A cuppa tea with…Thomas Merton, Contemplative Prayer

Silent Meditation vs Empty Chatter In this chapter Thomas moves further into meditative prayer...what it is and certainly what it is not.  He encourages us that interior prayer is simple, silent, and often expressed through small acts.  He cautions us that we convince ourselves that to have a "true prayer life" we must be engaged … Continue reading A cuppa tea with…Thomas Merton, Contemplative Prayer

A cuppa tea with… Thomas Merton, Contemplative Prayer

Inertia.  Coldness.  Confusion. Thomas speaks of these as we all experience them at some point (or many points) in our prayer life.  What do we do when faced with these empty spaces, these times when nothing seems to matter and nothing gains traction? He warns that this might be a time when we have separated … Continue reading A cuppa tea with… Thomas Merton, Contemplative Prayer

A cuppa tea with… Thomas Merton, Contemplative Prayer

  Thomas suggests instead of seeking a "method" of prayer, we should choose a "life" of prayer.  It should be intentional behavior to life and not akin to the enthusiasm of acquiring a new skill.  God calls us to life with HIm; prayer is that response.  In meditation we face the harsh realities of ourselves and … Continue reading A cuppa tea with… Thomas Merton, Contemplative Prayer

A cuppa tea with… Thomas Merton, Contemplative Prayer

Thomas mentions the various forms of contemplative prayer including psalmodia, lectio, oratio, contemplatio.  These prayers are a way to turn from the world to God, but "to separate meditation from prayer, reading, and contemplation, is to falsify our picture of the monastic way of prayer."  Singing hymns and songs of praise, sharing in the liturgy, and … Continue reading A cuppa tea with… Thomas Merton, Contemplative Prayer

my fault, my fault, my most Grievous fault

  Nestled amongst the major prophets of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel lies the small but powerful book of Lamentations.  While the prophets offer the dooming judgment of Almighty God upon Israel and Judah, trapped within the chaos and devastation of their own making, Lamentations allows a glimpse of the raw, exposed emotions of Jerusalem … Continue reading my fault, my fault, my most Grievous fault

Summer Camp was SOOOO Long Ago!

  Why is it so difficult to rouse children from their beds during the year for school, yet they spring out of bed and dash outside quicker than you can say “Jack Sprat” during the summer months?  There is an enthusiasm for summer:  freedom!  New adventures to be had, vacations to take, visits with grandparents, … Continue reading Summer Camp was SOOOO Long Ago!

I’m suffering… Where’s the protection??

  1 Peter 13-9 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,  who … Continue reading I’m suffering… Where’s the protection??

“Hello! My name is Chad!” squawked God.

  Last week, when I was doing a residency week at Nashotah for my next course, some friends of mine and I were invited to share supper with a resident and her husband.  When I walked in, I immediately heard the phone ring several times and wondered why no one attempted to answer it. As … Continue reading “Hello! My name is Chad!” squawked God.

Last McGrath and a Smidge of Eschatology

  In completion of McGrath’s Christian Theology, he discusses the doctrine of the church and the sacraments, Christianity against the backdrop of world religions, and eschatology. First, McGrath presents the populations of the church through the ages.  Isidore states the church is “‘the assembly of saints joined together by correct faith and an excellent manner … Continue reading Last McGrath and a Smidge of Eschatology

Skeezer wants an Abe of Kibbles and Bits

  Are you addicted to religion? As some may know, I have become disillusioned (Ha! interesting word considering what I'm about to say...) with evangelical, emotion-laden, mega church environments that seem to be taking over the Christian world in these last several years.  I do not agree with a church environment that attempts to illicit … Continue reading Skeezer wants an Abe of Kibbles and Bits

“And Job died, an old man, and full of days.”

  My Systematic Theology class had an online discussion thread going last week regarding the reading for Alister McGrath's Christian Theology.  The thread began with a question of natural catastrophes on the planet and where God is (if anywhere) in that event.  McGrath speaks of "influence and persuasion" regarding God's nudging man to righteousness.  Numerous … Continue reading “And Job died, an old man, and full of days.”

Can You Say That a Bit Slower This Time

  Two chapters from Alister McGrath’s Christian Theology: An Introduction focuses on the doctrines of God and of the Trinity. The first concern addressed is the doctrine of God.  McGrath offers the minor theory that God might not be male and quickly moves forward.  He identifies the “personhood” of God through such philosophers as Tertullian, … Continue reading Can You Say That a Bit Slower This Time

Watch out

  Continuing with Allen’s and Springsted’s Philosophy for Understanding Theology, the last two chapters discuss the issues within postmodern philosophy as well as its ethical concerns. A working definition of “postmodern” cannot be framed without first a foundation of what “modern” philosophy is.  Modern philosophy must be objective and universal, and it must have guidelines … Continue reading Watch out

Just Under the Wire!

  In Allen’s and Springsted’s Philosophy for Understanding Theology, chapters 7 through 11 builds upon the established philosophies of Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, and Barth.  They move to modern philosophies as methods for understanding how man assesses his relationship to The Divine. The authors illustrate in the seventh chapter through several approaches:  moderate realism, humanism, hierarchical … Continue reading Just Under the Wire!

Kenosis

  It's Tuesday, right?  My mind is a jumbled mess!  Dimensions of theological study.  Sacred theology.  Natural theology.  Spiritual theology.  Philosophical theology.  Nothing moves outside of God = unmoved mover >>> Aristotle.  Recidivism vs. Relativism.  Fukuyama.  Adler.  Barth.  Solzhenitsyn.  Nietzsche.  Aquinas.  Lewis.  Pannenberg.  Jungel.  Plato.  The "mystery" of faith.  Wisdom of God (Truth).  Holiness of … Continue reading Kenosis

Is it really so difficult?

"I know I got really, really angry.  And I kinda feel bad about that.  But they really, really pissed me off!  And I was justified to get angry -- I really was justified!  *hands on hips for emphasis*  I don't think I should have to apologize.  Well, I'll just get them a small gift instead. … Continue reading Is it really so difficult?

Pope Francis as Time’s “Person of the Year”?

I read a post this morning on a website/blog I follow for youth ministers call MorethanDodgeBall.com.  This post questioned the reasons Pope Francis was named person for the year for one of two reasons:  "because of how he embodies Jesus Christ or because of how he embodies Jesus Christ in ways that are 'nice' and … Continue reading Pope Francis as Time’s “Person of the Year”?

Entropic Deterioration

Merriam-Webster:  entropy -- a degradation or running down or a trend to disorder. Chaos is a living, breathing, viable being hell-bent on one purpose:  to devour, to consume, to obliterate. We arise in the morning facing a new dawn, a fresh chance, a blank slate.  Clear.  Barrier-less.  Free. Smoke creeps along the edges of the … Continue reading Entropic Deterioration

The Bulkhead Did It!

  I’m in the airport looking forward to my return flight home to Montana.  I’ve got all my security items with me:  cell phone, books, planner, laptop, lip balm, cinnamon gum, small Americano.  I have had a wonderful Thanksgiving visit at my parents’ with Dad’s family visiting.  Too much food.  Lots of peace and quiet.  … Continue reading The Bulkhead Did It!