Archive for eNews Article

With My Heart Enlightened

Last February was the 10-year anniversary of my open heart surgery to replace my aortic valve. The valve problem was caused by a congenital defect, and the time had finally had come for the replacement. Scripture, mystics, and poets say that the heart is the organ of spiritual perception. I’ve wondered if the purpose of […]

Inspiration for These Times

Staff/Board Recommendations In the past, we have offered a special book issue that provided a listing of staff/board reading picks. This year, we asked board and staff to consider any contemplative resources they found helpful in this unprecedented time. Books Tilden Edwards (Founder & Senior Fellow) and Jackson Droney (Staff Member) both recommend Barbara A. […]

Contemplative Conversations on Race

“You are a light. You are the light. Never let anyone—any person or any force—dampen, dim or diminish your light. Study the path of others to make your way easier and more abundant. Lean toward the whispers of your own heart, discover the universal truth, and follow its dictates.” – John Lewis Congressman John Lewis […]

“For Everything There Is A Season….”

June is one of my favorite months. Despite that in Erie, PA—where I am from—it is often a rainy, muddy month, it is also a time of important milestones. As a child, June meant the end of the school year. As an adult, it’s become the month of gay pride parades and festivals. I’ve also […]

Grieving and Rejoicing

On Good Friday, no one anticipated Easter. The disciples, in shock and grief, hid away in fear. Neither the disciples nor Jesus’s enemies expected resurrection. And then the resurrection came. Unbelievable. How could this be? Still in shock and grief, the disciples weren’t ready. Even after Jesus appeared to the disciples, they kept hiding in […]

Slowing Down

There are two gears in my body: fast and stop. I am trying to find or create some intermediate speeds, but it is very difficult. I have even tried QiQong to slow me down and to notice the moment. Even with this, I find I am faster in the movements than everyone else. I can […]

Reflection on Contemplation and Race: A Letter

By Fay C. Acker When I was a child, I used to sit in the living room in a little alcove formed by the piano and the television, writing letters to God. I gave the letters to my mother, quite sure they would be mailed, received, and read with all my questions: “God, where do […]

Reimagining Confession As Noticing

Confession has always been a part of the Christian tradition of spiritual deepening. As such, it has all too often been understood within a dynamic of payment due, penance to be done, conditional forgiveness, substitutionary Christology. No doubt for many, a deepening of their spiritual lives and even a re-formation of the direction of their […]

To Have Eyes to See as the Saints See!

An Evening in Assisi In the spring of 2016, I spent ten days in Assisi and its surrounding region on a Shalem pilgrimage to visit the sacred sites of the lives of St. Francis and St. Clare. I went without knowing much about either saint or Assisi, but trusting that whatever the trip offered would […]

Tending the Garden That is our Life

Just supposing God wrote a letter, a real letter, to us at birth? I imagine it as something like this: My dear little one, you are coming into being. You are beginning to perceive things. This body that is now yours is wondrous. I feel such joy in anticipation of the journey that is to […]