A trail of breadcrumbs in Roger Williams’ garden — short takes on theological hair-splitting, mix-and-match spirituality and an ongoing research project

Short takes on a general theme that didn’t start to jell until I’d been thinking about it for the better part of a month. It’s still not completely jelled — can we think of it as a Jell-O fruit salad? — but I think it may be what I’ve been looking for to reinvigorate my … Continue reading A trail of breadcrumbs in Roger Williams’ garden — short takes on theological hair-splitting, mix-and-match spirituality and an ongoing research project

Stray thoughts on original sin, Franciscan spirituality and a painting of the Garden of Eden by Jan Brueghel the Elder

When God closes a door, as an old saying down South has it, God leaves a window cracked open somewhere. We may have to exercise a little creativity to find it, but there’s always another opening. Another old saying, one I learned in 12-step groups after I moved up north, goes like this: A coincidence … Continue reading Stray thoughts on original sin, Franciscan spirituality and a painting of the Garden of Eden by Jan Brueghel the Elder

A spiritual mutt discovers Franciscan spirituality in a time of apocalypse, learns he knew at least some of it all along

Last week I signed up for Richard Rohr’s daily meditations. I figured a brief daily exercise might lend a little discipline to my spiritual routine (or lack thereof) in these days of lingering pandemic, self-quarantine and isolation. I’ve read his stuff before, and it liked it. So I haven’t been disappointed. Fr. Richard Rohr OFM, … Continue reading A spiritual mutt discovers Franciscan spirituality in a time of apocalypse, learns he knew at least some of it all along

Saints, sinners (an echo of Luther’s simul justus et peccator?), politics and ‘both-and’ dialog in Pope Francis’ interview

Editor’s (admin’s) note. When I shared this on Facebook, I introduced the link with this headnote: “New post to my spirituality blog. In which I’m reminded: (2) We’re complicated; (2) Pope Francis’ remark about saints and sinners sounds like Luther; and (3) it’s always a good idea to look for ‘both-and’ dialog and reconcile differences.” … Continue reading Saints, sinners (an echo of Luther’s simul justus et peccator?), politics and ‘both-and’ dialog in Pope Francis’ interview

Practical ways on a Jesuit website in Ireland to ‘face into the storm’ of cancer diagnosis and treatment

There’s a story I really like in James Martin’s Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life. An editor-at-large of America magazine who has written several New York Times best-sellers, Martin sets it up the by saying the Jesuits pride themselves on being practical. Then comes the punch line: One joke has a … Continue reading Practical ways on a Jesuit website in Ireland to ‘face into the storm’ of cancer diagnosis and treatment

Luther and the indwelling ‘Christ present in faith’ — Finnish theologians, Irish Jesuit offer a way of coping with a scary diagnosis

One thing about getting a cancer diagnosis — it tends to focus your mind, especially if you’ve been working on your prayer life already. Increasingly since I was diagnosed toward the end of October, I’ve been falling back on what’s sometimes called the Prayer of Good Courage. A favorite at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in … Continue reading Luther and the indwelling ‘Christ present in faith’ — Finnish theologians, Irish Jesuit offer a way of coping with a scary diagnosis

Finns re-examine Luther on justification by faith, the indwelling of Christ and other theological headaches

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed an item on the Patheos website by Ted Peters, emeritus professor of systematic theology and ethics at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. I like to check him out from time to time because he has a way getting abstract concepts down to where … Continue reading Finns re-examine Luther on justification by faith, the indwelling of Christ and other theological headaches

How a young adult novelist and a punk rocker-turned Orthodox rabbi guide my prayer life lately: ‘Are you there God, it’s me … (and help me get out of this foxhole)!’

Oct. 18. [I wrote:] One of the nice things about recuperating from surgery (it may be just about the only nice thing, as far as I’m concerned): You get to schlepp around in bed with a cat and a pile of books. Given my state of mind lately, they tend to be theology books. And … Continue reading How a young adult novelist and a punk rocker-turned Orthodox rabbi guide my prayer life lately: ‘Are you there God, it’s me … (and help me get out of this foxhole)!’

Centering prayer: A ‘Zen Lutheran’ chatterbox meets a Trappist meditation when he needs to be still — and to trust

For a little more than a month now, I’ve been in one of those limbos we fall into when we’re waiting for a biopsy. Now the surgery is scheduled — finally! — for next week. But it’s had quite an effect on my prayer life, and I’m practicing something I call “emergency room spirituality” (like … Continue reading Centering prayer: A ‘Zen Lutheran’ chatterbox meets a Trappist meditation when he needs to be still — and to trust

Spiritual journal, September 2022

Lightly edited copy of an email I send monthly to my spiritual director to: (a) give her a heads-up on my where my spiritual journey has taken me since our last meeting, and (b) help me focus for our meeting. Which may or may not go off in unexpected directions. They read like a Reader’s … Continue reading Spiritual journal, September 2022