Last week’s “Skeptic’s Collection” column probably seemed like my final word about why I never got the “hang-uv” Christianity, period. This week’s column is intended to provide a corrective gloss by way of a sequel. It is true that I never got the “hang-uv” institutional, creedal Christianity, and to that extent, and regarding that “dialect” of Christianity, that is indeed true. I never had, and still do not have, the “hang-uv” Christianity under that understanding. But a few years ago, while visiting the town of Galway, on the windswept west coast of Ireland, I had what I can only call a mystical experience – a term that, as a “para-professional skeptic,” you will know I do not use lightly -- that completely altered my orientation toward religion in general and Christianity in particu
Psalm 23:1-3 1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; 3 he restores my soul.*He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
In the last several months I have been struggling to find the calm midst the shootings in Umpqua, the deaths of those fighting wild fires, more shootings (at least one a week), floods, earthquakes, and all of the other disasters that seem to be all that is ever reported by news media. I know I will not find any meaning in any of these crises, so, I am looking for a way through the noise and pain I hear, read about, and feel within. Yesterday I found my still point when I happened upon the following poem written by grandfather:
Commentary on the 23rd Psalm
“In pastures green?” Not alway
Psalm 95:7 For he is our God, . . . O that today you would hearken to his voice!
In the last couple of weeks as I have been recuperating from back surgery I have listened to a fair amount of music. Music centers me and reduces the amount of pain I have which means I can take fewer pain meds and that means fewer side effects.
As I was listening one day to Barbers “Adigio for Strings” I realized I was practicing a form of Lectio Divina, I hadn’t noticed doing that before and since then have purposely practiced what I call Audientes (that’s Latin for hearing) Divina. I have discovered some interesting insights and, I must admit, a greater sense of being as I went deeper into the music, or rather the music went deeper into me.
So I don’t know if anyone else has ever practiced this before,