When You Pray…

The Gospel assigned for today contains the most familiar words of the Christian faith, the Lord’s prayer. The passage continues Jesus’ discussion about performative spirituality on which I commented last week. Jesus has just taught the disciples to be avoid flashy displays of their fasting, almsgiving, and prayer. And now he pushes on, teaching them … Continue reading When You Pray…

The Jesus Prayer

After a few weeks of practices involving the shifting seas of my thoughts and thoughts-about-thoughts, I returned this week to the firm and fertile ground of ancient Christian spirituality. Specifically, I turned to the quintessential prayer of the Christian East, known as the Jesus Prayer, which combines elements we associate with prayer (petition and language) … Continue reading The Jesus Prayer

Communion of Saints

After last week’s focus on the coming and work of the Holy Spirit, my thoughts this week naturally went to the people whose lives radiated with the Spirit’s energy, gifts, and fruit. This is a natural progression and, historically — in the East to this day and in the West until about the 8th century … Continue reading Communion of Saints

The Rosary

So far, the sacred practices I’ve explored here have all been ones with which I’ve had at least some experience. This week I’ve entered what is for me uncharted territory, a practice that is beloved by millions around the world, but has always confounded and confused me. This week, I am practicing praying the Rosary. … Continue reading The Rosary

Examination of Conscience

Lent is a time of a preparation and self-appraisal, a time to see as clearly as we can the lay of the land of our souls. One tool that I have found helpful in this process, whether in preparation for sacramental confession or just to be more aware of the business I have to do … Continue reading Examination of Conscience