Transformation In Christ, by Dietrich Von Hildebrand (Chapters 2 through 6): After chapter one on Readiness to Change Dietrich dives into house cleaning: Contrition, Self-knowledge, True Consciousness, True Simplicity, and Recollection and Contemplation! It has been about a month for me to traverse this material and attempt to reapply principles and practices revealed within these pages. It is not an easy process as most … Read More Radical Transformation: Part Two
An opinion article in the NYT times entitled “Can We Learn to Believe in God?” by Agnes Collard takes a surface dive into the infamous Pascal Wager.[i]” Childhood morality and imagery of heaven and hell underlie this equation. The means and the ends of faith do not fall neatly into this theoretical trap. To seek God (or seek to learn to believe in God) … Read More Pascal’s Wager – The Quandary of Faith
Today a growing number of Jews are returning to Israel.[i] In 1948 Israel became a nation in one day and had 800,000 citizens. Now there are over 6 million Jews in Israel. Many Jews across the world feel like it is 1939 all over again. Anti-semetism is on the rise in the United States and across the world and Israel itself lives in threat of … Read More Revisiting my Jewish Ancestry in a time of Hatred (as a Catholic believer)
A tight rope walk with Thomas Merton on one side of the chasm and King David (and several lesser known authors) on the other still leaves me struggling with the wisdom of the Psalms. Our busy lives present many valleys to ponder. Thomas Merton short book explores how the Psalms can be used in prayer to traverse chasms in life. The barriers for me … Read More Praying the Psalms, Merton, Thomas[i]
“Discover the secrets to growing holier through the simple things in life work, play, and rest. Learn to avoid the distractions that trouble and weary your soul and you’ll soon be able to focus your energy simply on loving God!”[i] I encountered this little book in two visits to an adoration chapel spanning the last two weeks. The pursuit of God’s presence is really … Read More The Art of Loving God by Francis de Sales
If only we could be an Island onto ourselves the realities of our personal, financial, and socio-political situation would be but just a minor annoyance no greater than an industrious fly begging for our attention. We could be lost in the solitude of spirituality – one with God in a romantic monastery living a simple life – provided physical and spiritual sustenance by God’s … Read More No Man is an Island by Thomas Merton
A sibling rivalry between half-brothers began when the youngest received his father’s birth-right and the eldest went off to a foreign land with a different blessing to prosper as well. Generations later great religions would wage holy wars claiming true authenticity to a covenant with God. To put it another way, 3.6 billion people (54% of the world’s population) belong to one of three … Read More Cousins: Immortal Enemies?
“And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8 A simple calling that many of us aspire to practice in all our daily affairs. Micah is ancient, from the Old Testament, 686 B.C., telling us the importance of justice, kindness, and humility. We may secretly believe we are doing … Read More Mercy? Self-Compassion?
“Open your eyes and look within. Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?”[ii] On June 19, 2017 George Yancy challenged you via New York Times opinion piece to consider is your God Dead? What does it mean to believe in a “Living God?” My belief is in a living God. However, I cannot attest to having seen him in person, to have heard … Read More Is your God Dead by George Yancy[i]
Seeking a greater union with God through prayer and meditation I sought out the works of Thomas Merton. This very tiny book, Spiritual Direction and Meditation, after much discourse and examination of the benefits of pray informed meditation, enough to provide a course of action and reassurance, takes aim at our human ego just after cresting the mid-way point of the book: “Knowing at … Read More Spiritual Direction and Meditation by Thomas Merton
Stephen Hawkins, Thomas Merton, the Grand Canyon, and Ballet bought to me what Science could not deliver alone – A unified theory of existence. One week in Phoenix provided me with ample time to watch many ballet dancers, see the Grand Canyon south rim (one day), read Hawkins and Merton, and reflect on the meaning of life. Reflections: Perhaps the greatest destroyer of … Read More An Incomplete Unified Theory of the Universe?