Blog

I write about spirituality, spiritual direction and everyday places where I find God.

Welcome Advent!

By now you’re either in the Advent spirit of welcome and waiting, or you’ve skipped ahead to the Christmas spirit with its hustly-bustly feeling of overwhelm—too much to do and never enough time to do it. You do have a choice: be present to Advent’s time of waiting and preparation. Or focus entirely on the race to Christmas. I had a choice this morning whether or not to go to Zumba. Normally I love Zumba, but I was expecting a crowded room and boring routines that no longer challenge me. I really didn’t want to go. Goodbye, expectations! Welcome, new Zumba teacher! The room was still crowded, but this perky teacher led us through refreshing new routines. She actually demonstrated some of her steps before the music started. New can be challenging but in a good way because it makes my brain work harder to follow the steps. What I was expecting to be the same-old turned into something challengingly fun. On the drive home from the gym, I thought of this passage from Isaiah, “Behold, I make all things new.” Advent is a time to be and do something new. It’s not only a time to bring out your Christmas finery, but also a time to clear out some old ways of relating to God. As the first four weeks of the new liturgical year, Advent offers plenty of time to practice some new resolutions. If the familiar way you’ve been relating to God—and others—seems like a boring routine, then maybe it’s time to change things up and do something new. Some suggestions: Read a spiritual book and reflect on it. One of my favorites, Henri Nouwen, comes to mind. He is easy... read more

Meet the Enneagram

Last week an article I wrote about the Enneagram was published on The Change Blog. It didn’t seem to generate much buzz, and I was disappointed.

Then I realized that the Enneagram isn’t exactly a household word. In fact, when I bring it up in conversation, most people say, “The what?” After I explain a bit, they usually ask, “And how do you spell that?”

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The Person God Intended Me to Be

“Humility consists in being precisely the person you actually are before God, and since no two people are alike, if you have the humility to be yourself you will not be like anyone else in the whole universe. ” ~Thomas Merton

We often want to be someone other than we’re not. Or we compare ourselves to others and come up short.

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Happy Birthday, Thomas Merton

Today is the 101st birthday of Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk and author of more than 70 books and 2,000 poems. Merton also kept a personal diary that spanned much of his lifetime, and seven of his journals were published posthumously.

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Honoring Care of Creation Day

Pope Francis has designated September 1 as a World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, following the release of his encyclical this summer, Laudato Si (Praise Be to You). In this document, the Pope urges all of us to take urgent action to care for and save God’s creation.

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Signs and Wonders Are Everywhere

Spiritual direction can help you see what’s right in front of you. I wrote this poem-prayer after a walk through my neighborhood. You don’t have to walk far to see Divine signs.

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Green Cars, Yellow Butterflies and God

One of the first exercises of E Squared by Pam Stout is to notice green cars and yellow butterflies. This exercise is supposed to make you aware that you see what you look for.

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