Contemplating the Trinity

Silence. Embodiment. Breath.

The heart of Christian spirituality is the Mystery of the Holy Trinity. This is the ancient wisdom teaching that God is one God, in three persons: Father/Creator, Son/Redeemer, and Spirit/Sanctifier. We call ourselves “Christians” because we follow the 2nd Person of the Trinity: Jesus, the Christ. But it would be just as accurate — some […]

What’s in a (Sacred) Story? Meditating on the Mysteries of Your Faith

To be a mystic is to be the explorer of both Divine and human mysteries (which corresponds to Jesus’s two essential teachings, “Love God” and “Love your neighbors”). We often think that the essential way to do this is through spiritual practices such as meditation, contemplation, chanting the psalms, and…

Close your eyes for a minute and think about “truth.” What kinds of images come to mind? For most people, truth is closely associated with solidity, finality, permanence, universality, and security. But Jesus used the metaphor of “living water” for truth. This is another of his outrageous teachings. While we tend to visualize truth as some kind of sacred rock, Jesus visualized it as water: amorphous, adaptable, and incapable of being grasped. The adjective “living” should not be neglected either. For truth is a living thing that grows in us and with us.

Kenneth S. Leong
The Zen Teachings of Jesus (New York: Crossroad, 2001), Kindle Location 4193.

Join me for an online learning experience this September: “Living Prayer: the Spirituality of Everyday Liturgy.”

This online course will explore how prayer and liturgy can be part of our day-to-day lives — not just for Sunday mornings or your annual retreat. Together we will read James K.A. Smith’s wonderful book You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit, which is an accessible and user-friendly guide to the relationship between ritual, worship, and love — and how Christians can use these elements to foster healthy habits of ongoing spiritual growth.

Through prayer prompts, online discussions, and daily invitations into prayer, we will explore both personal and communal aspects of how we foster an ever-deepening, everyday relationship with the God of Love.

This class is an elective that counts toward the completion of the Certificate in Spiritual Formation from Columbia Theological Seminary. However, you do not have to be enrolled in the Certificate Program to participate in this class.

Early enrollment is recommended — class size is limited.

Date: September 10, 2018—October 6, 2018
Event: Online Course: Living Prayer, the Spirituality of Everyday Liturgy
Topic: Living Prayer
Sponsor: Columbia Theological Seminary Center for Lifelong Learning
Venue: Online Course
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

To invite me to speak to your community, click here.

Underneath all the moralizing and polemic in the New Testament, there is a message of divinization, theosis; that is to say, in the way appropriate to humans we may once again through grace, by our kenosis, our self-forgetfulness in our lived beholding, realize our glory, our shared nature with God that was obscured in Eden, and all this entails.

Maggie Ross
Silence, A User's Guide, Volume 2: Application (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2017), Kindle Location 1790.

Join me this summer at the Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center in Atlanta for a special three-night retreat called “Praying with the Saints and Mystics: Nurturing a Deeper Relationship with God.” This silent retreat will include ample time for personal prayer, conferences each day to invite us deeper into our prayer through the wisdom of the saints and mystics, and the beautiful facility and grounds of Ignatius House!

Date: July 19, 2018—July 22, 2018
Event: Praying with the Saints and Mystics: A 3 Night Retreat at Ignatius House
Topic: Praying with the Saints and Mystics
Sponsor: Ignatius House
Venue: Ignatius House
(404) 255-0503
Location: 6700 Riverside Drive NW
Atlanta, GA 30328
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

To invite me to speak to your community, click here.

I’m excited to be leading a retreat for the first time at the Franciscan Spirituality Center in La Crosse, WI. Our theme will be “Exploring Celtic Spirituality.”

Date: August 17, 2018—August 19, 2018
Event: Celtic Retreat at the Franciscan Spirituality Center in La Crosse, WI
Topic: Exploring Celtic Spirituality
Sponsor: Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration
Venue: Franciscan Spirituality Center
(608) 791-5295
Location: 920 Market Street
La Crosse, WI 54601
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

To invite me to speak to your community, click here.

On June 24, 2018 I’ll be the “Preacher of the Week” at the Lakeside Chautauqua in Lakeside, Ohio. Over the next four days I’ll offer a series of classes called “Faith for Living” and three afternoon workshops on different dimensions of Christian prayer. The topic of the week is “Lord, teach us to pray!” — I’ll be sharing insights from the great Christian mystics as to how everyone can deepen their relationship with God through prayer.

If you aren’t a member of the Chatauqua you’ll need a gate pass to enter the chautauqua — but complimentary passes are available for the Sunday morning service and also for the Faith for Living classes. Or, you can purchase an all-day pass to enjoy the chautauqua, and if you want to participate in the entire program, there are on-site hotels and B&Bs. Visit for more information.

Date: June 24, 2018—June 28, 2018
Event: Lakeside Chautauqua Preacher of the Week (Lakeside, Ohio) — June 24-28, 2018
Topic: Lord, Teach Us to Pray!
Sponsor: Lakeside Chautauqua
Venue: Lakeside Chautauqua
Location: 236 Walnut Avenue
Lakeside, Ohio 43440
Public: Public
More Info: Click here for more information.

To invite me to speak to your community, click here.

We can no longer rely on being supported by structures that may be destroyed at any moment by a political power or a political force. You cannot rely on structures. The time for relying on structures has disappeared. They are good and they should help us, and we should do the best we can with them. But they may be taken away, and if everything is taken away, what do you do next?

Thomas Merton
The Asian Journal of Thomas Merton (New York: New Directions, 1973), p. 338.

Silence, both external (a silent place) and internal (the quieting of the heart and mind), is a prerequisite to genuine prayer. It is not simply a question of removing exterior noise but a disciplined willingness to shut off the distractions of the environment, even “good” distractions, in order to listen to the promptings of God in the heart. Silence, in the tradition of prayer, means nothing more than alertness or readiness to receive God; it is another form of saying “yes” to the promptings of God’s self-gift.

Lawrence S. Cunningham
The Catholic Faith: An Introduction (New York: Paulist Press, 1987), pp. 133-4.

Love is not just the basis on which we build everything, but it’s also the energy with which we proceed, and it’s the final goal toward which we tend. Love has two lovely daughters called Grace and Mercy. Like identical twins, they are often indistinguishable: Grace is the inner freedom to be merciful. Mercy is grace in action. And both are the children of Love.

Richard Rohr
Essential Teachings on Love (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2018), P. 82.

Running After Something You Already Have

A Dream About Montreat, Evelyn Underhill, and Learning to Let Go

I had a dream last night — about one of my favorite retreat centers, and one of my favorite books. The setting of my dream was the Montreat Conference Center, in Black Mountain NC, just up the road from Asheville. I’ve been to Montreat numerous times over the past six or seven years, but always […]

I love Mepkin Abbey, and I’m so happy to be returning there in June to lead a retreat on the wisdom of the Christian Mystics. The retreat is fully booked, but contact the St. Francis Retreat Center at Mepkin Abbey if you’d like to be on the waiting list.

Date: June 4, 2018—June 8, 2018
Event: Wisdom of the Christian Mystics at Mepkin Abbey
Topic: Wisdom of the Christian Mystics
Sponsor: Mepkin Abbey
(843) 761-8509
Venue: St. Francis Retreat Center
(843) 761-8509
Location: 1098 Mepkin Abbey Rd
Moncks Corner, SC 29461
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

To invite me to speak to your community, click here.

I created this video, using photographs that Fran and I took in Norwich, along with a few book covers and a wonderful photo of the stained glass of Julian in Norwich Cathedral, used by permission of the photographer.

It’s just a brief little introduction to who Julian is, and why she matters. Less than 3 minutes long. Hope you enjoy it!