Devotional Recommendations?

Students and friends often ask me what books I would recommend for devotional reading.  I admit I am not entirely sure what sort of book they are looking for.  If by devotional they mean a book they can read a few pages each morning that will provide spiritual reflection throughout the day, then nearly anything […]

Patriotism and Martyrdom (Listening to the Saints)

Memorial Day was a couple weeks ago and it seems that every national holiday leads me through a series of the same thoughts.  On one hand, I think Christians are too nationalistic, even too patriotic.  Why do we celebrate national holidays such as Memorial Day, remembering soldiers who gave their lives, but rarely celebrate Christian […]

What Motivates You? Thoughts on Pascal’s Pensees (Listening to the Saints)

“Vanity is so anchored in the heart of man that a soldier, a soldier’s servant, a cook, a porter brags, and wishes to have his admirers. Even philosophers wish for them. Those who write against it want to have the glory of having written well; [72] and those who read it desire the glory of […]

Beliefs and Desires – Thoughts on Pascal’s Pensees (Listening to the Saints)

I used to write a “Weekly Word” every Friday, devotional thoughts geared towards the CSF students at PSU Berks.  This summer I am bringing the Weekly Word back in hopes of providing spiritual support to the students while they are home. Blaise Pascal lived in France in the mid-1600s and by all accounts was a […]

Some Thoughts On Lent Inspired by the Rule of St. Benedict

From the Rule of St. Benedict: “We advise that during these days of Lent he guard his life with all purity and at the same time wash away during these holy days all the shortcomings of other times” St. Benedict (2011-04-30). The Rule of St. Benedict (Kindle Locations 732-733). PlanetMonk Books. Kindle Edition. “During these days, […]

Excommunication? The Rule of St. Benedict

Benedict writes a lot about when and how to excommunicate people from the monastery, whether those kicked out ought ever be welcomed back, and how to correct faults.  Like much of what he writes, this just seems foreign to contemporary readers.  Excommunication?  Kicking people out?  It seems so intolerant, we say.  It illustrates all the […]

The Work of God – The Rule of St. Benedict

After the long chapter on humility, Benedict moves on to a series of instructions on the life of a monk in the monastery.  The chapters have titles such as “How Many Psalms are to be Said at the Night Office” and  “How Lauds are to be Said on Weekdays.”  A lot of it is certainly […]

The Value of Mentorship – The Rule of St. Benedict

I enjoy reading these Christian classics, looking for nuggets of wisdom that have stood through the centuries.  Perhaps one thing I like most is that these classics come from a different time and place.  This means that the authors think and write things that may sound odd or surprising or even totally wrong. Today is […]

A List of Good Works! The Rule of St. Benedict Chapter 4 (Listening to the Saints)

Chapter four of The Rule of St. Benedict is a list of good works Christians ought to do. Seriously, its just a list of  about 100 spiritual acts. Is there use in such a list? My Facebook feed is daily filled with shared articles on all sorts of random things (“17 Questions Elf Left Unanswered”, […]

Walking with the Saints- The Rule of St. Benedict Chapters 1-2

What are the attributes of a good leader?  There are myriads of books out there on leadership, from leadership in the corporate world to leadership in the church and a good bit in between.  Specifically speaking about leadership in the Christian community, there is a lot out there.  Often when leadership is discussed in Christian […]