“One need not be a contemplative monk in a remote monastery to be overwhelmed by a sense of human inter-connection.”

Jim Forest was an activist and author, but more than anything he was a man of relationship and ritual. To know Jim was to know his family, his partner Nancy Forest-Flier, to feel his friendship, and to see the countless ways he saw and loved the world with great wonder. Jim looked and listened withContinue reading ““One need not be a contemplative monk in a remote monastery to be overwhelmed by a sense of human inter-connection.””

Maybe it’s time for me to let go of Thomas Merton

Today marks 53 years since Merton died in Bangkok, Thailand. I wrote the following article originally published by The Christian Century on December 6, 2021. “How can we be sure younger generations learn about Thomas Merton?” Every time I show Day of a Stranger, the documentary film I made about the Trappist monk, I’m asked some form of this question. ViewersContinue reading “Maybe it’s time for me to let go of Thomas Merton”

Time, Tenderness, and Terror: Reflections from a Hospital Chaplain

the presence of personhood and accompaniment is an offering beyond words. The statue of immovable presence and peace amid unfathomable loss is at best a sentiment.

“Now I will Disappear”

The fullness of liberation lies with the fullness of voices. And so long as I participate in perpetuating the domination of cis-white-male voices in spiritual leadership, I perpetuate slower movement toward the fullness of liberation for all people (shoutout to Womanist methodology).

Mysticism is a Riot

For today’s contemplative, looking only to the Desert Mothers and Fathers for examples of contemplation and mysticism is to dismiss half of what these things are. We must not fail to also look to yesterday and today’s Black and Brown contemplatives who have “turned the ‘inward journey’ into a communal experience.”

The Wall Between Grace & Domination

Parking along the street felt ordinary enough. Our group of seven got out of the car to see ourselves flanked between an everyday row of homes and the Arizona/Mexico border wall. What a strange thing to see amid a neighborhood. What a strange thing to opt traveling to. As we walked along the wall onContinue reading “The Wall Between Grace & Domination”

A Monkish Friendship: Fr. Charles Cummings, OCSO (1940-2020)

“The monastic night watch is good practice in the art of waiting, as we patiently look for the coming of dawn. Monks and nuns wait in the dark, longing for the light of dawn but unable to hasten its coming. No one can force the dawn or bring it about in any way. It dawnsContinue reading “A Monkish Friendship: Fr. Charles Cummings, OCSO (1940-2020)”

Be The Hope, Now

Islamophobia is not just a problem for Muslims, it is a problem for all of us. It is not the “job” of the marginalized, persecuted, or attacked group to solve the problem. To ask the even more deeply grieving “what do you need,” or “what can I do,” puts even more agony upon them. ThisContinue reading “Be The Hope, Now”

The Single Garment of Destiny

“…I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly,Continue reading “The Single Garment of Destiny”

(Another) Ode to Mary Oliver

That’s the big question, the one the world throws at you every morning. “Here you are, alive. Would you like to make a comment?” (Mary Oliver, Long Life, Forward) We’ve all been reading a number of poems by and tributes to Mary Oliver since her death on January 17, 2019. And, to be honest, that’sContinue reading “(Another) Ode to Mary Oliver”