Silent Retreat: Deepening Intimacy

Silent retreat is a serious commitment and practice common to spiritual seekers throughout history. Conversations about the spiritual journey are studded with transformational experiences that have occurred on quiet days, weekends, or even quiet months. When my children were young, it was only possible for me to attend day retreats. But I remember being drawn […]

Thoughts on Spiritual Direction

The medieval mystic Hafiz said, “Like a great starving beast, my body is quivering, fixed on the scent of Light.” That’s a radical thought for us to bring to spiritual direction, both as director and directee. That quivering in me is the strong, graced desire for communion—communion with the enlightening, loving truth of God. Jesus […]

Deeper Than Words

A shimmering ray of sunlight brushed across her thick black hair. It slanted onto the table near the hard wooden chair where she sat slumped in sorrow. Her head was bowed and tears were flowing freely down her cheeks. She was surprised by this new and unexpected surge of grief. She thought it was over, […]

Conversions of Consciousness

“Jesus is concerned with eliciting a conversion of consciousness from those not yet able to understand, and not with imparting information to a deluded pattern of consciousness.” (John P. Keenan, The Gospel of Mark: A Mahayana Reading) As I reflect on the events of September 11 and our nation’s way of responding, I realize that […]

Mustard Seeds and Yeast

[Jesus] proposed another parable to them. “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell […]

Between Us There Is No Between

Today’s blog is taken from the reflection and prayer offered during Wednesday’s Prayer for the World by Shalem graduate Barb Kelly. Over the past several weeks I have been pondering and praying the question, “What obligations do we have to one another?” I have a heightened awareness of the question of obligation during this time […]

Letting the Light In

Full disclosure: I’ve tried to write this column for weeks. Thoughts and notes spill across my journal pages; drafts of documents sit on my laptop. Prayer and vigil candles are spent. Life feels heavy. Sometimes overwhelming. The state of our world and our country is revealing the dark, shadowy side beneath our comfortable façade. And […]

People of Light

Jesus said to the Twelve: “Fear no one. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetop.” (Matthew 10:26-28) Last night I watched the summer solstice sunset and the […]

Step by Halting Step: Leadership in Uncertain Times

In this season of the year, following the crucifixion and resurrection and Jesus’s subsequent forty days among the disciples, Christians celebrate the ascension, the time when Jesus left the disciples and ascended into heaven. What a roller coaster that month and a half must have been for the disciples (as I mentioned in the eNews […]

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 […]