March 1, 2019

What's Happening This Week at SpiritualityandPractice.com

Editors' Pick   

By Joan Chittister  

Chittister -- a major voice and committed activist for the rights of women and poor people -- writes from her concerns about the power plays, narcissism, violence, lies, and prejudice of those who have taken America on what they perceive to be a path of glory. To counter those impulses, Chittister turns to the prophets who advocated justice, freedom, peace, and transformation.
Practices   

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
 
French Jesuit De Caussade gives us a rich and imaginative appreciation for the many ways that God speaks to us and others in the present moment. These books, quotes, and a spiritual practice give you a strong sense of everyday spirituality, helping you read what he called "the book of life."

Practicing Spirituality in Winter
By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat    

The great Christian monk Thomas Merton once compared the spiritual life to the search for a path in a field of untrodden snow: "Walk across the snow and there is your path." To encourage you to explore the many parts of this path, we offer here a month's worth of practices.  

More Practices: Birthday of Dr. Seuss, Birthday of Karl Rahner, Ash Wednesday, Dred Scott's Case for Freedom
E-Courses   

A new e-course by Roger Housden
March 6 - April 22, 2019  
Join Roger Housden during Lent for a gently paced e-course exploring the secret of life that allows us to rise again when circumstances have pressed us down. Housden, profiled in our Living Spiritual Teachers Project, has received S&P Best Spiritual Book Awards for six books, among them For Lovers of God Everywhere, Dropping the Struggle, and Chasing Rumi. Read more and subscribe:
A new e-course by Contemplative Outreach
March 11 - April 18, 2019 
The method of Centering Prayer is a contemporary invitation to present the teaching of earlier times in an updated format and to make it available to ordinary people who are experiencing a hunger for a deeper life of prayer and for a support system to sustain it. Join Pamela Begeman, Mary Anne Best, and Julie Saad for this newly updated e-course with new reference materials and a Zoom video-enabled prayer chapel. Read more and subscribe: 
www.SpiritualityandPractice.com/CenteringPrayer2019
Films

Directed by Dean Deblois

Perhaps no movies have done as much to create love for dragons as the How to Train Your Dragon series.  In this sequel, Hiccup has taken over as the chief of his community and faces big challenges: how to fight off dragon killers, lead a huge group of humans and dragons into unknown skies to find the Hidden World, and -- most of all -- learn who to love and when to let go. 

More Films: Everybody Knows, Fighting with My Family, High Flying Bird 
DVDs

Bohemian Rhapsody
Directed by Bryan Singer

This biopicture covers the formation of the English rock band Queen in 1970 and runs through their fantastic Live Aid performance in 1985 when lead singer Freddie Mercury gives a thrilling demonstration of his energy, vocal talents, and signature ability to involve audiences on a deep and primal level.  

More DVDs
The Apparition (L'Apparition), Border (Gräns), At Eternity's Gate, Mary Queen of Scots, Shoplifters, A Star Is Born
Books   

Crafting Love
By Maggie Oman Shannon     
 
How can you craft love for your partner, friends, teachers, mentors, or family? A crafter all her life, Oman Shannon describes intriguing and doable projects, worth a try no matter how skilled you think you are in this area.

More Books:
Radically Happy, Sermons of the Parables, Squeezed
Children's Books   

 A World of Cities
By James Brown      
 
Each page spread of this gloriously oversized book serves as a combination travel poster and treasure-hunt for fascinating facts about cities ranging from Toronto to Athens to Cape Town.
 
More Children's Books: Where's Buddha?
Arts

"H" Is for Hospitality
By Patricia Adams Farmer   
 
In the spirit of hospitality, Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat invite all their neighbors -- dogs included -- to visit their new Frederick Franck sculpture, "Saint Francis and the Birds," for moments of quiet contemplation, prayer, and communion with nature. Such generous, cross-species hospitality is fitting for a saint who advocated widening the circle of God's loving embrace.
Blogs   

Process Musings Blog
By Patricia Adams Farmer

Have we made life just a bit too complicated and cynical for our own good? We do see heaps upon heaps of examples of childishness among grownups, but surely not enough childlikeness. We can tap into either one, after all.
KidSpirit Youth Voices Blog
By Nimai Agarwal

The Vedic literature of Hinduism is described as being a guide to the world. What then, this young writer asks, shall we do with passages tilted in favor of men?

 
Spiritual Literacy Blog
By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

Tom Houk, a friend of the late Dr, Martin Luther King, Jr, set up Civil Rights Tours Atlanta. Houk notes: "I talk about the human side of the movement and try to engage [participants] in understanding that even though there was a struggle, there were good times and a lot of camaraderie, too."

The Practicing Democracy Project 

By Kristin Ritzau and Habib Todd Boerger

Spiritual practices that support the democratic values and virtues of liberty, equality, empathy, open-mindedness, truthfulness, and respect are needed more than ever in online spaces. These suggested practices foster healthy and wise online engagement. 
By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

We spend a major portion of our lives at our workplaces. If we are to embrace democratic values, virtues, and practices, we need to do so at our job, revealing how much we value the common good.

From Our Wisdom Archive   

 
Many of us are experiencing cabin fever as winter continues to snow, rain, and blow. One excellent antidote is a good story. These selections from Sylvia Boorstein, Bede Griffiths, Megan McKenna, and other spiritual teachers bring qualities like self-care, nature appreciation, and spacious acceptance to the fore.    

 
A Thought to Carry with You  

You may be familiar with K äthe Kollwitz (1867-1945), the German sculptor and graphic artist whose most famous works depict the ravages of war and extreme poverty. She often selected motifs based on her husband's work as a doctor for impoverished patients and on her personal war experiences, which included her son Peter's death in World War I and threats in 1936 by the Gestapo to arrest her and her husband and deport them to a concentration camp. (She was by then an internationally known artist, and fortunately the Gestapo did not follow through on the threats.)

Knowing what she witnessed in Nazi Germany and encountering it viscerally and full of anguish in her art, we get an inkling of the power of what she wrote about patriotism in one of her letters. "The development of the national spirit in its present form leads into blind alleys. Some condition must be found which preserves the life of the nation, but rules out the fatal rivalry among nations."
Her words remind us of the definition of a patriot given by poet and activist Adrienne Rich in An Atlas of the Difficult World:

"A patriot is one who wrestles for the
soul of her country
as she wrestles for her own being."

This week think of one thing you can do that expresses this level of patriotism: something that makes your own country stronger and more vibrantly alive even as you open your heart to the world. If you find this suggestion difficult, you are probably on the right track, because to wrestle for the soul of your country is no small thing.
 
Blessings, 
Your Spirituality & Practice Team 
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat 
Patricia Campbell Carlson 
Margaret Wakeley