How to Stay in Touch

I recently received a very nice email from a reader in Canada, who ended her message like this: “So thank you Carl and I look to somehow stay in touch with you?” Here’s how I replied: Thanks for this lovely message. Briefly put, the best ways to stay in touch are: 1. Keep reading my […]

Mary and Martha are Sisters

A sermon preached at First Baptist Church, Springfield, Ohio, on October 26, 2014 Scripture: Luke 10:38-42 When I was a little boy, my brother took me to the theater to see my first movie. It was called “The Parent Trap.” While younger members of the congregation may remember the 1998 version starring Lindsey Lohan, those of […]

Our Choices Determine Who We Are

A reflection given at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church, Artane, Dublin, Ireland, on September 28, 2014 Scripture: Ezekiel 18:25-28, Philippians 2:1-11, Matthew 21:28-32 It is said that actions speak louder than words. It has also been said that our choices determine who we are, or perhaps, who we shall become. Our lessons today highlight this essential spiritual principle. Ezekiel […]

Compass Points for the Spiritual Life

The spiritual life encompasses several perspectives. We are ushered into the mystery by sacred questions: Who am I? Why am I here? What is love? What is meaning? Meanwhile, an important aspect of discovering who we are is recognizing our gifts. One person makes lovely music, another tells fascinating stories, another is a natural healer, […]

A School of Love in Ireland

A friend of mine from Dublin alerted me to this lovely video first broadcast on Irish television in the spring of 2014. It’s a documentary about St. Mary’s Abbey in Glencairn, the only Cistercian monastery for women in Ireland. It’s a lovely video, filled with beautiful nature imagery and a heartfelt look at the nuns’ […]

"The Book That Changed My Life"

A Book for All Time: Why Evelyn Underhill’s Mysticism Still Matters For pretty much my entire adult life, if anyone would ask me who my favorite authors are, without hesitation I would say Evelyn Underhill and Thomas Merton. To me, the work of Evelyn Underhill represents the call for the revival of mysticism in our […]

The Hidden Tradition of Christian Mysticism

Karl Rahner, one of the most renowned Christian theologians of the twentieth century, once famously remarked that “the Christian of the future will be a mystic or will not exist at all.” For people whose experience of Christianity is, often, little more than a religion invested in obedience and in patriarchal morality, this seems to […]