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Archive for Contemplative Reading

Love, Not Atonement

This year in the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar, the feast of the Annunciation falls just a few days before Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week. (This isn’t always the case since Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox.) The proximity of the two feasts […]

Prayer Changes Us

There is an old saying: be careful what you wish for. In a similar vein we might also be careful how we pray and what we pray for. As we practice contemplative prayer things change and that change is mostly in ourselves. Our ways of seeing and acting in the world become transfigured by divine […]

Welcoming God with Open Arms

While Lent is sometimes thought of as a season to give up something, this Lent comes after a year of pandemic and unrest that has many feeling like they’ve already given up a lot. For some it has meant no in-person visits with family or friends for close to a year. Some have lost jobs. […]

Let This Light Grow in Us

Let it grow in us, this light, let it grow in all of our hearts, the light of our love for one another, let it grow and get stronger, let it not be dimmed but increased, becoming ever more radiant, reaching out to enfold all the people who need its blessing so badly. Let it […]

A Day Like No Other

I awoke on Wednesday, November 4, with no small measure of fear and trepidation. I was responsible to lead Shalem’s “Prayer for the World” at 8:30am and had been afraid for weeks that we’d be in exactly the situation in which we awoke: no clear result of the presidential election and an incumbent that was […]

Election Day Prayer Vigil

The other day as I was having my prayer time, I was feeling very vulnerable and helpless, particularly in regard to the world situation. This is an ongoing occurrence these days, as things seem to be so chaotic, divisive and truly unpredictable. This chaos and distress in the air has a big impact on me, […]

Silent Retreat: Deepening Intimacy

Silent retreat is a serious commitment and practice common to spiritual seekers throughout history. Conversations about the spiritual journey are studded with transformational experiences that have occurred on quiet days, weekends, or even quiet months. When my children were young, it was only possible for me to attend day retreats. But I remember being drawn […]

Thoughts on Spiritual Direction

The medieval mystic Hafiz said, “Like a great starving beast, my body is quivering, fixed on the scent of Light.” That’s a radical thought for us to bring to spiritual direction, both as director and directee. That quivering in me is the strong, graced desire for communion—communion with the enlightening, loving truth of God. Jesus […]

Found by God

Seek the LORD while he may be found, call him while he is near. Let scoundrel forsake their ways, and the wicked their thoughts; let them turn to the LORD for mercy; to our God, who is generous in forgiving. Isaiah 55:6-7 “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call him while he is […]

Deeper Than Words

A shimmering ray of sunlight brushed across her thick black hair. It slanted onto the table near the hard wooden chair where she sat slumped in sorrow. Her head was bowed and tears were flowing freely down her cheeks. She was surprised by this new and unexpected surge of grief. She thought it was over, […]