A Gift From Saint Nicholas

A Gift From Saint Nicholas

Archetypes, Atheism, Buddhism, Christianity, Church, culture, dance, December, Enlightenment, Epiphany, faith, Four Quartets, God, Holy Mystery, Hope, Imagination, Literature, memories, monotheism, Mystery, Myth, Numinous, Poetry, praying with poetry, Religion, Skeptic, Spirituality, Stillness, T. S. Eliot, The Divine, Uncategorized, Waiting
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

Shepherd Me, O God – Prayerful Tuesday

anger, Blessings, Change, Chanting, Comfort, comforter, Compassion, conflict, courage, Creation, Creator, entering into suffering, faith, faithfulness, Fear, forgiveness, generosity, Grace, Gratitude, Grief, hate, Holy Mystery, Hope, inner peace, Joy, kindness, mercy, news, Pain and Suffering, peace, Poetry, prayer, Psalm, remembrance, Rest, Shepherds, spiritual practice, Stillness, Uncategorized, violence
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

Audientes Divina, or Hearing God – Prayerful Tuesday

At-One-Ment, awareness, Blessings, Chanting, Comfort, Creation, Creativity, creator senses, gift, God, Grace, Gratitude, Healing, Hebrew Scripture, Holy Mystery, Hope, inner peace, Journaling, journey, life, listen, meditation, meditation with music, mindfulness, music, Mystery, peace, prayer, praying with music, Psalm, reflection, Rest, spiritual practice, Stillness, The Divine, Uncategorized, Voice of the Divine, wonder
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,