Archive for Friday Blog

The Isle of Iona: A Thin Place

“I’ve heard it called a ‘thin place,’” he told me. “I’m not sure I believe that so I want to see for myself.” It sounded to my ears as if he’d laid down a challenge — to me or the island; I wasn’t sure which. This apparent skepticism from someone I respect gave me pause. […]

Keep Walking: An Invitation to Pilgrimage with Shalem on the Camino de Santiago

Walking has long been a pillar of my spiritual life. As a child, I remember walking with my grandmother around her neighborhood and mine, noticing the rabbits hopping about and the birds whizzing from feeder to feeder. I recall many walks with my mother at the cemetery, laying flowers on her father’s grave and listening […]

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 […]

Come Away

Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while. Mark 6:31 For the past six weeks our home has been filled to overflowing with the presence of our daughter, her husband and our 19-month-old granddaughter. For several of those days, another of our children, just back from two years in Australia, joined […]

Just as He Was

On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to them, “Let us cross to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat just as he was.  Mark 4: 35-36 This story, of course, continues with the calming of the storm, but I found myself stuck on that last […]

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 […]

Let the Door Close Behind You

I cling to the image of Mary Magdalene running out of the dark cave early on what we now call “Easter morning.” I carry it with me, believing it will help me leave my own cave that has become a tomb of Netflix evenings and Zoom days. I entered my pandemic cave by choice, but […]

A Journey of the Heart

When I heard about a ZOOM Pilgrimage to Assisi, I almost spit out my coffee. In disdain. A ZOOM Pilgrimage seemed an oxymoron of the highest order. Nothing could compare to being physically present in Assisi. Nothing could come close to a real Shalem Pilgrimage. After all, on a Newfoundland Pilgrimage, I kissed a cod […]

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, […]