March 26, 2014

This month’s topic in the Patheos Public Square is: “Is Religious Freedom Threatened?” Please read and comment on my opinion, and read the others too. Here’s my response: No. Not even close. There are two dynamics at play in this idea that religious freedom (that is, Christian religious freedom) is under siege in America. The obvious one is in the various battles around individual laws and protections some folks want upheld or abolished. It’s an issue of rights and liberties… Read more

March 21, 2014

A cute young nun, Sister Cristina, auditions for the Italian version of The Voice, singing an Alicia Keys song. Of course comes the stupid question, “What does the Vatican have to say about your auditioning for The Voice?” Her perfect response (translated into English): “[Pope Francis] always says we should go out and evangelize telling people that God doesn’t take anything away from us but will give us more.” Watch the video… Read more

December 13, 2013

Gaudete Sunday gets its name from the first word in Latin of its liturgy, which begins, “”Rejoice in the Lord always.” This season, despite (or because of) any of the challenges we may face, let us follow the guidance offered in Philippians 4 from which this line is taken: “if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Read more

December 5, 2013

Lectio divina has become much more popular in recent years, and it’s a traditional practice during Advent. So every year around this time, I’m asked by friends and colleagues for guidance or recommendations on the subject. Here is an introduction to lectio divina, with a helpful bullet-point list of the stages and essential aspects of the practice. Read more

November 21, 2013

Today’s daily meditation in Living Faith is one of mine. The reading is: Offer to God praise as your sacrifice and fulfill your vows to the Most High; Then call upon me in time of distress; I will rescue you, and you shall glorify me. – Psalm 50:14-15 Here’s part of my reflection: A key turning point in my spiritual journey was when I encountered the idea (in then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s 1968 book, Introduction to Christianity) that a religion is made… Read more

November 19, 2013

Today’s daily meditation in Living Faith is one of mine. The reading is: Many are saying of me, “There is no salvation for him in God.” But you, O LORD, are my shield. – Psalm 3:3-4 Here’s part of my reflection: The psalmist’s adversaries wield words. They tell him his situation is hopeless. This is a powerful weapon–to get people to abandon hope: “You can’t do this with your own resources and there’s nothing else, so you might as well… Read more

October 29, 2013

Seriously, Pope Francis’ natural impulses just always seem to be humble, playful, loving. Watch this video of how he reacts to a little boy who won’t leave the stage, and check out his playful solution. Read more

October 29, 2013

A reflection, at the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy’s landfall in New York, on experiencing the downtown Manhattan blackout, on how I did not feel the deprivation that many experienced, and about the isolation and anonymity of city life which makes urban community fragile. Read more

October 25, 2013

Russell Brand is basically my favorite public person on the planet. If Russell Brand were running for office, or starting a political organization in the States, despite the fact that I’d probably disagree with half his preferred policies, I’d vote for him or join it in a second. Watch this BBC clip and tell me what you think about his diagnosis, not his prescription. The fundamental thing about Brand that excites me — which I believe is rooted in or at least highly complementary with his mystical faith practice — is his insistence on basing his thinking and his dialogue in reality. Not “reason” but reality. Totally different thing. Read more

October 17, 2013

I want to share with you a little contemplative tool with a big impact: the Welcoming Prayer. What’s your first impulse when you have a “bad” feeling? If you’re like me, it’s usually to suppress it. But we all know that doesn’t work. What you focus on sticks around. It becomes your entire focus. Worse than before. The Welcoming Prayer bring the centering practice practice of neither reacting to thoughts nor resisting them into stressful moments during the day. Read more

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