Contemplative Prayer

Practicing Advent

The Feast of the Resurrection (commonly known as “Easter”) is the central celebration for Christians. The Feast of the Nativity of Christ, however, has taken a close second place. It celebrates the Incarnation of God in Jesus Christ, an historical event that continues in the Church. Both of these feasts are marked by an extensive period of preparation characterized by penitence, sacrifice, and solemnity. These periods are Lent and Advent....

Christian Silent Lenten Retreat

Chocolate, Hot Dates, and Contrition: Valentine’s Day and Lent

This year, February 14 is both Saint Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the penitential season of Lent in which Christians commit to fasting, almsgiving and other spiritual disciplines in preparation for Easter. How does one reconcile chocolates, hot dates, fasting and contrition? Perhaps Saint Valentine himself offers an answer....

Choices, Christmas & Contemplative Prayer

All Our Choices, & the Choice of Love: A Christmas Reflection

Contemporary western life presents us with a dizzying array of possibilities and choices to make. From the chockablock shelves of stores with a billion products vying for our attention, to larger decisions about places to live, people to keep company with, political and social opinions to embrace, we live constantly under the pretense of choice....

It’s Advent, Not Christmas! The Contemplative Language of the Liturgical Seasons

Christmas is so much more than the celebration of an historical event. However significant and consequential for eternal destiny the birth of Jesus Christ of the Virgin Mary was, the symbolic and liturgical language of the Church points us to deeper things than a mere historical commemoration of this blessed occasion in Bethlehem....

Bread & Light: Celebrating Christmas

Each of us will likely spend much of our time this Christmas season feasting with family and friends. We will enjoy the decorations and the lights, and the fact that the days will begin to grow longer again. Holiday gatherings of this sort can provide a great deal of nourishment for both body and soul. Christmas gives us the opportunity for communion and to express genuine love for one another....

God's Vision for Us Is Our Vision of God

God’s Vision for Us is Our Vision of God

GOD’S VISION FOR US, OR … A Google search on “the vision of God” yields much. Many of the articles and essays of this yield are about God’s vision for us. For an example, we are offered steps to help us find out what God’s vision is for our life. Others offer motivational words about how vision enables us to achieve great things. Vision of the gold medal enables an Olympic athlete to endure the hardships and monotony of long years of training; vision gives us purpose and direction in life. Hence, if we knew what God’s vision was for us, then we would be empowered to achieve it. Predictably, we’re told that God wants us to achieve great things....

In Eager Longing

Old leaves relinquish high places And flutter to the ground Of their beginnings...

Cain & Abel

Unfastened From the Party Line: Contemplative Prayer and Public Discourse

After a visit to my parents’ house in New Hampshire, Maureen, my wife, and I like to meander along the backroads home to the Catskills. At about our half-way point is a small but thriving bookstore/café where we generally make a stop. While browsing through the crowded shelves I came across a book entitled, I’m Right and You’re an Idiot: The Toxic State of Public Discourse and How to Clean It Up. Though one should never judge a proverbial (and, in this case, actual) book by its cover, I could not help but to give this particular cover a nod of consent. The title represents a problem that is deep and dangerous in our time....