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Showing posts from August, 2013

It's not just a Cause: it's a Person

Lately I've been thinking again about something I'd read a few years ago: Think for a moment of someone you admire. It might be a political figure whose cause excites you. It might be a prominent businessperson, or a doctor or lawyer whom you respect. Think of some person whom you look up to. Have him or her in mind? Now imagine that person calling you up on the phone and asking you to get together for lunch someday. Just the two of you. At that lunch, he or she invites you to be part of an important and noble project that he or she wants to start. He or she wants YOU to be part of it, involved in it. Begin to let that thought play around in your mind, as a way of preparing you to think and respond to Jesus' call to the fishermen. Here's the point: It is not just a cause that stirs us. It is a person. Years ago, I heard about a talk given on stress at a management institute at Harvard Business School. It was about how executives an

A Simple Routine for Daily Prayer

Earlier this week, I was in conversation with a parishioner who asked if I had any suggestions for a basic structure or routine for daily prayer. When I gave her a photocopy of what I've been using the past several years, she said that there may be others who would find this resource helpful as well. So, with thanks to   Sacred Space (from which comes everything that is quotation marks), here it is: a modified version of what St. Ignatius of Loyola called "a daily examen." Step one: Recall that you are in the Presence of God. "What is present to me is what has a hold on my becoming. I reflect on the presence of God always there in love, amidst the many things that have a hold on me. "I pause and pray that I may let God affect my becoming in this precise moment." Step Two: Praying for Freedom       God is a God of freedom. Created in the image of God, we are meant to be free. "In these days, God taught me as

Oncoming Litigation and Our Road Ahead

Earlier this week, leaders of The Falls Church-CANA decided to continue litigating the now seven-year long case of who owns Episcopal Church property, notifying their congregation that they now plan to appeal their case to the Supreme Court of the United States.  Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of Virginia issued a unanimous ruling in favor of our Diocese and The Falls Church Episcopal and against the case of the so-called “break away” parish whose leaders attempted to claim Episcopal Church property as their own. It is all or part of that decision which is now being appealed. In response, I want to repeat, with some modifications, something I wrote about back in 2010, long before a call to serve as Rector of The Falls Church Episcopal was on my horizon, and then offer an observation about the way forward. I have long held a lot of respect for conservative parish leaders like my colleagues Tom Simmons (St. Peter’s, Purcellville) and John Sheehan (Our Redeemer, Aldie) and o

Falling In Love

Peter Arrupe, S.J., former Superior General of the Society of Jesus, said, "Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. "What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. "Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything." Last Sunday, we began our sermon series on the Lord's Prayer the way Jesus began the Lord's Prayer: with an astonishing reminder that the god to whom we are praying - the Lord God - can be related to as "our father." "When you pray," Jesus said, "say 'our father'..." The god we pray to, in other words, is not to be thought of as some impersonal force behind