Category: Prayer

Isenheim Altarpiece: A Portrait of Agony; a Message of Hope

I cannot imagine caring for patients with “St. Anthony’s Fire” in the 1500s.  Our medicines have come along ways and palliative care nurses are by the sides of those facing unremitting symptoms, torment, and anguish.   Nevertheless, patients with serious conditions are faced with their own mortality and the instinctual drive to defy our destiny with ashes. When to fight on, what medicines to … Read More Isenheim Altarpiece: A Portrait of Agony; a Message of Hope

The Energy of Prayer: How to deepen your spiritual practice by Thich Nhat Hanh

A renowned Vietnamese Zen master dicusses the power of prayer and meditation and its impact on the self.  Draws from all religions (Budhism, Christianity, Islam) and secular taught meditation.  Hammers and chisels away  at the limiting words we use to define the creator, the ultimate absolute being and where we may direct our prayers: G_d, Yahwey, Buddha, Allah. Regardless of your chosen faith he … Read More The Energy of Prayer: How to deepen your spiritual practice by Thich Nhat Hanh

“Odi ergo sum. I hate therefore I am” : The two sides of Islamic belief

“Odi ergo su.” is a quote  from Umberto Eco, author of The Prague Cemetery (I book and author I do not know).   It is easy to see how extremist in our society and around the world thrive on hatred.  Below is a critical and biased view of Islam based on several readings I have read the last two days.  It summarizes I believe … Read More “Odi ergo sum. I hate therefore I am” : The two sides of Islamic belief

Amoris Laetitia: The Joy of Love by Pope Francis

Kerygma On a trip to MercyHurst University in PA for a Dance festival for pre-professional dancers I was able to get some reading time and prayer time in on the beautiful campus in different nooks and crannies on the campus, mostly unobserved and left alone.  The Joy of Love On Love in the Family tackles a broad range of difficult Catholic teachings (Secular society, Abortion, … Read More Amoris Laetitia: The Joy of Love by Pope Francis

The Wisdom of the Desert by Thomas Merton

  Book Review:  A collection of anecdotal stories, parables, or sayings from the Hermits of Scete as collected by and scribed by Thomas Merton.  The Hermits formed an important thread in the fourth century by capturing Christian contemplation and prayer as they sought out solitude in the desert. The humility and passion of these Hermits exceeds current day monasteries.  I like the story where … Read More The Wisdom of the Desert by Thomas Merton

The Trinity

The Father gives us life, Jesus gives us salvation, and the Holy Spirit gives us love.[i] In an article entitled The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity Loyola press presents the Trinity in simple and easy to grasp language.  Catholics, agnostics, atheist, and cynics can easily over complicate Christianity by delving into our religiosity, our application of our beliefs, and our explanation theologically and … Read More The Trinity

Paradiso by Dante Alighieri

“In fashion then as of a snow-white rose Displayed itself to me the saintly host…”(Canto XXXI) In Canto XXXI, the Glory of Paradise, the snow-white rose is portrayed.  It struck me immediately as being a representation of the Eucharist[i], though Dante’s depiction defines it as pedals of ancient believers (pre-Christ) and believer’s post-Christ.    The snow-white rose presents a symbol within the larger poetical allegory … Read More Paradiso by Dante Alighieri

“Can We Write a History of Jesus?” by Rev. Jerome Murphy O-Connor[i]

A gem of a presentation by Rev. Jerome Murphy O-Connor that in 11 brief pages or about 25 minutes of lecture tackles the slippery slope of historical criticism of scripture, its history, and impact on the current day church.  Rev. O’Connor describes the descent of the validity of scripture in light of literary and historical criticism and the re-emergence of scripture, or the ascent, … Read More “Can We Write a History of Jesus?” by Rev. Jerome Murphy O-Connor[i]

Revelation?

Defining revelation for me is very challenging.  I have broken it down into four levels and one huge spiritual barrier. It is more personal and real.  It is not driven by the “Book of Revelation.”  I am not a mystic – though I sometimes wish I could be.  Than again, be careful what you wish for – you may get what you ask! The … Read More Revelation?

Contemplating Good and Evil

Excerpt from “The Edge of Sadness” by Edwin O’Connor: “We all share in a shattering duality — and by this I don’t mean that soggy, superficial split that one so often sees: the kind of thing, for example, where the gangster sobs uncontrollably at an old Shirley Temple movie. I mean the fundamental schism that Newman referred to when he spoke of man being forever … Read More Contemplating Good and Evil

Magnanimity, Mindfulness & God

“This virtue of the great and the small, which always makes us look at the horizon.  What does magnanimous mean?  It means having a great heart, having greatness of mind; it means having great ideals, the wish to do great things in response to what God asks of us.  (It means also)……..to do well the routine……daily actions, task, meetings with people  –doing the little … Read More Magnanimity, Mindfulness & God

Imposters

Donald Trump Divides God’s Voters? An opinion piece in the NY Times had this catchy title.[i]  I had a visceral reaction of disgust to this piece as I did the night before watching the GOP political debate (notably absent Trump).  I felt as if I was waking up to a news story of a church sacristy being robbed of its vestments and sacred vessels … Read More Imposters

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