Celebrating St. Gregory the Great

Today, March 12, is the feast of St. Gregory the Great also known, especially in the East, as St. Gregory the Dialogist because he wrote a book entitled The Dialogues in which he extolled the Italian saints. Gregory served as…

Advent, the Season of Necessary Endings – A Sermon on Mark 13:24-37

By now most of you probably know that the primary focus of my priesthood and ministry is the growth and development of our inner life. It’s the core of my preaching, teaching, and our life together at St. Philip’s. The…

Called to Become God: The Human Vocation

“I should be doing more,” she said. “I want to do more but I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what God wants me to do. What is God’s will for my life?” That’s how our conversation began.…

You Should Observe Silence

And therefore you should observe silence! In that manner the Word can be uttered and heard. For surely, if you choose to speak God must fall silent. There is no better way of serving the Word than by silence and…

Call to the Inner Life – Remembering Evelyn Underhill

Today the Episcopal Church remembers Evelyn Underhill. This post is from three years ago. However, the truth of Underhill’s words echo loudly. The Church needs more voices like hers and more lives, lay and ordained, like she describes.

Interrupting the Silence

Sometime around 1931 Evelyn Underhill wrote a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Cosmo Gordon Lang (1928-1942), about the inner life of the clergy. Her concern was that the multiplicity of the clergy’s duties had underhilldiminished some priests’ grounding in a life of prayer.

Underhill’s concerns are as relevant today, perhaps more so, as they were when she wrote the letter. However, we should not limit her concerns and proposals to only the clergy. They are equally applicable to the laity. The life of the Church and the life of humanity, lay or ordained, must begin within and arise out of a life of prayer.

The following are excerpts from her letter:

  • “Call the clergy as a whole, solemnly and insistently to a greater interiority and cultivation of the personal life of prayer.”
  • “The real failures, difficulties and weaknesses of the Church are spiritual and can only be remedied by…

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Spiritual Formation – The Missional Challenge and Future of the Church

I suspect that many parishes, priests, and lay persons may not consider spiritual formation as a means of or opportunity for outreach. Instead, parish outreach tends to focus on corporal needs such as hunger, homelessness, poverty, health care, visiting the…

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