An excerpt from an interview with Dr. James Finley, who left home at the age of 18 for the Abbey of Gethsemane (photo right) in Trappist, Kentucky, where Thomas Merton lived as a contemplative. Finley stayed at the monastery for six years, living the traditional Trappist life of prayer, silence, and solitude:
Question: We hear about “spontaneous experiences of awakening, ” but for some of us this concept doesn’t seem real. How common are these “awakenings, ” and what does it mean to be “faithful” to them?
James Finely: There are moments in life when there’s a visceral certitude that the “awakening” experience is real, and precious. By their very nature these moments are self-authenticating: that whatever the greater meaning of life is about, that I am now glimpsing something of that essence. There is an intuition that in this instant you are glimpsing the true nature of the one unending moment in which our lives unfold. Continue reading
A “ban the bomb” sign outside of the United Nations headquarters in New York City.
By Frida Berrigan, re-posted from Waging Nonviolence
When I was a young teenager, I would venture down to the basement where my father had his desk. He’d be plugging away at letter writing, or working on a talk or article. I’d wait quietly by his side for a few minutes before interrupting him to say goodbye, on my way to the movies or to meet up with friends.
He’d look at me with bright blue eyes and say something to the effect of: “You know what time it is, Freeds?” Continue reading
Desert Well by David Winnie, Creative Commons, 2008
Proper 7, Season After Pentecost
The biblical portrait(s) of Hagar include surrogacy, power, African identity, patriarchal family, enslavement, physical violence, pregnancy, migration, wilderness, water and the naming of God as one who sees. These are hard subjects and it would be easy to preach on another text. But when migrant bodies, mothers and children, are dying of thirst in the Arizona desert; when African refugees drown by the thousands in the Mediterranean; when corporations like Nestle, Kinder Morgan, and Dakota Access trample Indigenous women’s teaching that Water is Life; when the story of Isaac and Ishmael is used to normalize the Israeli occupation of Palestine; when overt acts of hatred against Muslims are escalating; and when white women’s complicity in criminalizing black bodies and exonerating murderous police is all but invisible, we cannot side-step this heritage that so profoundly speaks to our present. Continue reading
By Naomi Shihab Nye, Palestinian-American poet and author of fiction, essays and children’s books
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know Continue reading
Photo credit: Bayne Stanley
By Laurel Dykstra, Salal and Cedar
On May 29, Salal and Cedar and Fossil Free Faith organized “bike to worship week” and a blessing of the bicycles. Below is an article written by Laurel Dykstra for the Diocese of Westminster. Following the article is the order of service and intercessions.
Vancouver’s Christ Church Cathedral has a new bell tower but the bells ringing in the 120 year old church on May 29th were attached to the handle-bars of bicycles. With sacramental chrism oil, bicycle chain oil, holy water and prayers, Anglican Bishop Melissa Skelton, two priests, and a United Church Minister blessed bicycles, transit passes, and a host of people who are making an effort to reduce the environmental impact of their commute to worship.
While light from the stained glass windows colored their faces, a congregation of about twenty-five listened to a passage from Ezekiel about the prophet’s vision of a wheel within a wheel and they prayed for the safety of cyclists, fossil fuel divestment and the victims of climate disasters and wars for oil. Led by a cross and banners and the bishop with miter, crozier and cope, cyclists and pedestrians processed out of the church to a hospitality station on the street where they offered coffee, snacks, bike maps and “ride-by blessings” to commuters on the bike route outside. Continue reading