Hadrian’s Wall is the ancient barrier that marks the border between England and Scotland. I take it as a metaphor for my spiritual journey.
Life is all about borders. I sit atop and across several of them in my life.
As a Christian, the mysteries of my faith demand that I straddle theological borders. In the mystery of the Trinity, I believe in one God, who exists co-eternally as three persons. In the mystery of the Incarnation, I proclaim that Christ is both fully human and fully divine. In the mystery of the Eucharist, I receive bread and wine as the Body and Blood of Christ.
As a Benedictine confrater in affiliation with St. Gregory’s Abbey, Three Rivers, I follow a spiritual tradition that is both mystical and earthy. St. Benedict tells us that kitchen utensils are every bit as sacred as the chalice on the altar. Prayer (Ora) and work (Labora) are two sides of the same coin; one cannot fully practice one without the other.
As a Presbyterian minister with strong Anglo-Catholic proclivities, I have a Protestant mind with a Catholic heart. I rather enjoy the thought of John Calvin rolling over in his grave every time I say, “Hail Mary, full of grace…”
These are but some of the borders I cross daily.
A little more about me, personally…
I live in Kalamazoo, Michigan with my spouse (a fellow Presbyterian pastor, but without my High Church tendencies) and our two kids.
I serve as the pastor of North Presbyterian Church, a congregation that specializes in doing ministry alongside people who live with mental illness.
- Henri J.M. Nouwen. Adam: God’s Beloved
- Jean Vanier. Becoming Human
- Anthony Marett-Crosby (ed.) The Benedictine Handbook
- Bob Ekblad. Reading the Bible With the Damned
- Dorothy Day. Selected Writings
- Joan Chittister. The Rule of Benedict: A Spirituality for the 21st Century
- Brennan Manning. The Ragamuffin Gospel
- William Stringfellow. An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land
- Thomas Keating. Open Mind, Open Heart
- John W. Nevin. The Mystical Presence
- Philip Schaff. The Principle of Protestantism
- W. Bradford Littlejohn. The Mercersburg Theology and the Quest for Reformed Catholicity
- Thomas Merton. New Seeds of Contemplation