February 14, 2016

Essential Practices: Praying the Psalms

Essential Practices One: Praying the Psalms It seems to me that there are some essential practices that attend our faith as Christians. By saying that, I do not wish to imply, or get into an argument about, whether they are obligatory or not. In some senses I think they are, and in others not. All I’m […]

Damaris Zehner: Our Addiction

Our Addiction By Damaris Zehner I once asked a recovering alcoholic why he had begun to drink to excess.  “It dulled the edges of things,” he said;  “anxiety about whether I was going to succeed at something or live up to my potential (I hated that phrase), depression about what I saw as failure – […]

Epiphany I: Our baptism is always with us

Epiphany I Our baptism is always with us One of the key themes of recent liturgical renewal is the insight that baptism is the root and foundation of the Christian life. In our baptism, we are united to Christ in his death and resurrection (Rom. 6). The Christian life is an ongoing experience of the […]

Nouwen: With Open Hands (1)

I would like to take a few days to discuss some ideas on prayer from Henri Nouwen’s book, With Open Hands. Before we begin, I would encourage you, if possible, to get a copy. It is available for only $0.99 on Kindle right now if you have the ability to read ebooks. Click on the […]

Damaris Zehner: How to Question Your Faith: A Guide for Young People and Others

How to Question Your Faith:  A Guide for Young People and Others By Damaris Zehner A conversation I had recently made me think about the scary process of – pick your metaphor – stepping off a cliff, walking in the dark, setting off across an uncharted ocean, or any other image that suggests the potential […]

For Advent — Fr. Thomas Hopko: 55 Maxims

Father Thomas Hopko (1939–2015) was a prominent teacher, speaker, and theologian in the Orthodox Church of America. Recently, I came across his list of “55 Maxims” and found them interesting and instructive. I think simple lists like this can be useful in penitential seasons like Advent. They help me focus and reflect on my life before God. […]

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 theopenend.com 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 […]