Breathe on Me, Breath of God

Today’s blog is taken from the reflection and prayer offered during Wednesday’s Prayer for the World. Shalem graduate Barb Kelly guided the time from her home in Empire, Michigan. Although we can’t see each other, we can join together in prayer with love and compassion for all humanity and for all of creation. During this […]

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 […]

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 […]

A Reflection on Lockdown

Second Sunday of Easter, 2020 John 20:19-31 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his […]

Engaging Solitude

“I realized that solitude was not a disconnection from the rest of the world but instead a necessary recalibration for more meaningful connection with the world.” -Phileena Heuertz We live in the oddest and most uncertain of times. On the one hand as I read the news I get the sense that the world is […]

Celebrating the Triduum Together While Apart

Holy Thursday begins the Triduum—time set apart to reflect on the meaning of events from the Last Supper to the Resurrection, not only in the lives of Jesus and his disciples, but also in the Paschal Mystery unfolding in our lives. Following the great tradition observed by generations of Christians, we gather to commemorate these […]

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 […]

Joy Unspeakable

It is with joy that I muse about what it means to be contemplative and African American. I’ve been thinking, praying, and studying this seeming contradiction for some time—only to conclude that there is no contradiction. For people of color, the contemplative is embedded in our DNA.

Contemplative Reawakening

Contemplation was originally in the Greek and early patristic understandings reserved for a kind of higher or noetic knowing, knowing through the nous, the eye of the heart. Sometimes it takes the form of visionary seeing, images, but more typically it is simply a kind of luminous, situational knowingness that can’t be attributed to any outside source. It becomes part of one’s own being…

Grace for the New Year

By Savannah Kate Coffey. Kate is a graduate of Columbia Theological Seminary and Shalem’s Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats Program for which she now serves as adjunct staff. She lives and writes in South Carolina. It’s that time of year when many of us look at the 12 fresh months stretching out before us and we resolve to do […]