Desert Day 41: Be Still, My Restless Soul …

Something stirred from deep within. I felt it knocking, begging to be acknowledged and released. I could not put a name to it, but something felt awakened after a long period of dormancy. In truth, this gnawing sensation had been building for more than a year, but on the levee that day, I grappled with this powerful presence at work in me. I had no words for the hunger that was asking me for more. All I could do was attempt to be still and acknowledge its existence. Continue reading “Desert Day 41: Be Still, My Restless Soul …”

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Desert Day 35: Humility And Contemplation …

Abba Xanthias said, “A dog is better than I am because a dog also has love but, unlike I myself, the dog does not pass judgment.”

Abba Sarmatas said: “I prefer a person who has sinned if he knows that he sinned and has repented, over a person who has not sinned and considers himself to be righteous.”

Humility and contemplation are the invisible twins of the spiritual life. One without the other is impossible. In the first place, there is no such thing as a contemplative life without the humility that takes us beyond the myth of our own grandeur to the cosmic grandeur of God.  In the second, once we really know the grandeur of God we get the rest of life – ourselves included – in perspective.  Reaching the moon told us how really insignificant we were in the universe.  We begin to rethink all our dearly held notions of human consequence.  Humility leads directly to contemplation. Continue reading “Desert Day 35: Humility And Contemplation …”

Desert Day 31: Love Your Enemies …

“The effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust.” —Isaiah 32:17

Loving Your Enemies

Probably no admonition of Jesus has been more difficult to follow than the command to “love your enemies.” Some men have sincerely felt that its actual practice is not possible. It is easy, they say, to love those who love you, but how can one love those who openly and insidiously seek to defeat you? Others, like the philosopher Nietzsche, contend that Jesus’ exhortation to love one’s enemies is testimony to the fact that the Christian ethic is designed for the weak and cowardly, and not for the strong and courageous. Jesus, they say, was an impractical idealist. Continue reading “Desert Day 31: Love Your Enemies …”

Desert Day 28: Enter The New Country …

You have an idea of what the new country looks like. Still, you are very much at home, although not truly at peace, in the old country. You know the ways of the old country, its joys and pains, its happy and sad moments. You have spent most of your days there. Even though you know that you have not found there what your heart most desires, you remain quite attached to it. It has become part of your very bones. Continue reading “Desert Day 28: Enter The New Country …”

Desert Day 08: Being Present To What Is …

As any good therapist will tell you, you cannot heal what you do not acknowledge, and what you do not consciously acknowledge will remain in control of you from within, festering and destroying you and those around you …
— Richard Rohr from Breathing Under Water  Continue reading “Desert Day 08: Being Present To What Is …”

Prayer For When A Loved One Comes Out To You As LGBTQ+ …

All-Knowing God,

A loved one has just trusted me with a piece of their identity, and I’m not sure how to feel. Perhaps in the past I have simply accepted what so many say, that the Bible argues against those are proudly LGBTQ+, without ever considering how accepting that notion as fact might affect someone near and dear to me. Perhaps this loved one’s coming out has rocked me to my core, or perhaps part of me was expecting it all the while. Either way, here I am, in front of you, all-loving Lord, asking you what I should do and how I can support this person I care so much about. Continue reading “Prayer For When A Loved One Comes Out To You As LGBTQ+ …”

We Were Made For These Times …

My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people. Continue reading “We Were Made For These Times …”

Where the Mind Is Without Fear …

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls Continue reading “Where the Mind Is Without Fear …”

The Edge of Center …

All tempest has,
Like a navel,
A hole in it’s middle,
Through which
A gull can fly,
In silence.
– Fourteen-Century Japanese, Anonymous

Continue reading “The Edge of Center …”