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 […]

This is a Time for Contemplatives

Amidst the turbulence, conflict and great uncertainty in our country and world, I struggle daily to remember and live what I know from my many years as a contemplative. I notice that I can easily feel anxious, fearful and helpless. I notice that I continue to search for an understanding of what is happening and […]

Racial Justice and Equity: What is Mine to Do?

by Tom Adams Recently I was at a dinner with a mix of friends and acquaintances. In the midst of the discussion, someone was talking about how to get into Canada without going through Customs. Once you make it, you are a refugee and given all kinds of support and benefits. A friend I didn’t […]

Discernment as Responsible Love

Article by Rose Mary Dougherty, October 2019 eNews How can I be sure that I am doing God’s will? How do I know that what I discern is really what God wants and not just what I want? How can I be certain that I’ll make the right decision? These are the questions most frequently […]

Rest and Discernment

Today’s post is by Bonnie Wallace The call to discernment is a call to deep rest and abiding presence. This type of rest is a source of renewal and openness. As Tilden Edwards explains in Sabbath Time, “Our minds and our prayers need to relax their frequent weekday grasping, striving, judging, fearing. Full rest is […]

September 09, 2016 by Bonnie Wallace
Categories: Contemplative Living, Self Compassion, Spiritual Deepening, and spiritual direction. Tags: discernment, rest, and Sabbath. Formats: Article and Friday Blog. Interest Areas: Friday Blog.

Gravy, Not Soup

Today’s post is by Kimberly Borin

Recently, I had the good fortune of being on retreat with the Shalem Institute at the Bon Secours Retreat Center. During our retreat we were blessed with beautiful, delicious meals, which often included soup! One day, in the midst of our silent retreat all I could think about was soup. As I got closer to the soup pot, I could see that there was very little soup. In addition, there were no more soup bowls or soup spoons.

I felt defeated but I was determined to have soup! I found one of the caterers and asked for a bowl, and pointed to the soup. She looked at me in an odd way but gladly handed me a bowl. I went back to the line and started ladling bit by bit whatever soup was left in the pot. The ladle made quite a bit of noise scraping the bottom and sides of the pot as I determinedly filled my bowl. I was desperate to get whatever was left.

The person, behind me was quite patient, despite my constant dips of the ladle into the fairly empty pot. She remained serene even with all of the clanking of my soup seeking gestures. After I was done I noticed that she put some of this soup all over her turkey. “Hmmmm, That’s a nice idea,” I thought to myself.

God Only Knows

I lost all capacity for clarity or understanding of God’s desire for me. All the discernment methods I knew produced nothing, and it seemed somehow absurd to keep working at them. Further, I realized I no longer even understood the concept of discernment. The term seemed to have lost all meaning for me.

Becoming Who We Are

by Rose Mary Dougherty (from the Shalem Archives, 1996) Several months ago I had what I have come to call “my recurring dream.” I’ve had the same dream periodically over the past ten years. In the dream I am young and I am going to several personal wisdom figures, asking them if they think I […]