Monthly Archives: July 2011

Connections: John Stott

Many of you will already have heard of John Stott’s passing this past Wednesday.  We have truly lost one of Christianity’s most-respected global leaders. About five years ago, he gave us a treasure in his book, Through the Bible, Through … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: July 31, 2011 (Year A)

Read:  Matthew 14:13-21 Meditation:  “Before the Miracle” When I read a familiar passage, I often pray, “Lord, show me something new in these verses.”  I did that this week in relation to the feeding of the five thousand.  The “new … Continue reading

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Benedict’s Rule: The Basis for Excommunication

People outside the church look at us and sometimes say, “I would not want to be part of any group that kicks people out.”  The world views excommunication in this way.  But the Rule of Benedict makes it clear that … Continue reading

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Ponderings: Dying For A Lack of “Should”

The news media has recently reported two tragedies that should spark a serious consideration of what’s happening in our world today.  Singer Amy Winehouse’s death has been widely reported, and I don’t need to say much about that. The other … Continue reading

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Shepherd’s Care: The Pattern for Ministry

Luke 5:15-16 establishes the formative pattern for ministry:  action/reflection. The situation Jesus found himself in is one any clergyperson would covet.  The word about him was spreading. Crowds were coming to hear him and be ministered to by him.  This … Continue reading

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Desert Wisdom: Non-Judgement

When we move into Book Nine of The Desert Fathers, we continue our exploration of a spiritual life that is deeply challenging.  The Book deals with the theme of non-judgement. One of the great ironies of our time is that … Continue reading

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Listenings: The Inevitable Mystery

While on vacation, I spent a morning at the Abbey of Gethsemani near Bardstown, Kentucky.  It’s the Mother House for Cistercians in The United States, founded in 1848.  It’s the place where Thomas Merton lived and ministered from 1941 until … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: July 24, 2011 (Year A)

Read:  Matthew 13:31-33; 44-52 Meditation:  God’s Treasure Jesus’ teaching about the Kingdom of God is the primary way he wanted us to understand how things are intended to be here on earth.  He refers to the Kingdom of God as … Continue reading

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Benedict’s Rule: Excommunication

Many small groups and larger faith communities struggle with how to arrange for a proper and orderly exit of participants who cease to thrive and/or contribute to life together.  Our failure to do this often ends up trying to advance … Continue reading

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Ponderings: Lament for Caylee

How lonely sits the city Weeping for its children; No one should be thrown away like trash.   Circumstantial evidence, they say; No way to prove guilt, But even dots can be connected And when they are, They look like … Continue reading

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Shepherd’s Care: The Heart of Ministry

The ministry of Jesus is too rich to claim there is a single “secret” to it.  We learn from the whole Christ, not just from isolated passages. But as time has gone by, I have come to believe that Luke … Continue reading

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Desert Wisdom: A Melting Soul

We end our brief look at Book Eight of The Desert Fathers with this interesting comment by Syncletica. If you put wax in front of a fire it melts; and if you pour vain praises on the soul it goes … Continue reading

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Listenings: Our Intense Longing

Lest the spiritual life be viewed as essentially metaphysical or philosophical, Evelyn Underhill turns to the fact that the centrality of God in our lives creates an intense longing for God.  Using St. Francis as her example, she says that … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: July 17, 2011 (Year A)

Read:  Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43 Meditation:  “What’s Gone Wrong?” You cannot live one day without realizing something’s gone wrong with the world.  It’s simply not the way it’s supposed to be. Sometimes that is an abstract realization that comes by distanced … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: July 10, 2011 (Year A)

Read:  Matthew 13:1-9; 18-23 Meditation:  “Do What You Are” In this familiar parable, we usually put the emphasis upon the different kinds of soil.  But today, I want us to look at the farmer who scattered the seed. Jesus said … Continue reading

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Site Update: “Vacation!”

I’m taking a summer “time out” from the daily posts from July 4-17.  I will only post “The Holy Gospel” on two Saturdays:  July 9 and 16. I’ll resume my regular communications with you on Monday, July 18th. If you’ve … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: July 3, 2011 (Year A)

Read:  Matthew 11:16-19; 25-30 Meditation:  “Come Home!” The hymn “Softly and Tenderly” was being sung the Sunday morning I gave my life to Christ.  The theme that runs through it is simply two words: “come home.” Near the end of … Continue reading

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First Day: Your Influencers

I thought it might be fun and beneficial to use this July “First Day” posting to ask you to share the people who have influenced, or are influencing, your spiritual formation right now. I have created the occasional “Connections” post … Continue reading

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Benedict’s Rule: Spirituality of Sleep

Chapter 22 of the Rule is not something most of us ever have to think about.  We don’t sleep every evening in large groups.  But the monks had to do it, so Benedict is faithful to describe how even their … Continue reading

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