November 27, 2015

Another Look: Preparing for a New Church Year

Note from CM: In 2010, we did a series on “Church Year Spirituality.” November is the month when we complete the annual liturgical cycle and prepare for a new Church Year, which begins the first Sunday in Advent (Nov. 29 this year). Here is the first post from that series. We present it in order […]

A Parable of Wrestling

For your meditation and contemplation today, this parable told by Ron Rolheiser: In his autobiography, the renowned writer Nikos Kazantzakis shares a conversation he had with an old monk named Father Makários. Sitting with the saintly old man, Kazantzakis asked him: “Do you still wrestle with the devil, Father Makários?” The old monk reflected for […]

Another Look: Examine Yourself?

A man named Andrew contributed a short story on about hypochondria. In it, he wrote: Today I have lymphoma. Yesterday was bowel cancer. I curiously palpate my underarms, searching for that slippery lump, stealthily hiding from my grasp. I check again, and again. I then move up to my neck, again massaging for lumps. My temperature […]

Rejoicing in the Lord is your strength

The other day, as I was working on one of my books, a book for caregivers, I decided to do a chapter on how maintaining a spirit of joy can strengthen us in the midst of difficult circumstances. My text, of course, was Nehemiah 8:10, which ends with the familiar biblical meme, “The joy of […]

Eugene Peterson on Jesus-Shaped Spirituality

The Christian community is interested in spirituality because it is interested in living. We give careful attention to spirituality because we know, from long experience, how easy it is to get interested in ideas of God and projects for God and gradually lose interest in God alive, deadening our lives with ideas and the projects. […]

Another Look: The Life God Is In

“…he is not far from any one of us.”  (Acts 17.27, NLT) As I have talked with friends throughout this year, I’ve noted that we’ve been using a phrase regularly: “This is the life God is in.” OK, it could be better grammatically, but it’s punchy and makes a clear point. So many of us think […]

Sundays with Michael Spencer: September 27, 2015

Every time I feel like I have lost my way in the Christian life, I find myself back looking at monasticism, and the lessons I learned in two decades of reading Thomas Merton. I’m not attracted to Catholicism, but I am very much attracted to the tradition of self-conscious, disciplined spiritual formation into a disciple […]

Problems with Teaching about Good Works

I like to use the phrase “good works” to describe Christian living. Doing so reminds me of Ephesians 2:10, a favorite text of mine: “We are his workmanship,” says the apostle, “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” His workmanship. Created in Christ Jesus. This eliminates any possible understanding […]

Fr. Michel Quoist: “If each note said…”

If each note of music were to say: one note does not make a symphony, there would be no symphony. If each word were to say: one word does not make a book, there would be no book. If each brick were to say: one brick does not make a wall, there would be no […]

Little Brave Unselfish Things

Love has awakened extraordinary energies in him that he himself didn’t think he was capable of. • Michel Quoist Keeping Hope • • • There is one thing people fail to understand who speak disparagingly of “good works” in favor of “faith alone”: any deed done in love cannot, by definition, be done for the […]