All of us remain, always, on a spiritual pilgrimage.  Sister Faith Anthony’s reflections on the aftermath of her life profession in the Order of St. Helena speak eloquently to this:

On January 4, the Order of St Helena elected me to make my Life Vow, and I did so on March 19 at the Church of the Good Shepherd.

The service was lovely, and so was the reception. I was in the seventh heaven that night. Yet I had not really expected any change. Yes, now I am given the big cross, and the ring, but I had been under the temporary Vow for three years, and I had been living in the same Order for five years.

However, the next morning, when I entered the chapel, I felt, “This is different!” I felt that I had crossed an invisible threshold, and I am not the same person as the day before.

What I sensed was unspoken “acceptance” and “welcome.” God confirmed the call. I said “Yes” and the Order said “Yes.” Now I am in full service for God with these sisters for my life. The sisters received me as one of theirs in spite of all my shortcomings, trusting God’s intention and my willingness to grow. This is a pure gift. And I realize that what I vowed is a far deeper commitment than I had imagined, and now I have a huge responsibility to the Order.

The honeymoon period did not last long, (more…)

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Actually, when I wrote this sermon (for tomorrow) I titled it “Jesus Walks on the Water.”  but my sermon writing is somewhat stream of consciousness (often) and I ended up somewhere unexpected.  Reflecting on what I had written, I found myself thinking about how we, like Peter, walk on (or at least in) the waters of faith.  So here it is:

Be honest now.  What would you do – how would you react – if you were in the middle of a stormy lake, in a small boat, and you saw Jesus walking on the water towards you?

Or is this so common an occurrence that you don’t have to think about it? (more…)

Brother Adam also has a couple of nice pieces on simplicity.  In the first he says:

The new year is now launched. The Three Kings have visited the Child, observant Christians are packing away the Christmas decorations, and most new year’s resolutions are facing reality.

So I want to put in a word for a monastic value I want to last beyond its new year’s resolution shelf life for me: Simplicity

Then in the second he says:

Monastic spiritual writers all agree that this is a foundational principle for our life with God. The more you have, the more there will be between you and God.

Brother Adam writes about things that are irretrievably lost, except in memory, in his piece “The Death of Eurydice” in his blog.  You can find the whole thing here.  But to whet your appetite, here is where the penny dropped and he realized why he was resisting writing a piece: (more…)

It may be of no interest to anyone but me, but I started using The St. Helena Breviary last month.  I am, I guess, still an associate of the (Episcopal branch of the) Franciscans.  I have been for upwards of twenty years.  And for the last several years I have been using the pocket edition of Celebrating Common Prayer – an office book from English (Anglican) Franciscans. (more…)

Brother Adam has posted again! It’s his Ash Wednesday reflection for his community.  At one point he says:

In a way, then, Lent calls us to be “normal” — to remember our nature, that we are part of the earth and not lords of it, to remember our contingency and how close we are to death when we are in life. Such remembering also gives us a strong sense of the value of simple things, of nourishing food, of an unexpected kindness, of the usefulness of practical skills that can prolong our lives if we find ourselves shut out of what we had before and wandering without knowing what is next. It might give us a little more respect for the poor of our own time, whose survival skills might be worth studying. The current urgency may call forth skills we did not know we need.

Anyway, if you want to see more, click here.

My old classmate from seminary, Brother Adam McCoy, had a rather different (and thought provoking) reflection on the inauguration. It gave me plenty of food for thought. If you are interested, you can read it here:  “Different Values.”