The Church

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....

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....

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....

Tired of Hearing About God

Imagine someone who spends his whole life talking about a beautiful destination -- let’s say a majestic, untouched mountain range somewhere in the West – but who never actually takes the time to travel there to see it in person. Imagine the romantic, dreamy-eyed look this person gets when his mind drifts to this most beautiful of places that he has read about somewhere. ...