Spiritual Practice: Being Present

Reality.  It is a stinker right now.  We would rather not have to endure this overwhelming stoppage and restriction that has us anxious and impatient, irritable and sad.  But now is all we have.  It is all we ever have, if you think about it.  Yesterday is gone.  Tomorrow exists only in our imaginations.  But “living in the now” seems like a silly statement.  Isn’t … Continue reading Spiritual Practice: Being Present

Spiritual Practice: (Forced) Fasting

Fasting is an ancient practice that invites us to abstinence for the sake of spiritual focus.  I am no expert; you can find information and guidance in books devoted to this practice alone or to a range of spiritual disciplines.  My first experience with fasting happened in college when I decided to fast from lunches on Mondays during Lent and to give the money saved … Continue reading Spiritual Practice: (Forced) Fasting

Spiritual Practices: Prayer of Loving Kindness

Today’s practice is the Prayer of Loving Kindness.  The beauty of this prayer is in the many ways it can be used.  My first introduction to it was in a contemplative mode, praying it slowly and repeatedly, for yourself and others. First, for yourself, taking your time.  Then pray it for someone who has blessed your life, a benefactor.  Then for a friend, then someone … Continue reading Spiritual Practices: Prayer of Loving Kindness

Spiritual Practices: Gratitude

The quality that we so often seek in our lives is joy.  When we become wise enough to know that joy cannot be manufactured through short-lived pleasures, we might settle for less.  We might resign ourselves to what the writer of Ecclesiastes concludes: “there is nothing new under the sun.”  (Eccles. 1:9) Or we could learn the secret to joy: gratitude. There was a time … Continue reading Spiritual Practices: Gratitude

Spiritual Practices: Welcoming Prayer

One of the compulsions most of us wrestle with is the desire for control.  The COVID-19 pandemic is revealing to all of us our illusion of control.  Layers of confidence in our careers, our bank accounts, our health are being peeled away without our consent.  When we can release our hold on our cherished expectations, we are invited to explore deeper dimensions of trusting God, … Continue reading Spiritual Practices: Welcoming Prayer

Spiritual Practices: Six Gestures of the Morning Prayer

I have used this prayer often, and it always helps me move into the day with intention and joy. It is by Joyce Rupp from her book Out of the Ordinary. I post it here with her permission. The video will help you see it in action. Stretch your arms high and wide above your head.             I thank you, Holy One, for the gift … Continue reading Spiritual Practices: Six Gestures of the Morning Prayer

Spiritual Practices: Walking, and Five Questions

Sometimes in these uncertain times, I find myself getting very anxious and overwhelmed.  The best remedy for me is to get out and walk, and let the sounds of nature as well as the silence speak to my soul.  I accept it as God’s love manifest in the moment. The act of taking each step, feeling the ground under my feet and the effort of … Continue reading Spiritual Practices: Walking, and Five Questions

Finding and Being Sabbath

STOP.  Most of the time that only means “pause.”  Just long enough to look for traffic, to take a photo, to take a pill.  But sometimes we know enough to quit what we are doing and pay attention to what matters: a child who needs a bedtime story, a friend who needs a listening ear, a neighbor who needs a helping hand.  We know enough … Continue reading Finding and Being Sabbath

Into the Wild

He never said, “Be safe.” He saw what they did with the life-giving Law, its walls now closing in on souls meant to roam free.  Perhaps his tears over the city were not for all her wanderings, but for her fear, her lack of wonder, her contentment with the small, tame world of scrupulous obedience. He shook her at her core tumbled the Temple, untamed … Continue reading Into the Wild