February 23, 2019

Another Look: Church Year Spirituality

Note from CM: In our worship service at church this morning, I will be continuing our series on “Why We Worship as We Do,” and our subject is the Church Year. The worship we practice each week is set within a larger annual calendar. This post, repeated and updated over the years, explains the benefits […]

Winter Spirituality III

Winter Spirituality III Thoughtful for Winter’s future sorrow, Its gloom and scarcity; Prescient to-day, of want to-morrow, Toiled quiet Memory. ‘Tis she that from each transient pleasure Extracts a lasting good; ‘Tis she that finds, in summer, treasure To serve for winter’s food. And when Youth’s summer day is vanished, And Age brings Winter’s stress, […]

Winter Spirituality II

Winter Spirituality II • • • The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy (1900) I leant upon a coppice gate, When Frost was spectre-gray, And Winter’s dregs made desolate The weakening eye of day. The tangled bine-stems scored the sky Like strings of broken lyres, And all mankind that haunted nigh Had sought their household fires. […]

Winter Spirituality I

Winter Spirituality I I have learned things in the dark that I could never have learned in the light, things that have saved my life over and over again, so that there is really only one logical conclusion. I need darkness as much as I need light. • Barbara Brown Taylor, Learning to Walk in […]

Happy New Year! — My January Playlist

Happy New Year! Here is my music playlist for January. It’s all about circles ’round the sun, a new creation in time, darkness and cold, love and loss, cabin fever, and finding the strength to pray and work for peace. • • • 1 Auld Lang Syne (James Taylor) 2 One More Circle (Peter Mayer) […]

A Meditation for the First Day of Winter from Peter Mayer

A Meditation for the First Day of Winter • My Soul by Peter Mayer There are a hundred billion snowflakes swirling in the cosmic storm And each one is a galaxy, a billion stars or more And each star is a million earths, a giant fiery sun High up in the sky, maybe shining on […]

Another Look: Merton – Before We Can Become Gods We Must Be Human

Thomas Merton contended that human beings have lost a great deal in modern, technological society. What we have gained in efficiency and productivity has, in many ways, sucked the humanity and spirituality from our inner beings. In this meditation from Seasons of Celebration, the monk laments that we have separated ourselves from intimacy with the […]

“Winter: A Dirge,” by Robert Burns

Winter: A Dirge By Robert Burns The wintry west extends his blast, And hail and rain does blaw; Or, the stormy north sends driving forth The blinding sleet and snaw: While tumbling brown, the burn comes down, And roars frae bank to brae; And bird and beast in covert rest, And pass the heartless day. […]

Another Look: The Contexts of Faith

Much Christian piety and spirituality is romantic and unreal in its positiveness. As children of the Enlightenment, we have censored and selected around the voice of darkness and disorientation, seeking to go from strength to strength, from victory to victory. But such a way not only ignores the Psalms; it is a lie in terms […]

Another Look: Living in God’s Story

Note from CM: For many in evangelical traditions, the celebration of a special season around Christmas leads into a long period before the next special season of the church around Holy Week and Easter. There is little appreciation for seasons such as Epiphany. In my opinion, this is a great loss, for it is in […]