Category Archives: Spirit

An Art Show and an Old Friend’s Vocation

I recently went to an exhibit of paintings by Franklin D. Speyers, one of my college roommates. Frank currently has a show entitled “West of the Imagination” at the Center Art Gallery of Calvin College, the school where we both … Continue reading

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True Solitude

In his book New Seeds of Contemplation, Trappist monk Thomas Merton wrote of the spiritual benefits of solitude. He notes, though, that not everything that looks like solitude is genuine: “There is not true solitude except interior solitude.” Just getting … Continue reading

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Among the Stones (Far from the Madding Crowd)

It’s been a contemplative summer. I read a book on Centering Prayer, a contemplative form of Christian prayer, and have tried to incorporate aspects of it into my spiritual practice. I’ve been slowly working my way through New Seeds of … Continue reading

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Finding Immortality

How long do you want to live? It’s not that we can determine how many years we will be on this earth, not exactly. We do have something to do with it, though. Most obviously, we can take care of … Continue reading

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The Silver Lining While Waiting for Healing

I’ve had a difficult time of it recently. Though the surgery I had in February was successful, I was rehospitalized a couple weeks later with complications. Urine was leaking into my abdomen, causing severe pain. The doctors fitted me with … Continue reading

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A Wineskin in the Smoke

I had surgery a week ago. I had only undergone surgery under general anesthetic once before, an outpatient surgery about fifteen years ago. This time, I had a cancerous body part removed, meaning I was unconscious for longer than during … Continue reading

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Thinking About Cancer: Metaphors

I’ve been blogging recently about cancer. This topic has been on my mind since I am about to have my cancerous prostate removed. One thing I have been reflecting on is culture’s dominant metaphor for dealing with life-threatening illness. I’m … Continue reading

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“Sit In Your Cell As In Paradise”

I recently ran across the Brief Rule of the Camaldolese order, part of the Benedictine family of monastic communities. The first Camaldolese community was established by St. Romuald, an Italian monk, about a thousand years ago.  I was particularly struck … Continue reading

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Lessons from a 93 Year Old

Carolyn at Beauty Beyond Bones recently wrote about an encounter with an old man at church. He arrived late, sat next to her, and created a fuss while trying to settle in and get caught up with the service. Carolyn … Continue reading

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Bloom Anyway

This spring, I planted sunflower seeds in my mom’s yard. I planted them in three places: in the backyard, alongside the driveway, and in a mostly-fenced garden area. The seedlings soon pushed their heads out of the dirt, then grew … Continue reading

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