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Archive for Contemplative Reading

Reflections on “Watering the Garden”

About nine years ago I became a Deacon at church. Not long after agreeing to lead a small prayer group, I suddenly found myself in situations where I needed to pray out loud and lead others in prayer. Knowing how to pray properly is something I have struggled with for a good portion of my […]

The Gift of Being Here

Opening the kitchen door to gauge the morning’s suitability for an early walk, I inhaled quickly and held my breath in reverence and awe. Cool refreshing air slid over me after days of stifling heat. Huge, puffy clouds rose in the bright blue sky. Even from my city view, obstructed by buildings, wires, and trees, […]

Expanding Into a New Call

“This I know: My life is in your hands. I have nothing to fear. I stop, breathe, listen. Beneath the whirl of what is, is a deep down quiet place. You beckon me to tarry there. This is the place where unnamed hungers are fed, The place of clear water, refreshment. My senses stilled, I […]

Five Gathered

Reflection on the Experience of a Group Spiritual Direction Workshop at Shalem Institute. I had the bountiful blessing of making four very close friends at the Group Spiritual Direction workshop on Zoom last June. It was not your typical friendship. Five individuals gathered together in faith, in silence, in prayer, and in profound empathy. The […]

Evelyn Underhill: Foremother of Contemporary Spirituality

The Book of Wisdom promises that “In each generation wisdom passes into holy souls, she makes them friends of God and prophets.” In our own times we need to be on the lookout for these “friends of God and prophets” whom we will find in unlikely places.  Although they appear to serve their own times, […]

Recalibrating Humility

I have been pondering the virtues, those aspects of character that are central to the spiritual life. Gradually, I’ve come to understand that we don’t have a virtue, rather it has us, and the only way to know if the virtue has us is by its fruits. As Paul says, it is by their fruits […]

Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul

Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul Written by John Philip Newell Reviewed by Leah Rampy Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it and find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16 In the darkness of the COVID-19 winter, I was drawn again to the […]

Summer Resources for Spiritual Sustenance

As we move into the long days of summer, some of Shalem’s board and staff have put together a list of books, movies, poetry and other resources that are contemplatively grounding and inspirational.  Enjoy! BOOKS Tilden Edwards (Founder and Senior Fellow) When Faith Becomes Sight: Opening Your Eyes to God’s Presence All Around You by […]

Greening Nature and Spirits

One spring morning, sitting at the table sipping tea, I saw green buds on tree branches hanging over the yard just outside the picture window. Those small fists of summer, clenched tight, must have been there for a while, but I hadn’t noticed. Seemingly overnight, the greening buds had swelled and stretched up and out, […]

Coddiwomple

“It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” (Ursula Le Guin) Several years ago, I planned a road trip with a good friend to visit her son, my godson, during spring break. We had only four days to drive out to Idaho, visit […]