What do spiritual practices do? Practice is how people develop the skills to become adept at anything. Music students practice their instruments. Gymnasts practice routines, yoga students practice poses, swimmers practice strokes, and tennis players practice their serves. Successful organizational leaders practice self-mastery and teamwork. Just as all these people practice to become more proficient, spiritual… Continue reading 23 Spiritual Practices Taught by The Rule of Benedict
At the intersection of reading and writing, in the spaces where listening, silence, prayer, and wonder happen--there is poetry. There, too, is where I find support for living as a Benedictine. Some months ago I decided that my blog will focus on "Reading, Writing, and the Benedictine way of life." Since then, I've been pondering… Continue reading Judith Valente–poet, journalist, and Benedictine oblate–on “How To Live”
On March 26, 2018, at the ‘March for Our Lives’ demonstration in Washington D.C., one of the march’s organizers, Emma Gonzalez, took the stage to speak against the insane notion that nothing can be done to protect us and our children from gun violence. People were shaken out of apathy and the #NeverAgain movement, organized… Continue reading The destruction of apathy: how Emma Gonzalez mobilized the tools of poetry to empower the #NeverAgain movement
Goodbye for now, friends. I’m soon going on another lenten journey and plan to return in early April. It’s common for people of diverse Christian traditions to “give up” something for lent. You could say I’m giving up social media, but this is more than a time of abstinence. For a Benedictine, lent is also… Continue reading Withdrawing from Social Media for Lent
The Spirituality Center at Saint Benedict’s monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota, has a labyrinth, which I am preparing to walk soon for personal and professional reasons. I suppose I could just drive over there tomorrow and walk it, but that’s not how I take journeys. I read up on the places I’m going because it… Continue reading Gailand MacQueen on the spirituality of mazes and labyrinths
Epiphany commemorates the visit of the Magi, or wise men who visited the infant child, whom the angels in Luke's Christmas story announced as "a Savior, Christ the Lord." They came bearing precious gifts. They were guided by a star to a divine manifestation, an awe-inspiring spiritual experience, the moment of aha—at last I see!… Continue reading Epiphany: a collaborative poem for the sixth of January by Almut Furchert and me
Yes, this headline is a parody of the vacuous 1981 Olivia Newton John hit song, Let's Get Physical. And yes, this might be a questionable way to headline the most serious-as-a-heart-attack post I've ever attempted to write. So maybe a better title to this, my gut-reaction to the recent, sickening news coming out of Charlottesville, Virginia… Continue reading Let’s Get Political; Let Me Hear Your Wisdom Talk!