What Happened This Week at SpiritualityandPractice.com


A creative and thought-provoking version of the first apocalypse story. Noah is writer and director Darren Aronofsky's take on the story in Genesis about Noah and the ark, turning it into a parable about second chances, the excesses of zeal, and the blessings of mercy. Print out and share our six pages of coverage of this controversial religious film, including a practice to use before seeing it and a blessing to use afterwards.


Laughing as a spiritual practice. We agree with theologian Karl Barth who said "Laughter is the closest thing to the grace of God." So we've curated the quotations, books, DVDs, excerpts, and practices on S&P dealing with this spirited aspect of our spiritual journeys - a great collection for teachers, preachers, spiritual directors, chaplains, and anybody else who wants a good laugh. Also check out our Pinterest board of religious cartoons and jokes.


How to Be a Holy Rascal. Mary Ann Brussat, Co-Director of Spirituality & Practice, was interviewed this week by Rabbi Rami Shapiro on his radio show. She talked about how we are using the Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy as a bridge between religions and between religion and pop culture. You can listen to their conversation here. 


Icons of devotion. Our latest 12s gallery turns quotes on devotion into icons about the many ways we access the Divine. We now have galleries illustrating most of the practices in the Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy; see them all. 


♦ Elder Spirituality resources. Fruitful Aging by Tom Pinkson and Second Journeys edited by Bolton Anthony offer wisdom and guidance for meaning makers during this stage of life. Sign up for our four Elder Spirituality E-Courses, and learn about our partners in the Conscious Aging Alliance. 


A madcap meditation on the practices of kindness and hospitality. The Grand Budapest Hotel is the inventive and wonder-inducing creation of the inimitable writer and director Wes Anderson about the arts of living and the healing power of stories. More films. 


A secular spirituality for our times. Keeping the Faith Without a Religion by Roger Housden describes ten themes that "deepen our faith in the value and meaning of being human." This is one of 12 books featured in our Spring Bonus: Books to Help Your Spiritual Growth. 


Take the fourfold path of forgiveness. The Book of Forgiving by Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho Tutu explores the many different spiritual dimensions of this important practice.


An inspiring biopicture about a practitioner of nonviolence. Cesar Chavez charts the life and work of a man whose journey took him from being a migrant worker as a youth to being a labor organizer and community leader in adulthood.


Another inspiring biodrama. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, now on DVD, shows how Nelson Mandela's leadership style was based on love and forgiveness. Watch it before going to the theater to see Cesar Chavez for a double feature on the spiritual aspects of leadership and the challenges of practicing nonviolence. More DVDs. 


Antidotes to the dread of going back to work. "Working with the Monday Blues" provides ten spiritual practices for dealing with and overcoming this draining attitude.


Discipleship 101-The Graduate Course. Sacred Fire by Ronald Rohlheiser is a sequel to his bestselling The Holy Longing. He presents the many ways Christians can give their lives away more deeply, more generously, and more meaningfully.


The youth of yesterday. Teenage is a creative, daring, and enlightening documentary about the twists and turns taken by youth who during the last century have sought to find their place in a confusing and war-despoiled world.


A revolution through relationships. Empathy: A Handbook for Revolution by Roman Krznaric gives advice on bringing this virtue alive in our times through having patience for radical listening, removing your mask, having concern for the other, nurturing a creative spirit, and demonstrating courage under pressure.


A dystopian tale about character traits. Divergent shows us a world in which the population is divided by character traits. A multi-talented young woman faces many challenges as she tries to remain true to her own "polymathic" character.


Older Christians searching for meaning. The Meaning and Practice of Faith by Diarmund O'Murchu examines the dynamics of evolutionary faith and reclaiming spirituality as elders.


A sense-luscious Italian film. The Great Beauty, now on DVD, depicts the emptiness of high society and the yearning for beauty that animates Rome's most soulful residents. Don't miss this year's Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film!


Letting go is a path to liberation. The Ecstasy of Surrender by Judith Orloff offers 12 ways that letting go opens up new doors to personal growth and maturity.


Coming Soon

Turning playtime into spiritual time. April Fool's Day is a perfect time for the spiritual practice of play. We have some fun suggestions. More Naming the Days. 


♦ Documentary Films as the Prophets of Our Times: a look at the role these resources play in quickening our conscience and consciousness about justice, freedom, shadow, human rights, and more.


♦ Why We Are Spending Hours Watching "Rev." This BBC comedy series is about an Anglican minister serving an inner-city parish in London, England.

Recommended from Our Wisdom Archive 

♦ April is Poetry Month. We have five collections of sacred poetry and we're starting a new one tomorrow. Read a poem (or two or three) a day.

Watch 20 Feet from Stardom on Netflix streaming, Amazon Instant Video, and DVD. Winner of the 2014 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, it is a heartfelt and rousing documentary to the talent and artistry of backup singers.

Watch The Croods on Netflix streaming, Amazon Instant Video, and DVD. This animated film has it all: captivating characters, rich thematic material, humor, imaginative visuals, and an adventuresome quest.



Resources for Your Spiritual Journey to Carry You Through the Week 


A Proverb to Ponder

"The morning is wiser than the evening."
- Russian Proverb


A Pearl of Wisdom
"I am larger, better than I thought
I did not know I held so much goodness."
- Walt Whitman


A Short Prayer
"Lord of our motivation
encourage us to keep going,
enable us to be ever more
determined to work for what
we believe might be - peace."
- from Timeless Prayers for Peace 

edited by Geoffrey Duncan


A Quotation to Inspire
"Conversation is the way we discover how to transform the world together."
- Margaret Wheatley


A Blessing from Us to You
"May the God whose longing is for justice
and whose passion is for the freedom of all
strengthen us to work for all that makes for peace."
- from  Timeless Prayers for Peace 

edited by Geoffrey Duncan


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