Thoughts, prayers, wisdom from the Talmud and acting against ‘the enormity of the world’s grief’ in wartime

Screen grab of meme shared to my Facebook news feed, Oct. 29, 2021. For several months I've been wanting to jumpstart my prayer life, but until last week I never would have thought it would involve the heartache of praying for peace in Ukraine in the face of a failed World War II-style blitzkrieg that … Continue reading Thoughts, prayers, wisdom from the Talmud and acting against ‘the enormity of the world’s grief’ in wartime

‘Just a little talk with Jesus’: Getting up to speed on a Jesuit prayer exercise — with an assist from the Oak Ridge Boys

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SH9ta2CaWaM Live performance by Oak Ridge Boys, Gaither Studios, Alexandria, Ind., 2021 Welp, I guess I talked myself into a new assignment ... trying a brand-new Jesuit prayer exercise (new for me at least, as a mainline Protestant who never had much use for organized religion until fairly recently). It's called an Ignatian "Colloquy." It … Continue reading ‘Just a little talk with Jesus’: Getting up to speed on a Jesuit prayer exercise — with an assist from the Oak Ridge Boys

DRAFT ‘Now rest beneath night’s shadow …’ DRAFT

d r a f t https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKyiGWYOQLU St. Thomas Boys' Choir Leipzig, 2016 (CHOR GESANG - Das Musikmagazin). "He who sings prays twice" -- St. Augustine (Catechism of the Catholic Church) Maybe I shouldn't admit this in public, but I've had prayer at the top of my B list for quite a while now. After a … Continue reading DRAFT ‘Now rest beneath night’s shadow …’ DRAFT

Praying for good courage in a hospital emergency room … and quiet confidence while sweating out a scary diagnosis

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phngTmv7IW4 From "Mountain Vespers" service for Holden Village by Dr. Kent Gustavson Many of us pray best in church, or in the resonant silence of an empty cathedral. Others pray at home, relying on candles, music or other aids to help ease them into a prayerful attitude. Me? It seems like I pray best in … Continue reading Praying for good courage in a hospital emergency room … and quiet confidence while sweating out a scary diagnosis

A new (church) year’s resolution poses a question — is music ‘an agnostic’s spiritual practice?’ My answer: I don’t know yet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjAuBTLdqPg&t=18s Paula Bär-Giese, soprano; and Hans Meijer, lute, in character as Katie von Bora and Martin Luther, perform 'From heaven above I come' and 'A child is born in Bethlehem' agnostic (n.) 1870, "one who professes that the existence of a First Cause and the essential nature of things are not and cannot be known" … Continue reading A new (church) year’s resolution poses a question — is music ‘an agnostic’s spiritual practice?’ My answer: I don’t know yet

The four core values or pillars of Dominican life, a presentation to 2019 associate candidates’ class

Shared here from YouTube for convenient reference. Begins with a group discussion following the steps of lectio divina. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3h7N7VyVBA&t=191s The blurb on YouTube summarizes it like this: Sister Marilyn Jean Runkel, OP shared what the four pillars of Dominican life are to the 2019 associate candidate class on Sunday, October 13, 2019. The sharing and … Continue reading The four core values or pillars of Dominican life, a presentation to 2019 associate candidates’ class

A ‘Zen Lutheran’ morning prayer

Luther and family, by Gustav Spangenberg, ca. 1875 (Wikimedia Commons). Prayer and meditation have never been my long suit -- I don't have the patience for either. But thanks to a recent bout of pneumonia, I may have found a practice that works for me. It combines two of my interests, Western Buddhist spirituality and … Continue reading A ‘Zen Lutheran’ morning prayer

‘How Firm a Foundation’: Calling on a shape-note folk hymn in the hospital … and later by my fireside at home

Cross-posted to my trad music blog Hogfiddle. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzUUkWwBZdI Recorded for online worship service on Sept. 6, 2020, Providence Church, Austin, Texas. This is the story of how I came to be singing an old Baptist folk hymn from the Sacred Harp under my breath as the anesthesia was taking hold last week in the cath … Continue reading ‘How Firm a Foundation’: Calling on a shape-note folk hymn in the hospital … and later by my fireside at home

A viral cat video, the archbishop of Canterbury and the dean of the cathedral remind me of the imminence of God

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dy43J76bIwE Global News, the news and current affairs division of the Global Television Network of Vancouver, B.C.,  reported in 2020: "One of Canterbury Cathedral’s cats, Tiger, helped itself to some milk during a morning message from Dean Robert Willis on July 6." Brought together by serendipity -- a lovely, do-able brief explanation of my favorite Jesuit … Continue reading A viral cat video, the archbishop of Canterbury and the dean of the cathedral remind me of the imminence of God

Review of Jesuit author’s practical new book on prayer cuts to the chase

Very good review in Christian Century of Fr. James Martin's new book on prayer! Author of several popular books on Jesuit spirituality and editor-at-large of America magazine, Martin has written about prayer before -- frequently, but in passing. His latest book, Prayer: A Guide for Everyone, appears to pull those thoughts together for newbies and … Continue reading Review of Jesuit author’s practical new book on prayer cuts to the chase