Thursday, March 31, 2005

Pope watch

Recent stories on the worsening health condition of His Holiness John Paul II:

BBC Video
BBC Video 2
BBC Text
CBC Video
CBC Text
The Holy See

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Lectio Divina

I'm taking a class, Praying with Scripture, taught by Rev. Brad Berglund. This week's assignment is Lectio Divina, a quite interesting and ancient form of prayer developed by St. Benedict. Check it out at MethodX or check out the book we're reading:

Rest in peace, Br. Tim

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Church Community in a Postmodern Age

My friend, Brian, over at The Faithful Skeptic has been having a great conversation about the nature of church community in a world in which concepts of community are changing radically. Check it out. Part I and Part II.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Daily Office, Part 2

One of the things I like most about praying the daily office is that a good portion of the time, I'm praying words that are not my own. When I try to just pray, it's difficult, and I often get stuck in same ruts over and over again. Furthermore, while extemporaneous prayer is good for getting across my concerns to God, its not nearly as good for helping me to learn and grow and expand my relationship and understanding of God. In this way, the office is really helpful. I am forced to pray ancient liturgies, scripture, canticles, hymns, comtemporary prayers and confessions. I am constantly being stretched by entering into the prayer of others. In addition, it prompts me to new ideas in my extemporaneous prayers and makes me more mindful of God's presence in the world during my daily life.

Brian mentioned that it sounds like too much of committment. You're right, it is. :) Don't commit to it. Just consider trying it to see if it is a style or practice of prayer that works for you. Compline might be the easiest way to start. And don't do the whole thing if you don't have time. Let it fit your life.

I have another suggestion as well. I just picked up a book today written by my New Testament professor, Richard Valantasis, who is also an Episcopal priest and expert on Roman history and asceticism. The book is Centuries Of Holiness: Ancient Spirituality For A Postmodern Age. It's a series of short essay on spirituality and appears to be a great book for the "smart seeker." I'm going to start adding it to my daily practice.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Health Care

I heard a great opinion piece on NPR, where I seem to hear everything that I hear that's interesting, on the current national health insurance dillema. It's by a Harvard medical student, and is really quite interesting and worth listening to.

Food for Life

I find it very interesting that Congress and the President have moved so quickly to ensure a feeding tube for Terri Schiavo while they seem to be doing next to nothing about the "36.3 million people, including 13 million children, in the United States [who don't] have access to enough food for an active healthy life". I'm not sure I understand how food for a single, brain damaged women is a right to life issue, while food for 13 million USAmerican children is a matter of personal choices. That kind of logic boggles my mind.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

The Daily Office

My good friend, Brian, over at The Faithful Skeptic has been complaining lately of a "spiritual void" in his life. I can't say that that feeling is foreign to me. Within the past few months, however, I have found a spiritual practice that works really well for me, and I thought I would offer it up to you as a possibility.

I prayer the daily office after the use of the Order of Saint Luke an organization of which I am now a member. That's right, I'm a monk now (of sorts), Br. David D. M. King, OSL. Anyway, the generic versions of all of the offices are now online and available for download. Try praying the Evening Office and the Morning Office first. These are the two main offices of the day. I also realy enjoy reading Compline, or at least the last bit of it, before I go to bed. There is also a good overview of the daily office available.

But these generic versions (or "commons") are just the shell of the office. If you find that you're enjoying this type of prayer and that it speaks to you, you'll want to have the real material that changes with the day and season (the "propers"). Go to OSL Publications and order the Daily Office Series. You'll want to start off with Volume 3 - Easter and Volume 6 - The Daily Lectionary. You might also want to pick up Volume 5 - For All the Saints, which is a great way to learn about how some people have lived out their faith to the fullest, both in the ancient and near past.

Please let me know how you like praying the daily office or if you have any questions about how to do it or about the materials I described. Of course, everyone has to find spiritual disciplines that work for them, but I find this to be a very meaningful way to start and end my day. The full office takes about 15 minutes, but if I'm in a rush, I can do a shortened version in just a couple of minutes. If you're already familiar with the daily office, I still recommend these materials from OSL because of the extremely well written prayers and the radically inclusive language, something not found in The Book of Common Prayer.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Palm Sunday Paper

Just in time for Palm/Passion Sunday, it's my paper on doubling in the Gospel of Matthew. Did you know that in Matthew's Gospel Jesus enters Jerusalem riding on two donkeys simultaneously?? Why is that? Well, here is my paper on just that topic: A Donkey and the Colt of a Donkey: The Problem of Doubling in the Gospel of Matthew or Why Matthew Has Two Asses by me, David D. M. King. It's a pdf file. There is also an appendix, this one in Excel format, which is a catalogue of references to doubling, pairing, coupling, and binding in the Gospel of Matthew. Enjoy.

I, Gandalf

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

I took a little quiz today and found out that my Fantasy/Sci-Fi Character is Gandalf. You know, I've always had quite an affinity for Gandalf. He's got all kinds of power, but he doesn't take control of things. He just does the work that needs to be done, whatever he can do, and encourages the gifts and abilities of others. He is sagelike and priestly. And he even has a temper from time to time, something that's also true of me.

Anyway, it was kind of fun. Click on the picture if you want to take the test yourself.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Creation Care

I came across this other very interesting news story on Green Evangelicals. I didn't really know that they existed, but obviously they do. Very interesting stuff and very refreshing.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Paul Krugman on The Daily Show

Check out this very interesting interview with economist Paul Krugman on The Daily Show. He talks about the President's Social Security Plan as well as some other important economic issues for today.