Christ is the Fruit of the Faithful

"You see that Mary did not doubt but believed and therefore obtained the fruit of faith. 'Blessed … are you who have believed.' But you also are blessed who have heard and believed. For a soul that has believed has…

The Seat of Arrogance or the Heart’s Desire?

James and John are looking for the best seat in the house. They want to sit next to Jesus, in his glory, one on his right and one on his left. That seat, however, is only for those for whom…

Urgent Need Makes A Real Meditation

“Habitual self-complacency is almost always a sign of spiritual stagnation. The complacent no longer feel in themselves any real indigence, an urgent need for God. Their meditations are comfortable, reassuring and inconclusive. Their mental prayer quickly degenerates into day-dreaming, distractions…

Room Enough, A Place for Everyone

The collect and readings for the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 20B, may be found here. The following sermon is based on Mark 9:30-37. “They had argued with one another who was the greatest.” We shouldn’t be too surprised. We’ve…

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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