Month: December 2017

WHAT DOES REALITY LOOK LIKE?

One of my six thresholds of life is, What does reality look like?  There could be many different ways to see reality, all of them held sincerely by their advocates, and many of them are correct. If a scientific-oriented person looks at reality, he…

CAN YOU PASS THIS TEST?

Academia stresses the need for testing to determine proficiency or even mastery in a particular subject.  Not to be outclassed, here are a few questions that you have to answer, sooner or later. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF LIFE? Call it philosophical or just…

REFLECTIONS ON THE RULE OF ST. BENEDICT: The purpose of life.

I offer you the results of my meditations on parts of the Rule of St. Benedict. As one who can only aspire to be a Lay Cistercian, the Rule of Benedict has shaped my spirituality towards a more contemplative leaning. http://www.osb.org/rb/text/rbejms2.html#4 Each of these short…

THE CHRISTMAS CONUNDRUM

This Christmas, my wife and I are not exchanging gifts. It’s not that we can’t afford to do so, but rather the meaning behind those gifts has been so secularized that anything approaching the reason we remember Christmas has long been supplanted by the tenents…

SO, WHERE DID EVIL COME FROM?

Forgive me for being so maudlin. I get into these spells once in a blue moon, thinking of topics that seem way off (more so than usual). In my Lectio Divina dream, one where I don’t know if I was awake or asleep, I…

LECTIO DIVINA: Pray as you can

One of the most practical, yet profound, statements about how to practice contemplative spirituality comes from Brother Michael, OCSO, monk of Holy Spirit Monastery, Conyers, Ga., and one of our Junior Lay Cistercian instructors. He made a presentation on what it means to be…

WHY DO PEOPLE FALL AWAY FROM THE FAITH? HOW TO RECOVER FAITH.

This subject has both bothered me and confused me for some time. Perhaps it is because I have just renewed my appreciation for the wisdom of the teachings of the Church, even though I had been trained and steeped in the tradition for most…

HOW TO LOSE YOUR FAITH AND HOW TO GET IT BACK.

Faith, like love and service, can dry up, if not used.  I have talked with many people who have lost their faith or had occasion to just stop believing in anything related to Christ and how to love. I don’t know about the motivation…

THE DARK SIDE OF SERVICE

I learned this phrase in the Eighth Grade at St. Francis Xavier School in Vincennes, Indiana in 1951. It comes from the Baltimore Catechism and it is the lynchpin (cornerstone) of all of my spirituality. It answers the question, why are you here? The…

HOW TO PLAN YOUR MOVE FROM SELF TO GOD

What follows is excerpted from my book, The Lay Cistercian Journey. As a Lay Cistercian, one of the lessons I have learned is to have consistency of practice with my five Cistercian principles (silence, solitude, work, pray, community).  If you want to have Jesus…

SENTINILES OF THE DAWN

When you wake up at 3:00 a.m. and try to get back to sleep, when you glance at your clock and murmer, “Oh no! Only three more hours to sleep,” when you look out the window to see if it is light yet, you…

DO YOU STILL BABEL?

One of the familiar but obscure stories in the Book of Genesis is the one about the Tower of Bable. (Genesis 11:1-9) I consider all these stories as archetypal ones, setting forth the deepest and most fundamental truths about what it means to be…

I SING OF LIFE AND LOVE: My story

What follows is a poem about my life. During one of my Lectio Divina meditations, I thought about what I have accomplished in my life. By all the measures that the world has for success, I have been an abject failure. I never made lots…

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