Interview with Carl McColman on Befriending Silence: Discovering the Gifts of Cistercian Spirituality

Colette Lafia recently interviewed me — we discussed Befriending Silence and the blessings of Cistercian spirituality — and the interview has now been published on her website. Click here to read it.

Colette, incidentally, is herself the author of a wonderful book shaped by Cistercian spirituality: Seeking Surrender: How My Friendship with a Trappist Monk Taught Me to Trust and Embrace Life.

Vatican Consultant: “All Are Called to Mysticism”

September 1, 2010

Here’s a little interview from a few years back with Carmelite Father Luigi Borriello, who is described as a Vatican consultant and theology professor. His language (which may suffer from translation) is a bit too “experiential” for my taste, and consequently some of this theology I might quibble with. But his overall message is really important: All are called to be mystics!

An Engaging Faith Podcast, featuring Carl McColman

On November 16, 2015 I appeared on “An Engaging Faith with Elizabeth Reardon.” We talked about my new book, Befriending Silence, and about my faith journey — from Protestant upbringing to adult seeking (in her very first question Elizabeth asked me about my Neopagan past), to my eventual embracing of both Catholicism and Cistercian spirituality. The show has now been archived as a podcast, so if you missed it live, you can still check it out here— just click on the link above.

Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta Speakers’ Bureau: Carl McColman

Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta Speakers' Bureau

I am pleased and honored that I have been listed with the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta’s Speakers Bureau, sponsored by the Institute for Ministry and Theological Education. I’ve been listed as a speaker available to address topics such as Christian spirituality, forming a personal rule of life, or the practice of contemplative prayer. Of course, my work is ecumenical in nature, so I invite event planners of all churches (and all locations) to stop by and learn more about my ministry as a speaker, teacher and retreat leader.

Integral Joy

Living Contemplatively (The Shalem Blog)
June 12, 2015

A phrase from the Lakota language, mitakuye oyasin, means “all are related” or “all my relations.” It’s a way of seeing: of recognizing that we exist not as some sort of isolated cells over and against our environment or are communities, but that our existence, our very lives, are indeed integrally bound up together with all other beings, with the world and the cosmos. We are all related. We are all connected.

This in turn reminds me of Julian of Norwich, who wrote “the fullness of joy is to behold God in all.” So not only are we connect to all, but that if we learn how to see, we can behold God in all to which we are connected. Read more…

Seeking Silence (with the Inner Room’s Kevin Johnson)

"Lost in the Cosmos" Blog, Patheos
May 12, 2015

Here’s a wonderful, in-depth interview with an honest-to-God contemplative theologian, Kevin Johnson, who is the founding director of The Inner Room, a Catholic lay association devoted to Christian contemplation and continuing theological education with an emphasis on works of compassionate service in the world. Kevin is the real deal, and shares with me a deep commitment to Jesus Christ along with a genuine interest in learning of the contemplative wisdom from other traditions, particularly Buddhism, but in a way that respects the distinctions and uniqueness of both paths. After you read this wonderful interview, be sure to follow him on Twitter at @johnsoxo.

Thomas Merton Exhibit at Pitts Theology Library

Pitts Theology Library
March 9 - May 15, 2015
Exhibit Catalog (downloadable as a PDF)

Exhibit Catalog (downloadable as a PDF)

Here’s a treat: follow this link to see the exhibit catalog for a wonderful Thomas Merton exhibit currently on display at the Pitts Theology Library of Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, here in Atlanta. The exhibit runs through May 15, and the library is open to the public, so if you’re in the area, by all means go. Lots of rare photographs and rare books on display, one of Merton’s diaries; an original watercolor painting by his father, and a special treat: several videos interviewing Fr. Matthew Torpey, OCSO, a Trappist monk of Conyers, GA, who knew Merton (the videos are on Youtube, so you can see them by clicking here). The main page of the exhibit, with text describing it, can be found by clicking here.

Study Guide on the Rule of St. Benedict for Christians Living in the World

Abbey of St. Walburga, Virginia Dale, CO

Here’s a PDF you might want to download.

I stumbled across this resource while doing some research to answer a friend’s question about the Rule of St. BenedictIt’s a fairly detailed study guide to the Rule, written by a Benedictine nun for oblates and other non-monastics.

I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I’ve glanced over it and it looks pretty good. I think it could be a blessing to Lay Cistercians or anyone who is trying to form their faith in Christ in the light of Benedictine spirituality.

Monastery of the Christ in the Desert

christ_painting_homeHere’s a link to a legendary website. When I first gained access to the internet in the mid-1990s, the coolest monastic website belonged to the Monastery of Christ in the Desert in New Mexico. This Benedictine community had created a home page that was beautifully designed and evoked the contemplative spirit of its community. It’s my understanding that the monastery’s website was one of the most highly visited sites of the time. It’s nice to see they’re still online, with a site that now feels a bit retro — but still lovely and easy to navigate.

Scapegoats and Peacemaking

Sand and Sky: Desert Voices
February 3, 2015

I’ve been thinking a lot about René Girard and the role that scapegoating plays in religion. This blog post from Catholic priest David Denny nicely sums up why this is such an important issue in our day, and what a contemplative response to the problem of scapegoating might look like.

Contemplation and Community

Contemplative Journal
December 9, 2014

Is contemplation a solitary act? Or does it need to be embedded in a supportive community to truly thrive? These are the questions I explore in my second article for Contemplative Journal.