Spirituality of Shear Bolts

Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong …

Men Without Visions

So what choice remains?To be ordinary is no choice:It is the usual freedomOf men without visions. Thomas Merton Today we finish unpacking Thomas Merton’ poem “In the soul of the serene disciple”  and I remember a dance which never fails to bring bittersweet moisture to my eyes. My wife Kay and I had been ushered …

In His Emptiness

We come now to what I think is, for some,  the most problematic part of the Merton poem we have been unpacking for several weeks now,  but I think it is possibly the most powerful stanza of poem. Click here to read the poem in its entirety. Last week I dealt with the first part …

A Lucky Wind

I want to return to our discussion of the Thomas Merton poem, “When in the Soul of the Serene Disciple.”  If you have not read the full poem or need a refresher you can find the complete text here.  The previous stanza rings with relational tension as “Friends as well as stars are angry with …

A Small Thing

I sat on the ground having just been run over by an an escaping pig. Brushing its hoof prints from my shirt, I pulled out my phone and Googled, “Loading pigs.” Surprisingly, the search retrieved several videos, but my favorite featured an old, wrinkled farmer from North Dakota who pronounced with a twinkle in his …

Suburban Monasticism and the Four Nonnegotiable Pillars of the Spiritual Life

Even though it's been mostly wet and cool this week signs of spring are on the breeze.  Having trimmed the blackberries down to a few sticks per plant in January and leaving them for dead, at least in appearance, it is good to see green shoots forming on the bare canes. This will be the …