Politics and Society

Coronavirus and Contemplation: A Fourth Reflection

This is a fourth podcast in response to a request for information about contemplative prayer in light of social distancing and the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic. Here I reflect on the fact that, from the beginning, the contemplation of God has always been the true aim of the Christian life, and how the inherently contemplative character of Christian practice has become muddled in the West through various philosophical and historical circumstances. While we will likely continue to post audio reflections, this is the last in this series of four. You can listen to this post by clicking on the "play" button above....

Coronavirus and Contemplation: A Third Reflection

This is a third podcast in response to a request for information about contemplative prayer in light of social distancing and the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic. Here I reflect on sin and the human condition in light of scripture, most especially the early chapter in Genesis, and how contemplative prayer assists the process of healing. You can listen to this post by clicking on the "play" button above....

Coronavirus and Contemplation: A Second Reflection

This is a second podcast in response to a request for more information about contemplative prayer in light of social distancing and the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic. Here I provide some practical "how to" advice about the practice of contemplative prayer. You can listen to this post by clicking on the "play" button above....

Coronavirus and Contemplation: A First Reflection

I have been reflecting on the connections between our social distancing and contemplative practice for well over a week now, and had hoped to offer some reflections on this very thing. At the same time, I certainly did not want to be trite or to use the situation to garner attention or to push a cause. We do not know what the repercussions of current events may be, and we face the specter of economic and financial hardship for some time to come. God’s will be done; we have to submit ourselves to his mercy as well as his majesty. Still, it seems like sacred ground, and I have been circumspect to dare to tread here....

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....

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....