January 31, 2015

What's Happened at SpiritualityandPractice.com

♦ Lenten E-Course options. We have decided this year not to develop a new e-course for Lent. Instead, we will rerun one of our prior e-courses formatted for this 40-day (plus Sundays) or six-week period. We need your help deciding which one to do! We've created a one-question survey where you can rank your interests. It is here: 


The links below take you to pages describing the on-demand versions of these courses. You can learn more about each program there, but don't sign up from these pages. Whichever course we decide to rerun will have an online Practice Circle and to create that, we will need to do a new sign-up page. Here are the Lenten E-Course options: 


♦ Silence and the Spiritual Journey with Thomas Keating. Here's another option for Lent. This year we are again partnering with our friends at Contemplative Outreach to offer a year-long series of e-courses. The Way of Silence consists of three e-courses - two online retreats during the liturgical cycles of Lent and Advent and a third retreat on Centering Prayer. When you subscribe to the entire series, you also receive a weekly meditation for reflection and sharing in an online Practice Group during the whole year. Sign up for the year-long program here or just for the Lent e-course here.

♦ Growing up in a masterful film. Boyhood, now on DVD, is one of the best films ever made about the art of improvisation as a path of wisdom, creativity, and personal renewal. More DVDs.

♦  Four compassionate heroes. Virunga  is an inspiring documentary, now on DVD, about protecting a wildlife sanctuary in the Congo in the midst of a civil war.

♦ Join the empathy revolution. In Empathy: Why It Matters and How to Get It, Roman Krznaric challenges us to bring this gift to the world. More books.

♦ Taking away the dreams of others. The Real Cost of Fracking by Michelle Bamberger and Robert Oswald includes shocking and sad stories about how the Shale Gas Boom is threatening families, pets, and food.

♦ A flourishing marriage. The Zimzum of Love: A New Way of Understanding Marriage by Rob and Kristen Bell shows ways marital love can be a gift to the world.

♦ Healing fear-based thoughts. The Only Little Prayer You Need: The Shortest Route to a Life of Joy, Abundance, and Peace of Mind  by Debra Landwehr Engle charts the benefits of a simple prayer.

♦ Change and love at Downton Abbey. We've seen all of Season 5 of 

Downton Abbey which is now airing on PBS's Masterpiece and is also just out on DVD. We also have reviews of Season 1Season 2Season 3, and Season 4 in case you need to get caught up with the goings-on at this English estate in the early 20th century. And if you want to know why we've watched so many hours of this drama, read Ten Spiritual Takes on Downton Abbey.


♦ The healing power of music. Song One is an emotionally rich feature film about the wonders of singing and songwriting. More films.


♦ Wedding body practice and self- study. Mussar Yoga by Edith Brotman promises wholeness to those willing to try it.

♦ Doing what needs to be done. The Art of Taking Action by Gregg Krech and students of the ToDo Institute provides hope for those of us who procrastinate and freeze under pressure of deadlines.


♦ Reframing manliness. To Be a Man by Robert Augustus Masters opens doors to new possibilities for this besieged gender.

♦ Fighting back against rankism. Black Sea is a parabolic feature film about a middle-aged man who responds to being treated like he is a nobody.


♦ The bond between a mother and son. Life Inside Out is a feature film about music that crosses the generations.


♦ Passion comes to the fore. Vital Signs by Gregg Levoy shows how this emotion makes its presence felt when we truly come alive.


♦ Armchair observations. Essays After Eighty by Donald Hall gives the poet a front-row seat to witness the natural world outside his windows.


♦ An earth-based spirituality. Thomas Berry: Selected Writings On the Earth Community edited by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim brings together this "geologian's" essays on the spirituality of the earth, the universe as cosmic liturgy, the intercommunion of world religions, the challenge to Christianity, the Ecozoic Era, and moments of grace.


♦ Life together in love. Love Is Strange, now on DVD, is a moving drama about an aging gay couple and the inconveniences and challenges they face when they lose their long-time apartment.


♦ Signs of spirituality in our world. Check out the latest posts in our "Spiritual Literacy Blog" on "Empathy and Reading," "MicroLearning and Mass Attention Deficit," "The Universal Reach of Character Development," and "Death of Novelist Robert Stone." More S&P Blogs.


♦ The Green Burial Movement. A Will for the Woods is an enlightening documentary about the ecological and spiritual dimensions of a new kind of funeral.

♦ Something different. Lucy is a philosophical action drama, now on DVD, that probes the brain's amazing powers.

Coming Soon


♦ A new SpiritualityandPractice.com. Yes, it's coming soon. We are now testing the new website and re-entering content that could not be migrated. (Fortunately, most of our 28,000 pages could be moved from the current site to the new one.) We are uploading quotations and spiritual practices from our office databases to the site. We are adding reviews, reflections, and curated content to new sections.We still aren't sure of the exact launch date, but we hope to be ready soon. Can you help us get to this launch? We invite you to read more about what's coming and make a donation to help us get there. We are grateful for every gift, large or small.


Recommended from Our Wisdom Archive

♦ Remembering a Spiritual Master: Marcus Borg. One of the most influential Christian theologians of our time died on January 21. We encourage you to spend some time with our profile of Marcus Borg, reading a sampler of quotations from his work, following the links to reviews of his books, many of which link to excerpts, and reading interviews with and articles by him. Borg wrote about the heart of Christianity, providing a bridge to a vibrant, accessible, and hospitable faith.


♦  Practicing Spirituality in Winter. We hear more snow is on the way, which reminds us that Thomas Merton once compared the spiritual life to the search for a path in a field of untrodden snow. We have a month's worth of spiritual practices for exploring that path.


♦ Heart Month. Every year we celebrate February as Heart Month by unveiling a new quote and "found heart" photograph each day. Watch for the links off the homepage.


Resources for Your Spiritual Journey to Carry You
Through the Week

A Proverb to Ponder
"Every path has its puddle." 

- English Proverb


A Pearl of Wisdom
"Surprise is God's way of saying 'hello.' " 

- Joan Chittister


A Short Prayer
"Many countries are at this moment suffering the agonies of war. 
I bow my head in thanksgiving for my freedom. 
I pray for all prisoners and captives." 

- from Sacred Space: The Prayer Book 2015 by the Irish Jesuits


A Quotation to Inspire
"Start by doing what is necessary, then what's possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible." 

- St. Francis of Assisi


A Blessing from Us to You
"May we live the Mystery, 
and love the Mystery, 
and be caught up and held secure in the Mystery, 
whose wisdom exceeds all human knowledge, 
whose ways surpass all understanding, 
whose blessing fulfills every hope, 
now and forever. 
- from Woman Prayer, Woman Song

by Miriam Therese Winter