Friday, August 10, 2012


"Arise, O universe, and begin to hum the Lord's hymn, for the living Lord who cares about you has entered you."

St. Nikolai Velimirovich, Prayers by the Lake (XXVI)


Saturday, June 2, 2012

More on Logosmoi


I recently read that when you're trying to pray the prayer of silent presence to/with God, and you become aware of a thought, temptation, distraction, etc., the very fact that you're aware of it shows that it's already on its way out, and you are on your way back to your practice of presence! So why waste time ruing what is already basically behind you?


Saturday, April 28, 2012


It seems as though the Resurrection of Christ has forever transformed our experiences and interpretations of the basic, primary realities of "inside" and "outside."

Three instances of this (I'm sure there are many others):

--"Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.' Thomas said to him, 'My Lord and my God!'" (John 20:26-28)

--"...But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there. So they went back and reported,'We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside.” On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests were puzzled, wondering what would come of this. Then someone came and said, 'Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people.'" (Acts 5:22-23)

--"That is why you are no longer foreigners and outsiders but citizens together with God's people and members of God's family." Ephesians 2:19


Friday, March 30, 2012

Why the Bible Should Not Be Unweirded (as with Thomas Jefferson's Famous Endeavor with the Scissors)


In his book The Hidden Jesus, Donald Spoto speaks of passages of Scripture that are "indeed troublesome and embarrassing, but they ought not to be excised on that account...Censoring the Bible leads many people to believe that what is finally read ought to be accepted literally; that everything is set down to imitated; and that ancient writings can be read in precisely the same way as modern ones. This attitude, of course, is disastrous. It fails to understand that all human language is metaphor, and that the Word of God is set down in the words of men; these are by definition always limited words, conditioned by the exigencies of grammar, culture, history, politics, social factors....Not every position taken by an author of the Bible is inspired; it is the experience of the people of God that is inspired or guided--and the faith that is the result."


"Faces Are Motion"


Ten Second Essay #138:

Faces are motion, which is why all the photos of you are bad. Even the most natural-looking portrait is a sentence interrupted, one note of an aria, held. Though faces themselves hide a deeper motion. You seem to sit there and meet my eyes across the table, but you are so many other places, clinging here for a moment against all the currents that will soon sweep you onward. We are so moved by the faces caught in the windows of trains going the other way because they tell us how all faces really are.

— James Richardson By the Numbers


Tuesday, February 21, 2012



...those afflictive, tempting, harassing thoughts, images, temptations, etc.--like venomous stinging/biting insects always assailing us...

While reading a novel primarily set in a jungle, I found this passage:

"Marina brushed her hand across the back of her neck and dislodged something with a hard shell. She had learned in time to brush instead of slap, as slapping only served to pump the entire contents of the insect, which was doubtlessly already burrowed into the skin with some entomological protuberance, straight into the bloodstream." (from Ann Patchett's State of Wonder)

Gentle consistency, not force. As St. Augustine said, "With the hands of my heart, I brush these things away."


Thursday, February 16, 2012

"For the Unknown Self"


A good friend sent me this poem today:

For the Unknown Self

by John O'Donohue

So much of what delights and troubles you
Happens on a surface
You take for ground.
Your mind thinks your life alone,
Your eyes consider air your nearest neighbor,
Yet it seems that a little below your heart
There houses in you an unknown self
Who prefers the patterns of the dark
And is not persuaded by the eye's affection
Or caught by the flash of thought.

It is a self that enjoys contemplative patience
With all your unfolding expression,
Is never drawn to break into light
Though you entangle yourself in unworthiness
And misjudge what you do and who you are.

It presides within like an evening freedom
That will often see you enchanted by twilight
Without ever recognizing the falling night,
It resembles the under-earth of your visible life:
All you do and say and think is fostered
Deep in its opaque and prevenient clay.

It dwells in a strange, yet rhythmic ease
That is not ruffled by disappointment;
It presides in a deeper current of time
Free from the force of cause and sequence
That otherwise shapes your life.

Were it to break forth into day,
Its dark light might quench your mind,
For it knows how your primeval heart
Sisters every cell of your life
To all your known mind would avoid,

Thus it knows to dwell in you gently,
Offering you only discrete glimpses
Of how you construct your life.

At times, it will lead you strangely,
Magnetized by some resonance
That ambushes your vigilance.

It works most resolutely at night
As the poet who draws your dreams,
Creating for you many secret doors,
Decorated with pictures of your hunger;

It has the dignity of the angelic
That knows you to your roots,
Always awaiting your deeper befriending
To take you beyond the threshold of want,
Where all your diverse strainings
Can come to wholesome ease.