September 20, 2017

A spirituality “not pressed through the pores”

❧ A saint is capable of loving created things and enjoying the use of them and dealing with them in a perfectly simple, natural manner, making no formal references to God, drawing no attention to his own piety, and acting without any artificial rigidity at all. His gentleness and his sweetness are not pressed through […]

The “Automaticities” of Faith

In his book You Are What You Love, James K. A. Smith references the work of Timothy Wilson, a psychologist at the University of Virginia, writing: At one point Wilson wagers that only about 5 percent of what we do in a given day is the outcome of conscious, deliberate choices we make, processed by that […]

Real Virtue Is “Second Nature”

Real Virtue Is “Second Nature” In a sense, then, to become virtuous is to internalize the law (and the good to which the law points) so that you follow it more or less automatically. As Aristotle put it, when you’ve acquired a moral habit, it becomes second nature. Why do we call things “second” nature? […]

“More a matter of hungering and thirsting than of knowing and believing.”

In his book, You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit, James K. A. Smith says that “the first, last, and most fundamental question of Christian discipleship” is  “What do you want?”. This is the most incisive, piercing question Jesus can ask of us precisely because we are what we want. Our wants and […]

Fridays with Damaris: Another Look – Filled with Passionate Intensity

Filled with Passionate Intensity By Damaris Zehner Does anyone else cringe when they hear the over-used word “passion”? “What’s your passion?” —  “I have a passion for — something.” — “I’m so passionate about that.” I don’t think these people know what they’re really saying. Bear with me here. I’m launching into a history of […]

Fridays with Damaris: Another Look – How We Become Human

How We Become Human By Damaris Zehner I know, as a tenet of my faith, that Jesus’ incarnation, death, and resurrection somehow have set me free from death and given me new life.  I know that God says that he will take away my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh.  But […]

Fridays with Damaris: Literature and Empathy

Literature and Empathy By Damaris Zehner In May of 1998, my husband, three daughters, and I – pregnant with our fourth – moved to Kyrgyzstan.  We went with a non-denominational mission agency and planned to develop a business in one of the most remote areas.  We had many reasons for taking our family overseas to […]

Fridays with Damaris: Another Look – Integrity of Life

Integrity of Life by Damaris Zehner For, with the old order destroyed, a universe cast down is renewed, and integrity of life is restored to us in Christ. Prayer offered during Mass: May 3, 2015 • • • The phrase “integrity of life” reached out and grabbed me when I heard it a few months […]

Wisdom for Ordinary Time: Eugene Peterson on Philippians 4:13

During Ordinary Time this year, I will be reading and meditating on Eugene Peterson’s new book, As Kingfishers Catch Fire: A Conversation on the Ways of God Formed by the Words of God. This book captures sermons from Peterson’s twenty-nine years as a pastor in Bel Air, Maryland (where I happened to graduate from high […]

Waiting to Live

Most of my life, I’ve been waiting to live. The pattern has been like this: seasons of thinking about what it means to live and waiting to live and hoping to live, interrupted by moments of living. I’ve spent most of my days thinking about life, pondering what will enable me to live. Hoping for […]