About Me

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I work as a teacher, poet and spiritual director at a number of institutions in the DC area. My teaching focuses in various ways on writing, poetry, Spirituality and Christian vocation and ministry - especially from the point of view of the laity. I also offer classes and retreats encouraging people to explore their inner lives, engage their creativity and reflect on their beliefs about God, vocation, and how we can discern and pursue new ways to transform our broken world. I enjoy speaking of faith in the secular academy as well as reminding those preparing for ministry in the Church that our primary purpose is to love and serve the world beyond the church's doors. I love helping people to grow in faith and to find their own voices, and I also love encouraging them to use their minds. I see no contradiction between these impulses, believing as I do that faith, reason and creativity work together.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Poem from my retreat last month



I have been meaning to post this -- a poem that I found last month when I was on retreat at Holy Cross Abbey. It is by one of the monks there, Fr. Mark Delery, with whom I had some good conversation. As I move into the business and swirl of fall and all its demands it is helping me to remember the centering experience of that lovely weekend of silence in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Here's his poem. Food for thought in quiet moments.


Dear one,
What have you
Come to the desert
To see? To hear?

Cistercian monks
Of former times were known
To write it thus:
“Tell them,”
They said,
“Tell them
What the wind
Says to the crags,
What the sea says
To the mountains

Tell them
That an immense goodness
Penetrates the world

Tell them
That God is not
What you think He is

He is a wine one drinks
a banquet shared
where each one gives
and receives

Tell them
That He is your loneliness
And your night,
Your wound
And your Joy

Tell them
His Voice alone
Can teach you
Your true name.”

(Originally published in Hallel 18:(1 (1933)