November 23, 2014

Preparing for the New Church Year (3)

The freest time in our adult life was after we were married and before we had children. Having graduated from college, we were no longer bound by a school schedule. We lived in a small, iconic Vermont village where the pace of life was slow, the program of our church modest, and our income too […]

Preparing for the New Church Year (2)

Last Sunday I gave five primary reasons why I think it advantageous for Christians to form their spiritual lives — their walk with God through Christ — around the liturgical year. It enables us to live in God’s story. It keeps the main thing the main thing. It recognizes that one’s calendar forms one’s life. […]

Preparing for the New Church Year (1)

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. 30 this year). For the next four Sundays, I will run these posts again to help […]

Sunday Formation Talk: Work

Work joins prayer and sacred reading in an integrated and well balanced monastic life. • Fr. Charles Cummings For you know that you ought to imitate us. We were not idle when we were with you. We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night so we would […]

Sunday Formation Talk: Liturgical Prayer

Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous ordinances. • Psalm 119:164 Sacred reading, manual work, and liturgical prayer constitute the threefold footing of our daily life. • Fr. Charles Cummings • • • On this Lord’s Day, we continue our consideration of teachings from Fr. Charles Cummings’ book, Monastic Practices. We are […]

Spiritual Formation Talk: Sacred Reading

The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. • Psalm 119:130 • • • In our second post on Fr. Charles Cummings’ book, Monastic Practices, we take up the first of the three basic practices of monastic daily life, in order to consider how they might inform the spiritual formation […]

Another Look: Who and What Are Forming You?

A classic IM post by Michael Spencer from April, 2007. 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 […]

Sunday Formation Talk: Monastic Practices

. . . the following reflections on the basic elements of our daily life spring from a belief that the ordinary things we do every day constitute our normal monastic path to God. • Fr. Charles Cummings For Sundays from now through the fall, we’ll be focusing on the topics of spiritual formation and spiritual […]

Unholy Busyness

Unholy Busyness by Lisa Dye Now I am saying this for your own benefit, not to put a restraint on you, but because of what is proper and so that you may be devoted to the Lord without distraction. — 1 Corinthians 7:35 My mother-in-law is 90 years old, works two part-time jobs, prays daily […]

Our Life and Witness: Local, Quiet, Pastoral

9 But we don’t need to write to you about the importance of loving each other, for God himself has taught you to love one another. 10 Indeed, you already show your love for all the believers throughout Macedonia. Even so, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you to love them even more. 11 Make it your goal […]