Spiritual Nexus

What a great PBS program that highlights my home monastery, St. Gregory’s Abbey, and the other spiritual communities surrounding it in Three Rivers, Michigan.

I have written previously on this blog about my personal experience in Three Rivers, specifically through the monastery. Click here to read that article.

Ever since my first visit to the abbey, I have wondered whether pre-European communities felt similarly drawn to this land. I am also curious about the “Ley Lines” idea. I know nothing of the philosophy behind it, but the confluence of spiritual centers in a single area makes one wonder. Before now, I had only encountered “Ley Lines” in science fiction, but my experience in Three Rivers is giving me cause to wonder whether there might be some truth to them.

The Rev. George MacLeod of the Iona Community describes his Scottish island home as a “thin place”, where the border between heaven and earth is somehow more permeable. I would not hesitate to use the same language to describe Three Rivers.

The PBS program Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly recently did a story on the spiritual communities of Three Rivers. I have never personally visited the other spiritual centers around the abbey, although I receive spiritual direction from a member of the Apple Farm community. The video is posted below.

http://player.pbs.org/viralplayer/2365886858/

Here is also a link to a new book about the area, Spiritual Nexus: Discovery in America’s Heartland by William Allan Baltz.

If you have not yet visited Three Rivers, you really are missing out!

Click here to learn more about visiting St. Gregory’s Abbey, Three Rivers.

Erotic Justice

French_Kiss

An adequate sexual ethic does more than insist that no harm be done to others.  It strengthens people’s well-being and self-respect.  Good sex is good because it touches our senses powerfully but also because it enhances our self-worth and deepens our desire to connect more justly with others.  The key concerns of this ethic are how power is shared and the quality of caring.  Sex is not something one “does to” another person or “has happen” to oneself.  Rather sexual intimacy is a mutual process of feeling with, connecting to, and sharing as whole persons.  We enhance our sense of self-worth by attending with care to what is happening to the other person as well as to ourselves.  In the midst of sexual pleasuring with a partner, we do not “lose” ourselves as much as we relocate ourselves in the in-betweenness of self and other, as we receive and give affection and energy.

Dr. Marvin M. Ellison, Erotic Justice: A Liberating Ethic of Sexuality, p.89