Blog

Podcasting Mysticism: Evelyn Underhill in the Women Mystics School

I'll be offering a talk on Evelyn Underhill next month as part of the Women Mystics School sponsored by Kelly Deutsch's Spiritual Wanderlust website.   In preparation and I suppose as a teaser, Kelly interviewed me for a podcast that just dropped in the "Contemplative Monk" facebook group, talking especially about poetry and creativity in relation to my own spiritual practice..    I have to confess it is a strange feeling to me to have a fairly intimate conversation about my journey out there...

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Spiritual Companionship

As the academic/program year begins I step back into the deeply satisfying work I've been called to as a spiritual director/spiritual Companion.  Trying to explain the gift of this work to people, I recently shared this quote from the 20th century Anglican spiritual writer, retreat leader and mystic Evelyn Underhill.   She writes:  For a spiritual life is simply a life in which all that we do comes from the centre, where we are anchored in God: a life soaked through and through by a sense of...

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Attending to Emmaus Moments

I am giving a talk soon entitled "attending to Emmaus moments." - I put it on the schedule at Christ Church Georgetown partly to invite myself to reflect on the way the Emmaus story has been important to me in my journey. The story shows up in Luke 24, right after the story of the women at the empty tomb. "That same day." I think the reason this story is so beloved is that it is anchored in everyday life. The disciples walking along the road are grieving and sad in the horrible aftermath of...

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Annunciation and Passion and Easter-returning to a Theme

I see that I posted the same poem 2 years ago as my "poem of the season" for Eastertide. It is based on a meditation in the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises that I have found fruitful -- a scene that must have happened, the risen Jesus appearing to his grieving mother. In this season when so many mothers are grieving, in Ukraine, at the Southern border, in the devastated civil wars on the African continent, this extra-Biblical scene pulls together the grief of the pieta, the grieving mother at the...

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Women Mystics School!

I was excited to be invited to join a "Women Mystics School" being offered by a fascinating media universe run by Kelly Deutsch. Her website and podcast, Spiritual Wanderlust  is a treasure trove of spiritual resources for seekers across traditions.  Kelly has a podcast that also airs on her facebook site Contemplative Monk as well as books and blogs and a wide array of resources. I'm just getting acquainted with them myself.  But she's invited me to offer a master class on Evelyn Underhill in...

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Advent interview – The Music of Eternity

I had the privilege of participating in a conversation with my friend Robyn Wrigley-Carr, who has  edited a new Advent collection by Evelyn Underhill, The Music of Eternity.   A video of our conversation is posted here: https://homegroups.org.uk/series/music-of-eternity/session/music-of-eternity-session-seven/ The interview is part of a nice little curriculum for use with home study groups. Of course you can learn more about Underhill at evelynunderhill.org   

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“Shield the Joyous”

This past week I've felt myself the beneficiary of a prayer offered by and with so  many of my friends and companions in our evening or night prayers.  It goes,"Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give thine angels charge over those who sleep.  Tend the sick, Lord Christ, give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, shield the joyous, and all for your love's sake (Book of Common Prayer, p. 71 and elsewhere) "Shield the joyous" - in...

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Testimony: Shaping a Faithful Life and “Discover”

I tend to be kind of reserved about personal storytelling, but two invitations just lately have shown me how important it is, sometimes, to find a way, as St. Paul says, to "give an account of the hope that is in me." In my new book, Shaping a Faithful Life, I try to share ideas I've used in my teaching, over the last 20 years, to help people look at their own stories in fresh ways, and to discern in their stories the ways that how God invites us to participate more fully in the healing and...

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Brood 10 Cicadas – living inside wonder!

I remember the last time brood 10 emerged -- featured in the "Poem of the Season" and here Walking in Rock Creek Park yesterday I had time and space to just watch and wonder - some had just emerged from the amazing array of holes they punch in the ground, coming up through 17 years of climbing. Many were perched on low shrubbery, providing easy food for the birds, who are going crazy with their sound and chowing down - those that are carnivores. (I saw a huge pileated woodpecker close to the...

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