Hot Tea, Anyone?

For some reason, I became a hot tea drinker my freshman year in college. My Southern family’s mealtime beverage preference was always for iced tea, but no one I knew drank hot tea. I had a Hot Pot for my dorm room and it was easy to keep tea bags in my room for a bedtime cup. Far from being troubled by the caffeine, I am soothed & calmed by the ritual of tea-making, as much as by the warmth of the mug. I enjoy classic varieties of tea -Ceylon, Darjeeling- but have never developed a taste for herbals. I use a tiny bit of sugar, but no lemon or milk. Continue Reading


2009 Benedictine Oblates' World Congress in Rome

October 2-11, 250 Benedictine Oblates from all over the world will gather in Rome for the second quadrennial Benedictine Oblates’ World Congress. I will be privileged to be among them, as our own Madeline Callahan was in 2005. The theme for this congress will be “The Religious Challenges of Today—the Benedictine Answer.” Continue Reading

Painting Closets

My first blog posting. I would like to begin with something profound, something moving that all who read it will take it to heart and remember it forever. But, I’m falling short of deep today. I do confess to contentment and peace, which is a bigger deal to me than it sounds. Continue Reading


Hospitality to Hard Things

I am on sabbatical this year.  One of my goals is to finish a book (and the proposal for it should be in the mail to a publisher within a week).  Another goal is more elusive and ecclesial.  It involves making space and time to be present to the abiding questions I have about how to invest time in a local church, and how much also to connect more regionally as a theologian available for assistance in Lutheran congregations. Continue Reading


More Info on Oblate Day

Abbott Jerome Kodell sent these descriptions of his upcoming talks:

Benedict’s Strategy for Freedom: Freedom is a word with many meanings.  Because it is often associated with the absence of restrictions, represented by words like independence or license, it is the source of much confusion on the spiritual path. Continue Reading


Praise as Foundation

Lately the Psalms I’ve been reading all begin with a dramatic declaration of praise for YHWH.  I’ve been letting my attention trace praise and adoration throughout the psalms, instead of moving towards places I might otherwise highlight.  Both an observation and a question came to me. Continue Reading