Today I’ve been reading about the gift of play, particularly as it relates to spiritual formation. There are the practices of Sabbath, prayer, work, exercise, study, meditation . . . and play.
It seems quite the odd concept to read about in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. In this time, play may seem, at best, something we should merely hope for in the future and, at worst, something we end up despising in the midst of carrying so much added responsibility.
I can pray and work. But play? Continue reading
Yesterday I wrote about a simple practice that can help in this time. It’s called the 5-3-1.
In this most challenging of times we find ourselves, I do believe it is important to create little rhythms in our lives. Small rhythms, simple rhythms (personal liturgy, if you will). Continue reading
I personally love to learn about, think about, read about, talk about spiritual formation. It’s a popular topic today, I understand that. I don’t want to be involved with this because it’s fashionable. Rather I’m drawn to it because of how my life is being transformed.
Spiritual formation, at its foundation, is about the forming of Christ in us by the Spirit of God. Eugene Peterson identifies it as such in his Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places. He notes it is “primarily what the Spirit does, forming the resurrection life of Christ in us.”
I believe one key aspect of spiritual formation is the call to slow down. Spiritual formation will be nearly impossible if we are constantly on the run, in a hurry.
We live in a world – both outside and inside the church – that calls us to do more and do it faster. And do it flashy as well.
Christian spiritual formation calls for us to slow our pace. Continue reading
A significant spiritual leader passed 23 years ago. These are some of the most powerful words I have heard or read from Henri Nouwen.
“Jesus never asked us to be productive. Jesus asked us to be fruitful.”
Watch the short video below. Continue reading
Just this week I finished reading Friend of the Soul: A Benedictine Spirituality of Work by Norvene Vest. Vest is a spiritual director and author who focuses much of her work on Benedictine spirituality. I was looking for some more resources around vocation and calling as I develop a new course called The Religious Dimension of Work, so this work was recommended to me by Chris Smith of the Englewood Review of Books.
Who is this friend referred to in the book’s title? It is work. Through the Rule of St. Benedict, Vest offers that work is to be our friend, a friend of the soul. For me, this was a beautiful, fresh insight!
Not that I don’t already know that work is good and all work of all types can be done to the glory of God. But seeing work as our friend calls us to see it as something very personal, very intimate. Even more, rather than seeing work as something we simply deal with or, worse yet, despise, I have come to better appreciate work as our companion of the soul. Continue reading