“At this present moment, we know who we are, we know the world we want, but what is the world we have? What is possible now, and what is hopeful thinking? Using the patterns of history, how do we see more clearly in order to act more wisely? Who do we choose to be as we face reality, claim our role, and offer more sanity to this world?” Dr Meg Wheatley has worked globally in many different roles: a speaker, teacher, community worker, consultant, advisor, formal leader. In this challenging hour long video she describes how ‘clear seeing’gives us the capacity to better serve the people and causes we care about.
Poetry has been described as capable of making one into a tuning fork of the Divine. Journey with Jesus is a weekly webzine of the global Presbyterian Church, which includes a a poetry section offering over 300 poems by writers as diverse as Teresa of Avila, GK Chesterton, John Donne, Thomas Aquinas, Seamus Heaney, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Mary Oliver, and many, many more.
Christian Meditation Ireland (CMI) is part of The World Community for Christian Meditation, which continues the work initiated 40 years ago by the Benedictine monk, John Main, in renewing and sharing the ancient path of contemplative prayer. This ecumenical movement - the "monastery without walls" - is today present in 114 countries, with 100,000 people in 2,000 meditation groups meeting weekly. The CMI website will help you find an Irish meditation group near you.
Lovely, contemplative choral music from St Frances de Sales Church in Ajax, Ontario: "We are a Catholic Choir that strives to sing beautiful, sacred choral music of all types (from Chant, Hymns, Taize and SATB anthems, to Contemporary, Gospel and Spiritual), all for the glory of the Lord."
Matthew Fox is an American Episcopal priest, a spiritual author and an activist for gender justice and eco-justice. He believes that “by reinventing work, education and worship we can bring about a non-violent revolution on our planet” and has committed himself to this vision for many years. His concept of ‘Creation Spirituality’ is a ‘green’ theology, emphasising a holy relationship between humanity and nature. Click here to sign up for his daily meditations.
For Trappist monk Thomas Merton, the “deeply spiritual life” meant the “experience” of God’s presence and love at all times, combining that with action in everyday life. This PBS programme provides an introduction to Merton.
Extensive archive of columns by author and journalist Dr Ron Rolheiser, president of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas. His popular weekly column is carried by almost 100 newspapers worldwide.
John the Baptist features prominently in Advent liturgical readings, as the Forerunner of the Messiah. This gigantic figure stands at the crossroads of salvation history. He represents both continuity and change. On one hand, he looks back to the tradition of the great prophets of the Old Testament. On the other, he is the harbinger of a new creation. Ten 8-minute films explore the life of this pivotal Scriptural figure through masterpieces in the National Gallery of London and beyond. To see John the Baptist through the prism of art, from birth to beheading, offers extraordinary insights into Christ's cousin and precursor.
Resources for those interested in pursuing a Benedictine way of living in ordinary life.
Karen Armstrong, religious historian and former Catholic nun, is a provocative, original thinker on the role of religion in the modern world. Her "Charter for Compassion" promotes a new kind of religious discourse that goes back to the core values of religion: every single religion is based on compassion and on the golden rule, first propounded by Confucius 500 years before Christ, “Do not do to others what you would not like them to do to you. Look into your own heart, discover what it is that gives you pain, and then refuse under any circumstance to inflict that pain on anybody else... This is civilization”. Listen here to her excellent TED talk.
Dutch priest, teacher and spiritual thinker, Henri Nouwen, touched millions of people worldwide with his moving lectures and his books. Nouwen eschewed dogma and judgment in favor of a personal, confessional style that affirmed a theology of the heart. This hour-long film, narrated by Susan Sarandon, provides an introduction to a remarkable and engaging man.
“We do not know how to pray”, says St Paul, “but the Spirit prays within us, deeper than words”. For the prayer of the Spirit of Jesus to well up in our hearts, flood our hearts, and overflow in us, we have first to become still, to concentrate. Benedictine monk, Laurence Freeman, who heads the ecumenical World Community of Christian Meditation, introduces the ancient and simple practice of meditation.
On Being is a Peabody Award-winning public radio conversation and podcast, a Webby Award-winning website and online exploration, a publisher and public event convener. On Being opens up the animating questions at the center of human life: What does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live? We explore these questions in their richness and complexity in 21st-century lives and endeavors. We pursue wisdom and moral imagination as much as knowledge; we esteem nuance and poetry as much as fact.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German Lutheran pastor who was executed by the Nazis for resisting Hitler's totalitarian regime, left a rich theological legacy. One of his books, The Cost of Discipleship, is considered a classic of Christian thought. In it, he distinguishes between “cheap grace” and “costly grace.” “Cheap grace,” he wrote, “is the grace we bestow on ourselves...grace without discipleship. Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again.... It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life.” Click here to access a short and beautiful visual distillation of this teaching.