Twelve years ago, I conducted an experiment to find out if I was called to a life of ordained ministry in the church. The context of the experiment was the first Montreal Ministry Internship (or Challenge as it was called then), an intensive summer discernment program for young adults that was run by the Montreal Diocesan Theological College.
Don’t do it. This was the message delivered in December by the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order (IASCUFO) when the Canadian church sought its opinion about amending canon (church law) to allow the marriage of same-sex couples.
“The Lord is a man of war,” says the book of Exodus, and those six words inform the new dramatization of the mass exodus of 400,000 Jews from their captivity in Egypt around 1300 BC. In Exodus: Gods and Kings God tells Moses “I need a general.”
Not many books use a potato to explain spiritual wholeness but Father Luke Bell manages to do this and more inThe Meaning of Blue: Recovering a Contemplative Spirit. As a monk-priest at Quarr Abbey on the UK’s Isle of Wight, Bell is well placed to teach us about contemplation and potatoes.
In recent years, it has been more widely recognized that there are a number of not immediately recognized costs to participation in war. Post-traumatic stress disorder is the most well-known and understood psychological war wound, but a new category of psychological war injury has emerged: moral injury. This refers to the negative consequences of observing and participating in the massive and systemic moral breakdown associated, especially, with war.
The world seems full of conflict, even warfare, associated with religion today.
As Mary and Joseph say, “Yes, his name is Jesus,” Simeon takes the child in his arms and blesses God saying, “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel” (Luke 2:29–32).
The kitchen at our church has a pass-through window with a bird’s-eye view of one of the children’s ministry spaces. During Vacation Bible School last August, within earshot of this open space, I was chopping candy bars and other build-your-own sundae ingredients while listening to the morning’s carpet conversation.
January 31 marks the 100th anniversary of Thomas Merton’s birth. In the same way that people remember where they were when John Kennedy was assassinated, I can recall with intense clarity the moment I discovered Merton.
In the Book of Genesis we read of a covenant between God and his people. "As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you" (Genesis 9:9).