Letter and Spirit: Thoughts and Silence?

SilentVoice

In his sermon On Conversion, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux quotes Acts 26:24, only he paraphrases it like this: “Too much thinking has made you mad!” Whenever I see a verse like this rendered in an unusual or thought-provoking way, I like to check out the original Greek or Hebrew, even though I’m strictly an amateur when […]

Better to Light a Candle (of Silence) than to Curse the Darkness (of Language)

If a picture is worth 1000 words, how many words is silence worth?

Does language always limit the way we talk about, think about, or even pray to, God? This question has been on my mind for the past few days. This past weekend I attended a service at a nearby Episcopal Church. The liturgy came from Enriching Our Worship, a contemporary, inclusive language resource approved for use in […]

Psalm 131: Humility, Silence and Hope

A Silent, Restful Place: Monastery of the Holy Spirit, photo by Haven Sweet.

Sometimes I get asked “Where is contemplation in the Bible?” One obvious answer to this question is Psalm 131. It’s a short Psalm, only three verses. Here it is in its entirety from the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (but every translation works): O Lord, my heart is not lifted up, my eyes are not raised […]

Why We Need Contemplation

Ss. Teresa of Avila and Brigid of Kildare, St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Macon, GA. Saint Teresa and Saint Brigid were two great contemplatives who were also engaged in making the world a better place.

I am troubled by the idea that it’s harder to be a child today than it was when I was young. Is that just my personal angst, the anxiety of someone moving rapidly through midlife? Or is there some truth to my worrisome intuition? Well, consider the following sobering statements, all culled from recent articles on respectable news […]

My Forthcoming Book on Cistercian Spirituality

Abbot Francis Michael of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit. Photo by James Behrens, OCSO

Dear friends, I’m excited to announce the title and subject of my forthcoming book. In July 2013 I began a conversation with an editor associated with Ave Maria Press about writing a book grounded in Cistercian spirituality. If you’re not familiar with it, this is the spirituality of Cistercian monks and nuns — including mystics like Thomas […]