June 17, 2016

What's Happening This Week at SpiritualityandPractice.com

Editor's Pick   

"Just as different insects are drawn to certain flowers, though pollen is everywhere, different souls are drawn to certain aspects of the living Universe, though God is in everything," writes Mark Nepo in The Exquisite Risk. If you find yourself drawn to uncharted territory apart from well-worn religious or spiritual paths, these books, practices, quotes, films, video clips, and more can bring you companionable guidance.  

Every minute eight people -- nearly half of them children -- leave everything behind to escape war, persecution, or terror. The prayers, actions, and videos offered here underscore the courage and resilience of refugees and invite us to do all we can to contribute to their welfare.

Concerned about the inadequacy of the care of the dying in hospitals, Dame Cicely Saunders revolutionized the way we care for the ill, the dying, and the bereaved, founding the modern hospice movement.

More Practices: John Wesley's Birthday, Father's Day,
Summer Solstice

A new e-course by Kathleen Deignan and Kevin Cawley
July 4 - 29, 2016  

The late Fr. Thomas Berry, a leading cultural historian and religious scholar, believed that humanity is poised to embrace a vision of the world as a communion of subjects, not a collection of objects. In this e-course, accomplished presenters steeped in Berry's thought draw us into his vibrant, hopeful sense of sacred ecology.
An e-course by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
July 10 - 30, 2016

Magazines and websites still publish listings of the "safest cities" or the "safest vacation spots," but we know there is no guaranteed safety anywhere. Take time in this e-course to honor the unknowable and so develop a more generous, all-inclusive perspective. 

Directed by Moyoung Jin

This enchanting documentary depicts the intimate relationship of a couple who have been married for 76 years and know how to constantly renew the sources of love and soulful devotion.

More Films: Maggie's Plan, Gurukulam, Parched 

Directed by Andrew Haigh

In one of the Most Spiritually Literate Films of 2015, a ticking time bomb lands in the middle of the life that a married couple has forged over four decades.

More DVDs: Hello, My Name Is Doris

Joy on Demand
By Chade-Meng Tan

Those who yearn to experience contentment can tune into what Tan calls joy on demand. This comes in part from taking time to be grateful, not expecting every day to overflow with joy, and pondering impermanence. Enjoy this excerpt on altruistic joy and these practices for uplifting and settling the mind and rejoicing in inner goodness.

More Books: God in the Tumult of the Global Square, Peaceful Passages 
Children's Books   

By Marc Harshman and Sara Palacios

"When the crickets sing and the end of summer is near, Grandma and Grandpa say, 'Come.' " So begins this celebration of family activities that's perfect for summertime reading and for eliciting smiles.



Praying the News Blog
A Prayer in Response to the Orlando Mass Shooting
By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

This prayer to the One Who Weeps with Us, the God of Truth, the God of Change asks for comfort for the mourning, the ability to grapple with our propensity for violent acts, and courage to work for gun control in the United States.

From Our Wisdom Archive   

"O God, your gracious Spirit
moves over the mysteries of living and dying
and is strangely present to me . . ."
So begins a prayer by Ted Loder that leads into this page of balm for the soul, reminding us to respect differences and to make compassion a verb.

A Thought to Carry with You  
Bob Dylan's question back in 1962 continues to blow in the wind: "How many deaths will it take 'til [we know] that too many people have died?" This question, asked without expecting an answer, pierces our hearts anew as we face the mass shooting perpetrated against the gay community at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the worst slaughter on U.S. soil in modern history. When we wake up and realize that too many people have died, each of us asks again what we can do differently now and in the days ahead to strengthen understanding and peace in a world fraught with violence.

People with pierced yet resolute hearts, after all, are the ones who keep vigil by candlelight, who stand in a mile-long line to give blood, who together donate more than two million dollars in a single day to help victims and their families, and who hold political candidates to account for their stances. A tragedy cannot be entirely senseless when people of good heart ask questions about how to use it as an opportunity to bring healing, encourage reconciliation, and restore common sense in public dialogue.

So we awaken by asking questions, and we may find that exclamations wake us up, too. Retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, gave a sermon in 2005 with words about the human family that need to ring in our ears now: "This family has no outsiders. Everyone is an insider. When Jesus said, 'I, if I am lifted up, will draw. . .' did he say, 'I will draw some? I will draw some, and tough luck for the others?' He said, 'I, if I be lifted up, will draw all.' All! All! All! Black, white, yellow; rich, poor; clever, not so clever; beautiful, not so beautiful. All! All! It is radical. All! All are to be held in this incredible embrace. Gay, lesbian, so-called 'straight.' All! All! All are to be held in the incredible embrace of the love that won't let us go." 

Your Spirituality & Practice Team 
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Patricia Campbell Carlson
Darren Polito