To live prophetically, you’ve got to be questioning and looking at factors behind the facts. You’ve got to be aware that there are contradictions. In a certain sense, our prophetic vocation consists in hurting from the contradictions in society. This is a real cross in our lives today. For we ourselves are partly responsible.

Thomas Merton
Springs of Contemplation (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1992), p. 157

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.

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’m leading a one-day workshop on Christian meditation and contemplative prayer at the New York Open Center. Our time together will include instruction and practice in silent prayer, time for personal and group reflection, and my reflections on how we can incorporate the life-transfiguring wisdom of the mystics into our lives today. Although centered on Christian spirituality and practice, this workshop is presented in an inclusive way that is appropriate for people of all faith traditions and all experience levels. Hope to see you there!

Date: April 22, 2018
Time: 09:30 a.m.-04:00 p.m.
Event: Be Still and Know: Reclaiming the Lost Art of Christian Contemplation and Meditation
Topic: Be Still and Know: Reclaiming the Lost Art of Christian Contemplation and Meditation
Sponsor: New York Open Center
(212) 219-2527
Venue: New York Open Center
(212) 219-2527
Location: 22 E. 30th Street
New York, NY 10016
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.

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

A New Prayer for Contemplatives

Here's a Shorter Prayer for Beginning Your Silent Time with God

O Holy Trinity, we come to you in silent prayer, seeking only to love you and adore you beyond all words and thought. Grant us the grace to long for you with such humble desire that we return to the fountain of your mercy, each and every day. Foster in our hearts quiet confidence, that […]

Mepkin Abbey

I’m so excited to be leading a retreat at Mepkin Abbey, the Trappist Monastery in South Carolina. This will be the first retreat I’ve led at Mepkin, and our topic will be one of my favorites: the Spirituality of Celtic Christianity. If you’re not familiar with Mepkin, it is a small but vibrant community of monks, with beautiful liturgy and a gorgeous setting, north of Charleston (you can see the city skyline from the riverbank). Mepkin has a small guesthouse and this retreat will likely fill up quickly, so if you’re interested, register now.

Date: March 16, 2018—March 18, 2018
Event: Celtic Spirituality Retreat at Mepkin Abbey
Topic: Celtic Spirituality
Sponsor: Mepkin Abbey
Venue: Mepkin Abbey
(843) 761-8509
Location: 1098 Mepkin Abbey Rd.
Monck's 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.

When we trust God more, we can afford to relax our self-centered worried efforts to take care of ourselves. In the same movement, we trust our own preconscious feelings and intuitions more. It becomes easier to see the good side of things. They are more available to us, anyway, once we have learned (by meditation or in some other way) to empty the mind and senses of surface strivings and noisy trivia. We have “sold” what usually fragments our attention and divides our energy, so that we can “buy” the beckoning field where our real treasure is to be found.

Carolyn Gratton
The Art of Spiritual Guidance (New York: Crossroad, 1992), p. 105

The Future of This Blog

Where I hope to take it in 2018

Hello friends! I hope 2017 has been good to you. This year I’ve survived two tropical storms (an unnamed one when we were vacationing in Florida in June, and then the remnants of Hurricane Irma when it blew through Atlanta a few weeks ago), did some nifty traveling (check out the pictures from our trip […]

Has it ever occurred to you that Jesus, the master in the art of prayer, would take the trouble to walk up a hill in order to pray? Like all great contemplatives he was aware that the place in which we pray has an influence on the quality of our prayer.

Anthony de Mello S.J.
Sadhana (New York: Image Books, 1978), p. 68