We live in a society that tends to view isolation in a negative way. But the contemplatives teach us that it’s something we should seek on a regular basis as a necessary part of a healthy emotional and spiritual life. For it is here where we connect with ourselves and the divine.
I don’t know about you, but every day seems like Friday, lately. And I keep waking and hoping that at least Saturday rolls around; but no, it’s Friday again. It’s like living the movie Groundhog Day, only written and directed by Stephen King.
Feeling a little scared and overwhelmed? Me too. In this post I offer a little comfort.
Think about that for a moment. The unconscious heaving of your chest right now had its beginning with the breath God. And when it was expelled from his throat a long time ago, life exploded into the universe. In other words, the simple act of breathing is powerful stuff. And it demands that we do something with it. Something extraordinary.
“Bring Polycarp!” someone else shouted, and thus the manhunt for the bishop of Smyrna began. He wasn’t hard to catch. He was eighty-six years old and power scooters hadn’t been invented yet. So soon, the crowd brought him before the proconsul for questioning. Things went south fairly fast. The proconsul wanted Polycarp to deny his faith and go home, which seemed like a reasonable request. But alas, Polycarp refused. Losing his patience, the judge yelled, “Out with the atheist!” To which Polycarp yelled back. “Yes! Out with the atheists!” And he pointed to the crowd. Well, that didn’t help.
The more I can let go of attaching baggage to every little thing that happens, the more I can be set free to allow a day to be what it really is…a gift.
Our lives are directed by to-do lists and calendars and productivity apps. I don’t wake with the sun but with a clock. And the things invented in this world to serve me have become my masters. Sometimes, I fear that I have mistaken crossing something off my list for life. Because the point of life is not to be productive.
Is it just me, or does it seem like anger and righteous indignation is the default state of things in our world? I’d go so far as to say that in some circles, the attitude is that if you aren’t raging against the machine in some way, then there is something wrong with you. I …
At the age of five, George Johnson gave his son Willie a gift that would change his life—a cigar box guitar. As Willie picked it up and began strumming, it soon became apparent that he had a gift. A couple of years later, Willie’s stepmother was caught cheating, and his father beat her out of …
Many people have this monolithic notion about Christianity—that it has been the same since Jesus and Paul walked the earth. But the truth of the matter is that the Church has often changed its mind on what it deems to be the essential elements of faith. One way to look at this is to ask, …