Are you familiar with songlines? Songlines are a part of the aboriginal life. The aborigines tell a creation story in which creation ancestors wandered the continent singing out the name of everything that crossed their path – birds, animals, plants, rocks, caves, desert brush, waterholes – thereby singing the world and all creation into existence. It’s akin to Adam naming the animals (Genesis 2:19-20). The paths their ancestors charted are called songlines.
In every life there is a songline waiting to be sung. We all have one. We may each sing in different keys and use verses particular to our lives but it is the same song. It is the primordial melody of God carrying God’s eternal Word for each of our lives. Continue reading What Is The Songline Of Your Life? – A Sermon On Luke 1:46-55
We all have an Esau. Individuals, communities, parishes, religious orders, nations, you, and me – we all have an Esau. I am not talking about a literal Esau but a symbolic and metaphorical Esau. That does not mean, however, that Esau is not real. He is absolutely real. Esau is the face of our past guilts and regrets. Esau is the temptation to believe that we are not enough and we need to be someone or something else. Esau is our fear of the future. Esau is the one with whom we wrestle in the depths of our soul to discover our true name and identity, and to find the blessing that is uniquely ours. Continue reading Deliver Me From The Hand Of My Brother – A Sermon On Genesis 32:3-31
“There has never been a renewal of church life in western Christianity without a renewal of prayer and Religious Communities, in some form or another, often different.” – Justin, Archbishop of Canterbury, 7/5/13 In some ways the monastic has always stood as a counter-cultural symbol, a subversive immersed in what St. Benedict, in the Prologue to the Rule, called “a school for the Lord’s service.” The … Continue reading Episcopal Monastics, the Order of St. Helena
It seems to me that those who have fallen and are penitent are more blessed than those who have never fallen and who do not have to mourn over themselves, because through having fallen, they have pulled themselves up by a sure resurrection…. Nothing equals the mercy of God or surpasses it. To despair is therefore to inflict death on oneself. – St. John Climacus, … Continue reading Falling Up – St. John Climacus
In a previous post I mentioned Father Lazarus, a hermit on the mountain of St. Anthony. His life is one of detachment, silence, and solitude. Those things are not about absence but rather presence. They are practices and ways of life that open us to the very heart of God. They are interior conditions that we can each cultivate regardless of the exterior environment or … Continue reading The Last Anchorite
The following video (about an hour) is a BBC production documenting the journey of Father Peter Owen-Jones, an Anglican priest, to the monastery of St. Anthony in the Egyptian desert. Father Peter is going to the desert where “there’s no escape, there’s no distraction” and we face and deal with our “issues.” He will live alone in a cave for three weeks under the guidance … Continue reading Extreme Pilgrim – A Journey to St. Anthony’s Monastery
These are the seven rules of a monk: In the first place, as scripture says, “Love God with all your soul and all your mind.” Then, love your fellow human beings as you love yourself. Fast from all evil. Never pass judgment on anyone, for any cause. Never do evil to anyone. Discipline yourself and purge yourself from material and spiritual evil. Cultivate a modest … Continue reading The Seven Rules of a Monk