Category Archives: Monasticism

Words That Create Community

"The word is always a word for others. Words need to be heard. When we give words to what we are living, these words need to be received and responded to. A speaker needs a listener. A writer needs a reader. When the flesh – the lived human experience – becomes word, community can develop....

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About Worship…

Mike over at Mercy Blog links to the following Evelyn Underhill quote about worship. Here is her quote, followed by his reflection: “At one end worship is lost in God and is seen to be the substance of eternal life, so that all our attempts to penetrate its mystery must end in acknowledgement of defeat;...

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Thursday and Reading

On the way home from work today, I found myself thoroughly enjoying Bruegemmann’s book, The Prophetic Imagination. On the way in to work I was finishing up Merton’s New Seeds of Contemplation. A challenging book in its own right. Although I am just getting into PI, the concepts and insight Brueggemann brings to the discussion...

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New Podcast worth subscribing to…

Speaking of Faith is a new podcast that explores religion. “Each week, host Krista Tippett focuses on a different theme, asking writers, thinkers and theologians to discuss how religion shapes everyday life.” Here is a link to a good interview with Shane Claiborne talking about the New Monastics There are also some additional interviews with...

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A holistic spirituality…

"Why do people think the spiritual life demands withdrawal from the ordinary? Because they’ve been taught, at least by implication, that the physical is a block to the spiritual. When we assume that the spiritual, unlike the physical, is impervious to corrosion, then we assume that all things material are not to be honored. But...

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Living Prayer Chapter 5 – Office Hours

The following is less a review of Chapter 5 of Robert Benson’s book, Living Prayer, and more a personal reflection about the content of the chapter. Have you ever examined the pace of your life? How about what motivates and moves you? If you are like most living in Western Culture, you probably feel a...

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True Intimacy

“Human relationships easily become possessive. Our hearts so much desire to be loved that we are inclined to cling to the person who offers us love, affection, friendship, care, or support. Once we have seen or felt a hint of love, we want more of it. That explains why lovers so often bicker with each...

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The Nonpossessive Life

“To be able to enjoy fully the many good things the world has to offer, we must be detached from them. To be detached does not mean to be indifferent or uninterested. It means to be nonpossessive. Life is a gift to be grateful for and not a property to cling to. A nonpossessive life...

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More on table fellowship…

The Barometer of Our Lives “Although the table is a place for intimacy, we all know how easily it can become a place of distance, hostility, and even hatred. Precisely because the table is meant to be an intimate place, it easily becomes the place we experience the absence of intimacy. The table reveals the...

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The Intimacy of the Table

Our church has an expressed emphasis on practicing hospitality. Nouwen’s words below have tremendous meaning for those paasionate in the area of table fellowship… “The table is one of the most intimate places in our lives. It is there that we give ourselves to one another. When we say, “Take some more, let me serve...

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Thomas A Kempis – Wisdom and Imagination in preparation for Lent

“My sons and daughters, do not let the work you have undertaken for me wear you down, nor let tribulation dishearten you, but always let my promise strengthen and console you. The reward I offer you is beyond measure and without limit. You will not labour here much longer nor will you always be weighted...

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Words that Create

Yesterday was a busy day.  It was the second week of the preaching rotation for me and I had to got to deliver the same message I did last week about the importance of living in God’s story. Sacred Reading of scripture is the avenue I used to get us into the story. By the...

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Giving and Receiving Consolation

“Consolation is a beautiful word. It means “to be” (con-) “with the lonely one” (solus). To offer consolation is one of the most important ways to care. Life is so full of pain, sadness, and loneliness that we often wonder what we can do to alleviate the immense suffering we see. We can and must...

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Befriending Our Inner Enemies

The following Nouwen reflection is a continuation of his thoughts on “Being Merciful with Ourselves”, posted HERE. “How do we befriend our inner enemies lust and anger? By listening to what they are saying. They say, “I have some unfulfilled needs” and “Who really loves me?” Instead of pushing our lust and anger away as...

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Being Merciful with Ourselves

"We need silence in our lives. We even desire it. But when we enter into silence we encounter a lot of inner noises, often so disturbing that a busy and distracting life seems preferable to a time of silence. Two disturbing "noises" present themselves quickly in our silence: the noise of lust and the noise...

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