What is Contemplation?

It's Hard to Put a Wordless Spiritual Practice Into Words

What is contemplation? Unfortunately, answering this question is tricky — for contemplation is like some other words in the English language, such as love or success or happiness.  In other words, different people use it to mean different things. Recently a reader named Daniel sent me this message: I’ve been gradually learning about contemplative spirituality for a couple of years now.  Throughout this […]

What Are We Afraid Of?

Reflecting on the Social Awkwardness of Silence

I’ve been reading Bill Bryson’s charming and delightful book on the English language, The Mother Tongue, and ran across this delicious tidbit: English speakers dread silence. We are all familiar with the uncomfortable feeling that overcomes us when a conversation palls. Studies have shown that when a pause reaches four seconds, one or more of […]

Better to Light a Candle (of Silence) than to Curse the Darkness (of Language)

Does language always limit the way we talk about, think about, or even pray to, God? This question has been on my mind for the past few days. This past weekend I attended a service at a nearby Episcopal Church. The liturgy came from Enriching Our Worship, a contemporary, inclusive language resource approved for use in […]