New Hope blog posts from 2022

Gratitude can seem hard, at first. It can feel forced or artificial. Yet over time, we realize the work of gratitude is not about manufacturing reasons or feelings. Ultimately, gratitude is the practice of seeing what is already there.

There is much to worry about, of course. The list of things not going well today coupled with all the things that could go wrong tomorrow is endless. That’s the point.

We don’t get to choose the seasons of Life any more than we do the seasons of Nature. The only real choice is what we will do with the season we have been given.

One notion of being spiritual is to be other-worldly. This has been the predominant philosophy of our world, and the results have been predictably dysfunctional. When it is done in the name of religion, it can be disastrous.

At its worst, the Church acts like any other institution that thinks its first priority is to conserve and perpetuate itself. When survival is the primary concern, all other activities serve that concern. Serving others becomes secondary to serving itself.

There is nothing more destructive to real love than ideal love. It is easy to love a sentimental version of humanity, or the people around us, but that is just a distraction, a projection of our own ego. 

Being thankful for the big things takes no more skill than getting wet in front of a fire hose. Developing gratitude for the small and insignificant events is like drawing water from a desert spring. Even in draughts, joy bubbles up.

The essence of worship is “offering.” More important than any gift we may leave, is the gift we bring- starting with ourselves.

Ultimately, worship is not an activity we do one hour a week. When done well, it is the warm-up for how we will live the 167 hours that follow.

The first quarter of 2022 is over! Did you accomplish the goals you were hoping to accomplish by now? Not if you set goals like most people.

Knowing I should take time for reflection and mindfulness does not mean I always do. That is why I like the practice of Examen.

Worship begins when I recognize the gifts and their Source. Worship is completed when I freely offer myself back so the feast can continue and grow.

In worship, we offer ourselves back to the God who has given to us. The more we offer ourselves, the more we receive our True Selves.  

The headlines and images from Ukraine have been agonizing. They should be. Sometimes a disquieted heart indicates not that lack of faith, but its presence.