I am an adult child of an addict. Though true, it sounds strange to say it, since I’m 69 years old, and hardly feel or look like a child. And in a deeper sense it is no longer true—which is what I’d like to tell you about.Read More Post a comment (0)
What is the connection between art and healing? Why is it so easy to observe, to describe the healing influence of art, but so often hard to pin the meaning down? Questions like these—some with answers, some still unanswered and unanswerable—are part of my own continuing quest to understand the connections.Read More Post a comment (0)
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Satiated with consumerism, technological gizmos, and frenetic activity, people of all stripes are exploring the mystical realm. We
all resonate with moments of elevated wonder triggered by a beautiful sunset, rapturous music, or the birth of a baby. In a depersonalized age, image bearers are searching for relationship with something or Someone larger than themselves that will ease
the dullness of daily life and energize the soul. Christians, in particular, hunger for more intimate experience of Jesus Christ and
greater awareness of the Spirit’s ministry within.
From where inside are you reading these words right now? If you are reading from your thinking mind alone, then what you
see will be run through the sieve of your mind’s refl ective categories and conditioning. What you see will also be affected by the
mind’s “ego coating,” its often unconscious way of skewing the words’ meanings to fi t its protective desire for the familiar and
Thomas Aquinas is a man of mystery. Born into a wealthy, powerful family he chose the simple life of a poor friar. He was a large lumbering man whose classmates labeled “the dumb ox.” Yet he proved himself quick of wit and the possessor of a brilliance so rare that his voice has been heard “bellowing across the ages.”Read More Post a comment (0)
Knowledge—not faith, mere true belief, or one’s tradition—is what gives people the right to act and teach responsibly and with authority. We give dentists, not accountants, the right to fix our teeth because we take them to have the relevant knowledge. We receive the ideas of Willard, Foster, and Nouwen because we take them to know what they are talking about. When contributors to this journal share their spiritual experiences, we readers take them to know at least what their experiences actually were. Without such an assumption, we would have no confidence in their descriptions of their own
experiences. Imagine a writer saying that he did not know what his own experience of forgiveness
was like, but he was going to describe it to us anyway!
Hospitality has fallen into hard times these days. Worse yet, the commercial world has picked up the word and used it for its own ends—such as the phrase “hospitality industry,” which refers primarily to hotels and convention centers. There’s nothing wrong with commerce—that is, we need thriving businesses for our economic growth. But Christian hospitality goes a bit deeper than making money off of people you don’t know and never will see again. To me, this is an abomination of the word’s meaning, far too shallow to capture the ancient biblical vision. I would like Christians to reclaim the word for what we do in our homes and churches.Read More Post a comment (0)
Friday. The small square on the calendar is empty. No appointments. No job site meeting with my client and the architect. No phone calls to make. No need to leave the house. Empty square days are the days when I can sit in the black leather armchair in the living room for as long as it seems good. These are not ordinary days when my time is cut short by the note in the appointment calendar.
My place of prayer is in this room. My prayers meander and wander prompted by the view out the window, the reading of Scripture, and the reproduction of Rublev’s icon of the Old Testament Trinity painted by my friend, Dan Cassis.Read More Post a comment (0)
One cannot think of Andrei Rublev, the Orthodox monk who at the turn of the fifteenth century produced this icon near Muscovy, the precursor to modern-day Moscow, without also thinking of his spiritual abba and mentor Sergius of Radonezh. Their stories are as entwined as that of a boy and his father.
With this in mind, a particular event from Sergius’s childhood is worth recounting. Sergius was a good and earnest student, yet he struggled to read, says his hagiography. But one momentous day a starets, a spiritual elder, visited him and gave him holy bread. From this day on Sergius could read. Christians soon adopted the belief that this visitor was, in fact, an angel. It is not difficult to see possible linkages between this event in Sergius’s life and the icon Rublev created decades later. Notice the Trinity is presented as three angels (the text that informs this image, Genesis 18:2, refers only to “three men”), offering us holy bread.Read More Post a comment (0)