release. … [Read more...]

eternitatem cogita

Eternity

I am blessed with a handful of friends who make me think.  One of them is John Ockels.  John thinks deeply about his faith.  Over lunch the other day, he pointed out that thinking about life as eternal had changed the way he lives.“You know, he observed, if you think that this life is all there is, it doesn’t matter how sweet natured and good you happen to be, the notion that it will all be over in 80 years or so changes the way that you live.  And most of us --- including Christians --- real … [Read more...]

Anonymity and Healing

Writing for Real Clear Religion, author Mark Judge observes:Somebody needs to stage an intervention on Bob Beckel. The man needs to stop taking about being a drunk. Beckel is a Democratic operative who now co-stars on The Five, the popular Fox television show. The Five has five stars -- Beckel, Greg Gutfeld, Dana Perino, Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Eric Bolling. The show has received good reviews -- even from the New York Times -- and it's not hard to see why. It has an easy flow, the hosts are … [Read more...]

Second Opinions and the Will of God

Second Opinion

My brother is a surgeon and he understands the desire for second opinions.  When a procedure is complicated or the implications are far-reaching, it can be important to get another point of view.  If the second opinion confirms the first one you received, it’s also reassuring.  But when patients look for a third, fourth, or fifth opinion, he has also learned that his patients are probably looking for the opinion they want, not the opinion they need --- or they don’t want to make a decision at all … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X