Blog

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Seven Reasons to Pray the Divine Office

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Everyone knows that monks devote their lives to silence, but also to daily prayer and chanting. Monastic prayer occurs at fixed-hours throughout the day. The rota of Psalms, canticles, scripture readings, antiphons and other prayers that incorporate this daily liturgy is known as the Divine Office (or the Daily Office, or the Liturgy of the Hours). Praying the Divine Office is central to monastic...

Seven Reasons to Pray the Divine Office

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Everyone knows that monks devote their lives to silence, but also to daily prayer and chanting. Monastic prayer occurs at fixed-hours throughout the day. The rota of Psalms, canticles, scripture readings, antiphons and other prayers that incorporate this daily liturgy is known as the Divine Office (or the Daily Office, or the Liturgy of the Hours). Praying the Divine Office is central to monastic...

What Are We Afraid Of?

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I’ve been reading Bill Bryson’s charming and delightful book on the English language, The Mother Tongue, and ran across this delicious tidbit: English speakers dread silence. We are all familiar with the uncomfortable feeling that overcomes us when a conversation palls. Studies have shown that when a pause reaches four seconds, one or more of the conversationalists will invariably...

The Three Advents

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Advent is almost over. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, and the season of Christmas begin the day after that. Even though the Christmas season is technically shorter than Advent, it always seems to me that Advent is way too short. Maybe that’s because this is a time of much secular hustle and bustle, as we strive to finish our holiday shopping, participate in various end-of-year parties, and so...

How to Find a Contemplative-Friendly Church

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Spirituality is all about love, and love only exists in relationship. Therefore, spirituality is healthiest when it is expressed in a communal way. For better or worse, this means — at least for followers of Jesus Christ and the Christian contemplative/mystical path — finding some sort of church or other faith community. That’s not always easy. Frankly, many churches are indifferent, or...

Does Union with God mean Losing Your Self?

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“If the goal of the contemplative is union with God, does the individual begin to disappear and lose his or her unique self (personality, emotions) in pursuing this goal?” The above question came to me in an email from a reader of this blog. It’s a huge question and I’m not sure a single blog post can do it justice. But I’ll give it a try. St. Bernard of Clairvaux...

My Wonderful Book Covers

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As an author (especially as a spiritual author), I always have to walk a fine line: the nature of marketing means I need to be promoting my books, but the nature of humility means that I may not brag about them. At least, not about the text, which is to say, the content that I created. But my books are more than just my work. Every book represents the labor and creativity not only of the author...

Deeper into the Heart of Christ

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Over the past year I have become interested in the topic of “Christian leadership.” People who are in a leadership position in the Christian community — whether clergy, consecrated religious, or lay leaders — who are they? What makes them leaders? Where do Christian leaders take the rest of us? How do we identify a “good” leader? That sort of thing. It’s an...

A Quick Word

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Friends, you may have noticed that I’m not posting much lately. Don’t worry, that’s only a temporary situation. I am currently focussed on writing my next book, which will be a companion volume to The Big Book of Christian Mysticism. It will be published in late 2016 or early 2017. I’ll say more about it when we get closer to the publication date. I should be back on a...

#1 on Amazon!

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Okay, I know this is a “big fish in a small pond” moment. Indeed, it’s a VERY small pond. But still! Over the last 24 hours, Befriending Silence (which will be published in four weeks) has been listed as Amazon’s “#1 New Release in Christian Monasticism & Asceticism“! Woo hoo! My little book on Cistercian spirituality has topped several books by authors I...

Five Things I Learned From Phyllis Tickle

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September 2015 has turned out to be a rough month, at least for awesome Anglican writers. First Kenneth Leech passed away on the 12th, and just ten days later Phyllis Tickle followed him into the silence of eternity. That’s two authors I considered role models, both of whom warmly supported my own work. In fact, my forthcoming book Befriending Silence will feature an endorsement from...

Thirteen Characteristics of Healthy Spirituality

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Following the passing of Anglican contemplative theologian Kenneth Leech, I’ve been revisiting several of his books. In the back of his book True God: An Exploration in Spiritual Theology is Leech’s manifesto “Toward a Renewed Spirituality.” It’s an important statement that deserves wide consideration. Ken offers thirteen points that he considers essential for the...

Carl McColman

Soul Friend and Storyteller. Lay Cistercian, Centering Prayer Presenter, Author, Blogger, Podcaster, Speaker, Teacher, Retreat Leader.

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