On my little travels, I invariably find time to visit at least one local church. Anecdotally the church had six American Flags adorning the interior prominently. This struck me as perhaps over the top nationalism within a holy place, though our nation supports religious freedoms better than any country on earth. No canon law or church doctrine encourages or prohibits such practices. Just a … Read More Where is the House of Worship?
On an unwieldy pedestrian day in Egremont, Massachusetts, I picked up a book by H. Richard Niebuhr entitled “The Responsible Self, An Essay in Christian Moral Philosophy. Everyone recognizes Niebuhr as the reported author of the “Serenity Prayer” that is now infamously associated with Alcoholics Anonymous. The book was old, dirt cheap, and inscribed “Clinton Lee Barlow, Harford Seminary Foundation, Spring, 1968.” Cannot seem … Read More The Responsible Self by Richard Niebuhr
The Teachings of Meister Eckhart: An Invitation to Experience God in Every Moment I listened to this book via audible (amazon) authored by James Finley. Now I have to go to the source – 13th-century mystic Meister Eckhart. James’s handling of the mystic’s sermons served a ten-thousand-foot view of contemplative thought that polished some of my jagged edges in my spiritual practices. His writings … Read More The Teachings of Meister Eckhart: An Invitation to Experience God in Every Moment
The Sad Joyous Truth: Finally, you have found my blog page; you itinerant idiot. For those of you who have been here before do not pat yourself on the back. In all likelihood, you are much worse off now than when you last visited. Tell me it isn’t so, honestly, can you do that today? I don’t think so. Catherine has written to me … Read More Suffering and Providence
I began a four hundred and fifty-mile drive on Thursday morning from Dover, De to Lake Erie, PA with a van full of people. In the past, I drove straight to PA and then headed west. In my head, I thought I will change drivers as soon as we hit Delaware. It was a rather selfish thought. PA border is only about 50 minutes … Read More The Advocate Mystery
“She passes through this Word, enduring with true gentle patience every pain and trouble that I permit her for her own good. She accepts it courageously, choosing my way over her own. And she suffers not only patiently, but gladly.” Pg. 163 At first glance, my human instinct is to repel this idea with many objections: What word? Gentle patience with every pain? Someone … Read More Tears
The morning of day 4 of our Lenten Journey that I share with 2.19 Billion Christians? It cannot be. A century ago there were only 600 million recorded. Yet it can feel like we are only 600 million strong. And even that number does not capture the loneliness of being a believer. Yes, having belief and faith in God can be a very lonely … Read More 4
Wednesday cannot come too soon. Join me in reflection and preparation for a Lenten journey. If it were within my power everyone I know and everyone they know and so on would prepare now as if this were the last chance to prepare ourselves for eternity. So dramatic and out of reach. It is it really? The song Shallow resonates with us. We know … Read More Lent beginnings
The first words to greet me this morning: You are wretched wherever you are and no matter which way you turn – This was not the inspiration I was seeking this morning from morning prayer. I have a moderately stressful job of which sometimes I feel ill-suited for, financial woes as most everyone else, and loved ones near and far facing illness, stress, and mortality. Most … Read More Human Suffering – The Answer?
In March of 2010 I visited my local parish priest and we discussed suffering, spiritual desolation, periods of dryness, the absence of spiritual consolation, and Providence. Whatever troubles I had at the time I truly cannot remember. But I left him with work to do on my own and with God. This priest was an artist himself and truly appreciated the masters. Shy of … Read More Providence: 8 year and 5 month journey
Dietrich Von Hildebrand (DVH): Chapter 14 Mansuetude Mansuetude or Holy Meekness is carefully defined, expounded on, and repackaged into a spiritual bullet of wisdom in this writing by Dietrich. He then fires it into my soul and into my heart before letting it rebound on an outward trajectory into my aspirations for worldly and spiritual acquisitions. The grand journey of Transformation in Christ is shattered … Read More Transformation in Christ: Part VIII
Rejoice and be Glad.[i] The Vatican has just released “APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS ON THE CALL TO HOLINESSIN TODAY’S WORLD.” (End note 1). I recommend any serious Catholic read it now before reading any further here! What could I possible write that would be better stated or more informed than the Holy Father? Yes, that is a rhetorical … Read More Rejoice and be Glad