September 1, 2017

What's Happening This Week at

Editors' Pick   

Edited by Ahdaf Soueif and Omar Robert Hamilton  
This paperback celebrates the tenth annual Palestine Festival of Literature by bringing together more than 50 essays, poems, and sketches by artists from around the world who are speaking out against the nightmarish siege of Palestine by the Israeli military occupation. It challenges us to enact the spiritual practice of connections as we explore the links between imperialism, occupation, justice, art, and freedom.

The first Monday in September is dedicated to a celebration of the social and economic contributions of American workers. Here you will find films, personal explorations, prayers, and even an e-course about practicing spirituality at work.

More Practices: E. F. Schumacher Day, Birthday of John Cage, Anniversary of Liberation Theology

A new e-course by Philip Goldberg  
September 4 - 29, 2017 
"Yoga" essentially means to unite or join, but the union it refers to is not of the head and the knee -- as might be assumed if your image of yoga is based on magazine covers! It refers to the union of the individual and the universal, or the personal self and the Cosmic Self. Read more about this e-course about union and sign up: 
A new e-course by Contemplative Outreach and Mary Margaret Funk      
September 4 - 29, 2017
Contemplative discernment sorts, questions, senses, and intuits movements of grace within a disposition of complete confidence and surrender to the will of God so that our choices are animated by the Holy Spirit. Read more about this grace-filled e-course and sign up:

Directed by Gurinder Chadha

Set in India during the harrowing and tumultuous weeks leading up and following the Partition in 1947, this historical drama explores political and personal dimensions of England's challenging departure after its 300-year rule.  

More Films: Columbus, Year by the Sea 

Directed by Demetri Martin
This well-paced dramedy about an illustrator in Brooklyn, unhinged since the death of his mother, looks at the different ways family members express their grief. As the story unfolds, close-ups of Dean's clever drawings are sprinkled on the screen, giving us another perspective on how he is feeling.
More DVDs: My Cousin Rachel  

The Way of Gratitude  
By Michael Leach, James T. Keane, and Doris Goodnough  
Passages by Henri J. M. Nouwen on how all is grace, Joyce Rupp on unnoticed prosperity, Joan Chittister on an alleluia heart, and many other illuminating writings make this handy paperback a top-drawer collection.

More Books:  The Song of Life, The Transformed Heart, We Are Data
Children's Books   

By Marta Artenga    
A girl writes a story that allows her to enter her imagination. She describes it as "a sea of thoughts that float and glide over each other ... that become real just by looking at them," an experience that connects her inner and outer worlds. We come to recognize that the imagination is a place accessed through spiritual practice.

KidSpirit Youth Voices Blog
By Marwa Alalawi 
The story of the patience of Prophet Ayoub becomes a lifelong touchstone, giving a young woman strength to hold fast in the face of misfortune. 

Process Musings Blog
By Patricia Adams Farmer
Beauty is not all sweetness and light, but an intensity of contrast, which is why diversity is so beautiful. Beauty tells us that the friction inherent in such contrasts can find a more intense harmony in Beauty's wide and transforming embrace.  

More Blogs: Praying the News: A Prayer for a Sober View of Disaster; Spiritual Literacy: Cultivating Resilience

From Our Wisdom Archive   

Compiled by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat and designed by Darren C. Polito

These twelve quotes with accompanying pictures help bolster your ability to go on even in the face of fear. They remind us that "courage is fear that has said its prayers," as wrote Anne Lamott in Traveling Mercies.

A Thought to Carry with You  

"No one ever understood disaster until it came," wrote Josephine Herbst in Nothing Is Sacred. Sadly, people who are now facing Hurricane Harvey's inundations and the deadly South Asian floods know that feeling of having what you cherish ripped away. Whether it's a loved one, your property, or your sense of security that's gone, the loss is real and searing.

People in times gone by could chalk up natural disasters to the stars: The word comes from the Latin dis- (negation) + astrum ("star") -- an ill-fated star. But we do not have that luxury, given the science of climate change. We cannot say exactly to what extent global warming is contributing to current disasters, but we can say for sure that continuing on our current path is perilous.

Our response to the flooding needs to be two-fold: compassionately and wisely addressing the immediate crisis -- as the "Cajun Navy," the Red Cross, and others of good heart are doing -- and taking a freshly sober look at the big picture. We are not lacking for knowledge about how to live in greater harmony with the earth, but we are pinned in place by old habits.

This week, prayerfully carry with you the riddle, "What can I do?" -- bearing in mind that sometimes the answer will be "less." Let the question permeate your observations and decisions, so that we can at least inch closer to being good stewards of each other and the Earth. 

Second, as you watch or hear news reports about the flooding and other natural disasters which will may come, make a practice of repeating this flash prayer: "God be with those in trouble and with those arriving to help."
Your Spirituality & Practice Team 
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat 
Patricia Campbell Carlson 
Darren Polito