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, […]

Desmond Tutu as Christian Mystic

The three-fold division of Christian mysticism (purgation, illumination, and union) is essential in understanding Desmond Tutu’s life. Purgation exemplifies Tutu’s formation as an institutional church leader, illumination exemplifies Tutu’s role as confessor, and union exemplifies Tutu’s elder years as sage. As Tutu’s life proceeds through purgation, illumination, and union, not only does mysticism describe Tutu’s […]

Love, Not Atonement

This year in the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar, the feast of the Annunciation falls just a few days before Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week. (This isn’t always the case since Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox.) The proximity of the two feasts […]

A Day Like No Other

I awoke on Wednesday, November 4, with no small measure of fear and trepidation. I was responsible to lead Shalem’s “Prayer for the World” at 8:30am and had been afraid for weeks that we’d be in exactly the situation in which we awoke: no clear result of the presidential election and an incumbent that was […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Spiritual Quest: Letting Go of “How”

By Stephanie  Gretchen Burgevin. Stephanie is a writer and retreat leader. She is an associate faculty member of Shalem and a graduate of their Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats Program and leads spiritual and secular programs. Stephanie manages Shalem’s blog and is one of the social media coordinators for the Shalem Institute Facebook page. […]

Benediction: Beauty and Contemplative Poetry

Guest blog by Fr. Thomas Ryan, CSP,  who directs the Paulist North American Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations located in the Hecker Center in Washington, DC. He leads ecumenical retreats and workshops in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. An active contemplative and lover of the outdoors, Tom has authored 14 books on a variety […]

Ever Present Holy Lessons

By Stephanie Gretchen Burgevin. Stephanie is a writer and retreat leader. She is an associate faculty member of Shalem and a graduate of theirLeading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats Program and leads spiritual and secular programs. Stephanie manages Shalem’s blog and is one of the social media coordinators for the Shalem Institute Facebook page. What is […]