Praying only for the knowledge of God’s will and the strength to carry it out amid the ‘paradoxical tragedy-wonder of life’

Roman arch over the Via Dolorosa, Jerusalem, November 2012 Overheard the other day in the infusion center at Southern Illinois University while I was headed toward the bathroom for the umpteenth time: NURSE 1: “He took his Lasix before he came in.” NURSE 2: “So he’s going to go wee, wee, wee all the way home?” I had a snappy comeback, but … Continue reading Praying only for the knowledge of God’s will and the strength to carry it out amid the ‘paradoxical tragedy-wonder of life’

A Jesuit, a Protestant reformer and a spiritual mutt walk into an ER (instead of a bar): How I’m learning to trust God

Pilgrims entering Garden of Gethsemane, Jerusalem, November 2012. Trust in the Lord with all your heart,    and do not rely on your own insight.In all your ways acknowledge him,    and he will make straight your paths. -- Proverbs 3:5-6 (NRSV): Our prayer doesn’t change God’s mind, it changes us. It helps us change our own minds and hearts. It … Continue reading A Jesuit, a Protestant reformer and a spiritual mutt walk into an ER (instead of a bar): How I’m learning to trust God

Of the Holy Trinity, the presence of Christ in faith and the stories we tell

Luther's Small Catechism, 1529 (Wikimedia Commons) God for us, we call you Father. God alongside us, we call you Jesus. God within us, we call you Holy Spirit. —Richard Rohr OFM The Holy Trinity landed in my inbox this morning and told me a story. Well, that makes it sound a little too dramatic and … Continue reading Of the Holy Trinity, the presence of Christ in faith and the stories we tell

Ringing in the new (church) year on St. Andrew’s Day with the daily prayer and meditation on an Irish Jesuit website

Pietro da Cortona, 'Calling of St. Peter and St. Andrew,' ca. 1626-30 (Wikimedia Commons)  One of the few things I remember clearly from my confirmation classes 50-plus years ago in an Episcopal church is the date of St. Andrew's Day. Somehow it lodged in my preadolescent brain, when I wasn't wisecracking about the wives of … Continue reading Ringing in the new (church) year on St. Andrew’s Day with the daily prayer and meditation on an Irish Jesuit website

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

Peter Paul Rubens, Miracle of St. Ignatius of Loyola (Wikimedia Commons) 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 … 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

Matthias Stom, St. Peter at Prayer, ca. 1633-40 (Wikimedia Commons) 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 … Continue reading Luther and the indwelling ‘Christ present in faith’ — Finnish theologians, Irish Jesuit offer a way of coping with a scary diagnosis

Stray thoughts on centering prayer, a JAMA study on mindfulness meditation and a way to stop ‘catastrophizing’

Photo: RelaxingMusic/Creative Commons (Harvard Gazette). This Associated Press story jumped off the Yahoo! directory at me. Uh, let's rephrase that in the interest of accuracy -- it jumped off the computer screen. It's headlined "Mindfulness worked as well for anxiety as drug in study," and it's essentially a rewrite of research published today in the … Continue reading Stray thoughts on centering prayer, a JAMA study on mindfulness meditation and a way to stop ‘catastrophizing’

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)!’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7iqdBBYl40 Jim Martin, SJ, editor-in-chief, America, explains centering prayer. Editor's note. Short takes on the twists and turns in my spiritual life since I was diagnosed with bladder cancer Oct. 25. I had pretty much expected the diagnosis since the tumor was removed Oct. 17, but it still threw me for a loop. So in … 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)!’

What’s the right way to do centering prayer? ‘Pray as you can’: A stripped-down Trappist spiritual practice for today

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IKpFHfNdnE Editor's note (Oct. 17). I started this a couple of days before I had a tumor removed from my bladder. But I ran out of time, and I was in no mood last night to stay up late journaling before a 5:30 a.m. check-in time today. The procedure went off as scheduled; I'm home … Continue reading What’s the right way to do centering prayer? ‘Pray as you can’: A stripped-down Trappist spiritual practice for today

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

https://www.azquotes.com/quotes/topics/centering-prayer.html 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" … Continue reading Centering prayer: A ‘Zen Lutheran’ chatterbox meets a Trappist meditation when he needs to be still — and to trust