• Thomas Adams

    • Tom is a long-time Shalem participant, lives in Greenbelt MD, and writes on spirituality, racial justice and recovery. His weekly blog Critical Conversations can be found at thadams.com.He is co-author with Joy Jones of the forthcoming “Bill and Lois Wilson: A Marriage that Changed the World.”

Quilting as a Path to Love and Deep Listening

Writing about love and deepening my ability to express the centrality of love to life itself is a goal I set for myself in retirement. Influenced by grace and serendipity, I had an unexpected awakening to how creativity and deep listening advance love and healing, while attending the annual American Library Association conference in Washington […]

October 10, 2022 by Tom Adams

What Does Therese of Lisieux Have to Do with Anti-Racism?

A recent trip to Lisieux deepened my understanding of Therese of the Little Flower and her spirituality. I was surprised and delighted with what she had to teach me – about surrender and faith and about persistence in learning how to be an anti-racist in America. While I have been involved in work for social […]

May 05, 2022 by Tom Adams 3 Comments

Contemplatives and Racial Justice: What is Ours to Do?

Rose Mary Dougherty, in her days leading groups at Shalem, had a favorite parable she came back to often. With her charming Irish smile, she would ask: “Why do the antelope walk side by side in the jungle?” And after letting that settle for a short moment, she would answer: “So they can blow the […]

July 07, 2020 by Tom Adams 3 Comments

Who is God?

A byproduct of living a long life is I have come to accept the coming and going of faith. I have accepted that part of the essence of believing is to sometimes doubt and not believe. Like many of life’s bigger questions, when I gave up the struggle, the journey became more interesting. And the […]

May 05, 2020 by Tom Adams 8 Comments

Racial Justice and Equity: What is Mine to Do?

by Tom Adams Recently I was at a dinner with a mix of friends and acquaintances. In the midst of the discussion, someone was talking about how to get into Canada without going through Customs. Once you make it, you are a refugee and given all kinds of support and benefits. A friend I didn’t […]

February 02, 2020 by Tom Adams

What Holding A Newborn Can Teach Us About God’s Amazing Love

Today’s blog is by Tom Adams Sometimes I find it very difficult to appreciate and accept how much God loves me and you. The world seems kind of gloomy; my own and others’ imperfections seem to shout at me. Other times I get a glimpse of the tenderness and sweetness of God’s love and am […]

December 12, 2019 by Tom Adams

Spiritual Awakening and Addiction Recovery

Today’s post is by Tom Adams At lunch at the Gerald May seminar, Compassion of the Mystics, I was at a table where 12-Step meetings and recovery were being discussed. Having been a student and beneficiary of 12-Step groups for over 30 years, my ears perked up. A lunch table friend was describing how someone […]

December 12, 2018 by Tom Adams 1 Comment

Reflections on Openness, Contemplation, and Love

Today’s post is by Tom Adams I was eager to attend the Gerald May Seminar on the Compassion of the Mystics with Bernard McGinn. Since embracing the practice of centering prayer a couple of years ago, my interest in love and how love grows has been front and center. I figured compassion and love were […]

November 11, 2018 by Tom Adams

Spiritual Intimacy: The Power of Group Spiritual Direction

Today’s post is by Tom Adams There is no deeper intimacy than hearts united in a desire to be with God and each other in prayer. Group spiritual direction is for me a unique and no-fail opportunity to experience that intimacy and to grow in love. The love that develops among strangers in group spiritual […]

June 06, 2018 by Tom Adams 1 Comment

Understanding the Gifts of Pilgrimage

Today’s post is by Tom Adams Four guys headed out on a walk, a long walk. Two of the guys wanted to go; two others had to be convinced it was a good idea. One was a seasoned hiker and was physically ready. The others did their best to “train” and approached the walk with […]

February 02, 2018 by Tom Adams