Vision Quest, part I

According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, a Vision Quest is a solitary vigil by an adolescent Native American boy to seek spiritual power and to learn through a vision the identity of his guardian spirit. Native Americans believe that each human is put on this earth for a special reason.  That reason is not always clear to …

Once an Eagle …

The eagle wins! After several polls and multiple questions, our readers and subscribers — by no wide margin, but close enough to claim victory — have chosen.  If God allowed us to return to earth as a creature other than man, we would return as eagles!  That is certainly as good a choice as any. …

Free the Angel

Several years ago, one of my spiritual guides introduced me to the work and spirituality of Thomas Merton.  I continue to explore it every day.  His frequent reference to “point vierge” [literally translated as ‘the virgin point’] has been an important concept in my continuing quest to learn who I truly am.  Merton writes: “The …

The Sign of Peace

I practice Catholicism because it is right for me.  As we approach the International Day of Peace, I cannot help but think of a practice I enthusiastically perform each day I attend Mass at the Lady of the Desert Chapel at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks. Shortly after the congregation prays “The Lord’s …

International Day of Peace

This Wednesday, September 21, 2011 is the International Day of Peace.  First celebrated in September 1982, the United Nations declared September 21st as the official International Day of Peace in 2002.  Sadly, I would wager that most of us are not even aware of this event. Peace means more than the absence of war.  Peace …

A Plea for Giving

“When dealing with others, be gentle and kind …”  So wrote Lao Tzu as we posted several weeks ago when we presented verse 8 of the Tao Te Ching.  The more I think about that single sentence, the more I am moved to action.  A year ago, Deacon Ken McNealy, permanent Deacon of the Diocese …

Thomas Merton, Chief Yellow Lark and the Gifts of Sunrise and Sunset …

Oh, to be thankful for what we have and not rue what we do not have!  That is noble and worthy of the Vitruvian Man. I wish I knew more about Chief Yellow Lark.  Many months ago, I learned the Sioux prayer whose translation is attributable to him.  Yet search as I might, I find …

Confluence of Faith, Aldous Huxley and Ruth …

The Vitruvian Man seeks the confluence of faith, not its divergence.  This confluence is not difficult to find, and all religions teach it.  If we open our eyes, our ears, and our hearts, we will see it there.  Our objective is to fuel the universe with God and to do that, we must understand that …

Birds and Contemplation

I believe in the power of contemplation, that it can enlighten a mind and put a troubled soul at rest.  My original intent with this blog was to reflect on one of my favorite passages by Thomas Merton: “When no one listens to the quiet trees, When no one notices the sun in the pool …