December 27, 2019

For those who say it is hard to find good news these days, let me tell you the story of Jon Potter of Pittsburgh, PA. He may be the kindest person in the world. I learned of Jon earlier this year in a story published in The Washington Post titled: ‘I have $1500 that I’m giving away’: Man becomes legend for extreme acts of kindness toward strangers. Potter has used his limited financial resources and skills as a handyman to… Read more

December 22, 2019

Doesn’t Christmas always seem to go by in a blur? All the planning, all the preparation, and it’s over before you know it. But there may be a way to make this Christmas more memorable and meaningful: add a little mysticism to your schedule. Mysticism is a part of the Christian tradition and while there are slightly different definitions of the term, I think of it this way: Mysticism is the knowledge of God that comes from a direct experience… Read more

December 15, 2019

It’s hard to think of a more genuinely good person than the Dalai Lama. As the spiritual leader of the people of Tibet, a country where religious and political freedom have long been repressed, his broad shoulders carry a heavy load. Yet, to see him in public, is to witness a man who appears care-free. The Dalai Lama has been described as “witty and effervescent,” “the personification of compassion” and “the most peace-loving person on earth.” He sincerely seems more… Read more

December 7, 2019

A mid-life crisis is described as “a psychological crisis brought about by events that highlight a person’s growing age, inevitable mortality, and possibly shortcomings of accomplishments in life…producing depression, remorse and high levels of anxiety.” While the description above (via Wikipedia) says a mid-life crisis can happen between the ages of 40 and 60, and another source narrows it to 45-55, the fact is this crisis can happen at any time and is not restricted to this 10 or 20-year… Read more

November 30, 2019

In my previous post, I wondered whether it wasn’t more important that we follow the message of Jesus as opposed to Jesus, the messenger. It’s an idea that comes from The Universal Christ, a new book by the Franciscan friar and Catholic Richard Rohr, who informs us that: What Jesus really wanted was for us to “see the world with his eyes.” When we are able to see the world with the same love and compassion as Jesus, our own… Read more

November 20, 2019

I read a lot of religion and spirituality books and it’s rare to come across one that changes the way you view the world—a book that makes you stop and think, hey, I’ve never looked at it that way. I now have just such a book on my nightstand: The Universal Christ (subtitled How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For, and Believe), by the Franciscan priest Richard Rohr. Have you heard of Rohr? He is one… Read more

November 13, 2019

Have you ever occasionally wondered if prayer wasn’t just a big frigging waste of time? Donna Schaper hears you and she is no religious skeptic. She is, in fact, the senior minister at Judson Memorial Church in New York City. Schaper tends to a diverse flock in Greenwich Village that includes undocumented migrants and members of the LGBT community, as well as what she calls “doubters.” She has written several books on religion and spirituality and one that recently caught… Read more

November 5, 2019

A funny thing happened on the way to publishing this column. I discovered that the person I was writing about, a former-priest who had authored a series of books about the healing power of meditation and prayer, had been credibly named as a child molester. His name is Ron Roth and he served as a priest for 25 years, primarily in the Catholic Church Archdiocese and Dioceses of Illinois. A self-described mystic, he once appeared on “The Joan Rivers Show”… Read more

October 29, 2019

There’s a slightly darker side to spirituality, a place where it’s not about light energy or guardian angels or conversations with God, but darker encounters with animals and entities that seem to have wisdom for us. It’s an area I like to call spooky spirituality. In Supernatural, Meeting with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind, Graham Hancock writes about the powerful plant hallucinogen ayahuasca and its use by Indian shamans in South America as part of a sacred ritual. It’s a practice… Read more

October 24, 2019

It’s easy to be centered and spiritually-aware when you’re in the comforts of your own home, or in a friendly environment surrounded by like-minded people. The real test of our spiritual maturity comes when we’re out in the world and faced with a real conflict. No one likes conflict and we understandably do our best to avoid it. But the fact is, unless you live in a monastery and have cut yourself off from the world, you’re going to occasionally… Read more

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