How to Become… Joyful

So for 3 months we’ve been exploring how to become spiritual – or more spiritual. I hope you’re still with me, and are getting the hang of the spiritual life not being a swoosh of emotion or a wide grin on your face. It’s not hearing voices or improving the percentage...

How to become… a Spiritual Reader (part 2)

So let us speak of more distinctly spiritual reading. Would-be spiritual people are always looking for material, which I applaud. Remember that reading can be one more check-mark activity, versus settling in silence and resting in God. Being in a Bible study or prayer...

How to Become… a Spiritual Reader (part 1)

Before we get to Joy, there’s this. You may be waiting for me to recommend a book or two. Reading matters in the spiritual life. Selectivity in what you read matters – especially since we read, not just books, but blogs, tweets, posters and memes, and even emails like...

How to be… Holy (part 3!)

In our last 2 emails, we have spoken of holiness as the ever elusive but prized goal of the spiritual life. Just as holiness can’t be left off the spiritual life, or treated as something you might get around to one day, today’s subject, “Holiness, part 3,” can’t be...

How to Become… Holy (part 2)

What are the habits and practices that, over time, might create space for the dawning of holiness in your life? Holiness isn’t a bunch of rules you’d better adhere to. Holiness isn’t avoiding pleasure. Holiness isn’t perfectionism. It is love for God, a joyful reply...

How to become… Holy (part 1)

My last 2 topics in this series are Holiness and Joy. Don’t think they’re relegated to bringing up the rear. Holiness and Joy are the ultimate goals of the spiritual life, the twin fruits, the beautiful final products of bothering with a life with God. Obviously,...

How to Pray and Pray Again on this Journey

In our last 2 emails, we have explored the basics of prayer. But being aware of how to pray is useless unless – yes, you actually pray. And the only way to pray is… to pray. You show up. And you show up again. And again. It’s a habit. It’s the one thing in your daily...

How to ask God for Help! on this Journey

The Help! in Anne Lamott’s Help, Thanks, Wow seems obvious – but is it? Lots of people aren’t regular prayers until they or someone they love has fallen into a deep hole. Do we merely ask God to help us with our health? Or if we’re in a panicked crisis? I resonate...

How to Grow in Prayer on this Journey

Prayer is the centerpiece of the spiritual life, the axis around which it all turns. But I can’t simply say “Pray!” or “Pray more!” Certainly, the only way to pray is to pray. You show up before God, and keep showing up. You block out time in a sheltered space. You...

Goes In… on this Journey

The spiritual life, as I suggested on October 5, is about tossing things out – both literal things so we can travel light, and mental things, thoughts, feelings and idea that muck up the works. Equally important in the spiritual life is to be attentive to what’s going...