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 […]

Nijana: The Horse of Lindisfarne

In 2001, I joined Shalem’s Celtic pilgrimage to the islands of Lindisfarne and Iona. Each morning, our pilgrim group gathered outdoors to welcome the day with morning prayers. On Lindisfarne we walked down a flower-lined lane in front of the nearly 1000-year-old parish church that stands before the ruined medieval priory. Then we turned away […]

Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul

Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul Written by John Philip Newell Reviewed by Leah Rampy Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it and find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16 In the darkness of the COVID-19 winter, I was drawn again to the […]

Summer Resources for Spiritual Sustenance

As we move into the long days of summer, some of Shalem’s board and staff have put together a list of books, movies, poetry and other resources that are contemplatively grounding and inspirational.  Enjoy! BOOKS Tilden Edwards (Founder and Senior Fellow) When Faith Becomes Sight: Opening Your Eyes to God’s Presence All Around You by […]

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, […]

Coddiwomple

“It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” (Ursula Le Guin) Several years ago, I planned a road trip with a good friend to visit her son, my godson, during spring break. We had only four days to drive out to Idaho, visit […]

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 […]

Prayer as Action: Loving the World

Does it ever seem that not much is happening when you pray? When that’s what it seems like to me, all I need to do is look back at the tracks of prayer in my life. The psalmist’s astonishment and relief at being “lifted out of the miry bog”- in all the bog’s various guises […]