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 pope from 590 until his death on March 12, 604. Though often seen as Augustinian many modern scholars now see Gregory’s pastoral, ascetic, and soteriological … Continue reading Celebrating St. Gregory the Great

Sermon, Mark 13:24-37, Spiritual Formation, Advent 1B, Season of Advent, End of the World, Fall of the Temple

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 inner life takes us from darkness to light. It means we are always trying to move beyond the world of external appearances to deep insight … Continue reading Advent, the Season of Necessary Endings – A Sermon on Mark 13:24-37

God's Will, Discernment, Deification, Theosis, Vocation

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. Her questions and statements are more than familiar to me. I have heard them or variations of them many times before. I have asked and … Continue reading Called to Become God: The Human Vocation

Silence, Presence, Lebh Shomea, Rumi

Silence, the Way Home

The 14th century Sufi poet and mystic, Rumi, wrote, “Return to the root of the root of yourself.”¹ His words remind me that I often live on the periphery or circumference of life, disconnected from the root of my being and existence. To “return to the root of the root” of myself means returning to myself, becoming more fully human, and entering the deep heart. … Continue reading Silence, the Way Home

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 by listening. If you go out of yourself, you may be certain that God will enter and fill you wholly: the greater the void, the … Continue reading You Should Observe Silence

Call to the Inner Life – Remembering Evelyn Underhill

Originally posted on 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 diminished some priests’ grounding in a life of prayer. Underhill’s concerns are as relevant today, perhaps more so, as they were when she wrote… Continue reading Call to the Inner Life – Remembering Evelyn Underhill

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 sick and imprisoned, and issues of justice. This most certainly must continue. It was a part of Jesus’ earthly life, a concern of the early … Continue reading Spiritual Formation – The Missional Challenge and Future of the Church

Inner Space: Journey to the Heart

What comes to mind when you hear the word “space?” Physical surroundings? The beauty of creation? The wide open spaces of West Texas? The final frontier and the voyages of the starship Enterprise? The Apollo missions, space shuttle flights? Yes, it is all this and more. We tend to think of space as a physical reality that is outside of us. We exist in and … Continue reading Inner Space: Journey to the Heart

Falling Up – St. John Climacus

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