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Tag Archives: vacation

Reflections on Italy…Feast and Famine

I loved our vacation in Italy. It was my third time and hopefully will not be my last. It’s a kind of magical place with so much beauty, culture and incredible food at your fingertips. It’s a place I want to return to to introduce others to its magic – pedestrian-friendly cobblestone streets, hikes over mountains through vineyards and olive groves high above the sea, stops at ancient villages to rest and sip cappuccino, rolling Tuscan hills dotted with terra cotta villas and cypress trees, where wine costs as much as water, where thousands of years of history can be experienced, where our villa apt. Is family owned for nine hundred years, where fantastic bread and cheese is always a few steps away. And the gelato… But Italy seems to have a double personality. Although rich in history, rich in natural resources, rich in culture it seems sadly lacking in other very important ways.. Read more.

Our Pilgrimage to New Zealand, Australia, and Singapore

Geri and I left, last night, for a one-month global partnership trip to New Zealand, Australia, and Singapore. We are going both to give and to receive as we embark on a pilgrimage to be encountered by God. For most of Christian history, going on pilgrimage was understood as a spiritual discipline for devout believers. The first Christians learned about pilgrimage from the Jews who made the journey to Jerusalem each year for the three major feasts. It was only natural for the early Christians to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. After the excesses and abuses connected with pilgrimage during the Reformation, Protestants dismissed the entire concept as unnecessary. This changed in the 20th century as Protestants, along with Roman Catholics and Orthodox believers, been returning to Israel in significant numbers. It is common to meet believers making pilgrimages today to Jerusalem, Rome, Ephesus in Turkey, monasteries, and Santiago de Compostela in Spain. A. Read more.

Reflections on a Weekend with the Trappists

This was my fifth retreat with the 70+ monks of St. Joseph’s Abbey in Massachusetts. Maybe since it was the end of my 6 weeks away from the responsibility of leading New Life, but I entered into a deep calm, silence and rhythm with their life almost immediately. One of the highlights of the weekend was a conversation with Father Kizito Kwame, a West Indian who has been with them for 49 years. He joined at the age of 17 when the monastery was at its height (1958-1960) of 200 monks. He recently returned from 10 years of serving among the 25 Trappist monasteries in Africa. A part of me so longed to remain on the mountaintop with God and not leave return to checkbooks, house, problems, needs, noise and traffic of NYC, that I complained to him for a while, shared with him this inner compulsion I often feel to be a monk, etc.. Read more.