Sunday, June 21, 2015

Life in a Hermitage

One week ago, I began an new adventure – while on retreat with my brothers and sisters in the Lindisfarne Community I took vows to deepen my commitment to a life of prayer, study, and contemplation, declaring my home to be the Wild Goose Hermitage of the Lindisfarne Community.  It was not what I’d ever expected to be or to do, after all, I’m married with step-children and grandchildren, I teach at a small college, and have friends and relations from California to Northumberland.  What does it mean for a 21st century Christian to commit to a life of contemplation?

Thursday, June 4, 2015

God and Human Bodies

I recently wrote about the cultural and spiritual challenges surrounding women’s bodies.  That essay was prompted by the appearance of the movie version of 50 Shades of Grey, and the implication that sexual violence was somehow enticing or desirable.  In it, I quoted my abbot, Andy Fitz-Gibbon, who wrote, “Violence is always a failure to love.”  I agree, and I believe that statement applies to physical violence perpetrated against another, such as rape, or emotional violence visited upon oneself, as in criticizing every bite we take or day we do not exercise.  I also believe it applies to the standards of beauty to which women in our culture are held.