• Mary van Balen

    • Mary van Balen is the author of four books, numerous articles, and has written the column, “Grace in the Moment” for over thirty years. Mary holds an MA in Theology and was a resident scholar at the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical & Cultural Research. A public speaker, Mary conducts retreats and days of reflection on a variety of topics including journaling and spirituality. She is a spiritual director and a graduate of Shalem's Nurturing the Call: Spiritual Guidance Program. You can contact Mary through her website: maryvanbalen.com.

Three Simple Gifts

Today’s post is by Mary van Balen Recently I attended the Spiritual Director’s International Conference in St. Louis. The keynote speakers are well-known in the area of spirituality, and I looked forward to the breakout sessions, especially one on storytelling. To top it off, travel was a road trip with a good friend filled with […]

God’s Love is Never Small

Today’s post is by Mary van Balen One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “The first is this: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your […]

March 03, 2018 by Mary van Balen
Categories: Love and Non-duality. Formats: Article and Friday Blog. Interest Areas: Friday Blog.

Howard Thurman: Black Theologian, Mystic, and Mentor

Today’s post is by Mary van Balen The reading from Mark’s gospel about the Gentile woman’s request for Jesus to heal her daughter possessed by a demon is one of my favorites. Jesus had slipped away from the crowds, but the woman found him and threw herself at his feet, asking for help. When Jesus […]

Deepening Our Ability to Hear

Today’s post is by Mary van Balen Scripture provides no definite age for Samuel at the time of his call. He is called “a boy.” Yet even at this young age, Samuel paid attention. His heart was “awake” even as he slept. One night, in the shrine at Shiloh where he lived under the care of […]

January 01, 2018 by Mary van Balen
Categories: Contemplative Living, Contemplative Spirituality, Continuous Prayer, and Prayer. Tags: Samuel. Formats: Article and Friday Blog. Interest Areas: Friday Blog.

The Both-And of Our Faith

Post by Mary van Balen I looked up the word “advenio” in my old Latin dictionary and found that, depending on how it’s used, the verb can mean “to draw near” or “to arrive.”  The noun, “adventus” is also translated as either “approach” or “arrival.” The season of Advent encompasses both. We wait. We celebrate […]

December 12, 2017 by Mary van Balen
Categories: Clergy & Congregation, Contemplation in Action, and Contemplative Living. Tags: Advent. Formats: Article and Friday Blog. Interest Areas: Friday Blog.

Doing What We Have Learned

Today’s post is by Mary van Balen Perhaps it’s because I’m weary of the divisive speech that is becoming more commonplace in our country and of the racism and ignorance of the “other” that undergird it. Maybe it’s hearing hateful comments, seeing intolerance, and recognizing that choices are being made to stoke fear and anger […]

October 10, 2017 by Mary van Balen 1 Comment
Categories: Contemplation in Action and Contemplative Living. Formats: Article and Friday Blog. Interest Areas: Friday Blog.

Saint Bonifacia’s Ordinary Way

Today’s post is by Mary van Balen The liturgical calendar in early August celebrates the lives of three women saints: St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), St. Clare, and Saint Bonifacia Rodriguez y Castro. If you’re like me, you’re familiar with the first two. But who was the third, Saint Bonifacia? Her memorial […]

September 09, 2017 by Mary van Balen
Categories: Community, Contemplative Living, and Prayer. Tags: Saint Bonificia. Formats: Article and Friday Blog. Interest Areas: Friday Blog.

Fountain Fullness and Good Stewardship

Post by Mary van Balen And since the nature of goodness is to diffuse itself… the Father is the fountain-fullness of goodness.        Ilia Delio Yet access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise […]

July 07, 2017 by Mary van Balen
Categories: Nature and spirituality. Tags: Bonaventure, Ilia Delio, Pope Francis, standing rock, and water. Formats: Article and Friday Blog. Interest Areas: Friday Blog.

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is mystery. Today is…

Today’s post is by Mary van Balen Hank is one of my favorite people. I don’t know him well, but I’m getting there. At the end of most work days I stop and talk with him on my way out. We talk about politics and religion despite conventional wisdom that warns against it. He shares […]

July 07, 2017 by Mary van Balen
Categories: Contemplative Living, Contemplative Spirituality, Nature and spirituality, and Prayer. Tags: Grace, mystery, rain, and worry. Formats: Article and Friday Blog. Interest Areas: Friday Blog.

The Mug and Me

Today’s post is by Mary van Balen I fell in love with a coffee mug. Let me explain. It happened on Friday morning at work. I came in as usual, put my lunch in the refrigerator, walked to my desk, lowered my purse into the drawer, and returned to the kitchen to pour a cup […]