Monastic Skete- Daily Living A Hermit Lifestyle of Meditation
I am retired now, a full-time writer. I still actively do retreats. I love the works of Thomas Merton and my new book, "Spiritual Journaling -God's Whispers in Daily Living" is available on Kindle and Amazon. http://amzn.to/qQz6Ng
Monday, October 31, 2005
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Morning Thoughts on a Fall Saturday
and voice to God? Run therefore to meet the rising sun so that when the
day dawns it may find you ready." (Saint Ambrose on Ps. 118)
Best Offering: "Offer yourself to God."
When seeking forgiveness: "Be gentle with yourself."
Friday, October 28, 2005
Next Friday evening we will be in St. Louis preparing for the wedding of my nephew Breck Phillips. It was just over a year ago that our daughter, Melinda, married Mike. This will probably be the last big wedding in a long time.
This is one of my favorite times of the year. The leaves are turning gold, the nights are growing colder -- in fact we had our first frost earlier in the week -- and one does not have to mow the grass every week. What a treat.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
I like this about Lectio Divina from A.H.
Are there things you can add?
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Monday, October 24, 2005
Bud Selig Rule Kills NL
Humor for Monday Morning
TELL ME THIS WON'T HAPPEN TO US!!!!
An elderly Floridian called 911 on her cell phone to report that her
has been broken into. She is hysterical as she explains her situation
to the dispatcher: "They've stolen the stereo, the steering wheel, the
brake pedal and even the accelerator!" she cried.
The dispatcher said, "Stay calm. An officer is on the way." A few
minutes later, the officer radios in. "Disregard.", he says. "She got
in the back seat by mistake."
Three sisters ages 92, 94 and 96 live in a house together. One night
the 96 year old draws a bath. She puts her foot in a pauses. She yells
to the other sisters, "Was I getting in or out of the bath?" The 94
year old yells back, "I don't know. I'll come up and see." She starts
up the stairs and pauses. "Was I going up the stairs or down?" The 92
year old is sitting at the kitchen table having tea listening to her
sisters. She shakes her head and said, "I sure hope I never get that
forgetful, knock on wood." She then yells, "I'll come up and help both
of you as soon as I see who's at the door."
I CAN HEAR JUST FINE!
Three retirees, each with a hearing loss, were playing golf one fine
March day. One remarked to the other, "Windy, isn't it?" "No," the
second man replied, "it's Thursday". And the third man chimed in, "So
am I, let's have a drink."
An older couple were lying in bed one night. The husband was falling
asleep but the wife was in a romantic mood and wanted to talk. She
said, "You used to hold my hand when we were courting." Wearily he
reached across, held her hand for a second and tried to get back to
sleep. A few moments later she said, "Then you used to kiss me."
Mildly irritated, he reached across, gave her a peck on the cheek and
settled down to sleep. Thirty seconds later she said, "Then you used to
bit my neck." Angrily, he threw back the bed clothes and got out of
bed. "Where are you going?" she asked. He replied, "To get my teeth!"
As a senior citizen was driving down the freeway, his car phone rang.
Answering, he heard his wife's voice urgently warning him, "Herman, I
just heard on the news that there's a car going the wrong way on
Interstate 77. Please be careful!" "Hell" said Herman, "It's not just
one car. It's hundreds of them!"
SENIOR DRIVING II
Two elderly women were out driving in a large car, both could barely
over the dashboard. As they were cruising along, they came to an
intersection. The stoplight was red, but they just went on through.
The woman in the passenger seat thought to herself, "I must be losing
it. I could have sworn we just went through a red light." After a few
more minutes, they came to another intersection and the light was red
again. Again, they went right through. The woman in the passenger seat
was almost sure that the light had been red but was really concerned
that she was losing it. She was getting nervous. At the next
intersection, sure enough, the light was red and they went on through.
So, she turned to the other woman and said, "Mildred, do you know that
we just ran through three red lights in a row? You could have killed us
both!" Mildred turned to her and said, "Heck! am I driving?"
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Our Sunday School lesson this morning is from Romans 6. Verse 13 says
"offer yourself to God."
What does it mean to offer ourselves to God? You think about that.
Friday, October 21, 2005
International Thomas Merton Meeting Photographs from San Diego
Talk about a treat. Do any of you know who these people are? They were at the Internationl Thomas Merton Meeting in San Diego in 2005.
Photographs of Dan Phillips
In case you are interested here are the FLICKR photographs. There are 152 in all.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
In the Dark Before Dawn:Selected Poems of Thomas Merton
A new book of poetry of Thomas Merton has just been completed. For a detailed book review go to A Book Review by Lisa Dahm.
Mark and Christi Eley have written a book titled, "Merton's Mountain," A Child's Journey with Thomas Merton. The main lesson of the book is a program to develop faith and virtues. It is mainly for home schooled children. For further details check on Merton's Mountain Website.
Monday, October 17, 2005
"I have got in the habit of walking up and down under the trees along
the wall of the cemetary in the presence of God." (Merton)
In the morning, after I arrive at work, I often walk along a "cloister"
(a name I gave it) and pray for the people I meet, or will meet during
the day. This is a discipline carved with spiritual intent. It is
especially nice now that the weather is nice without the stiffling
Yes, Jesus often got up early to pray.
When do you pray?
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Afternoon in the Park
we came to the park. We walked 2 miles, watched the little kiddies play
and I read from A Pocket Retreat for Catholics.
"The Christian who prays early in the morning, the moment daily life
begins, opens his soul to the influences of the divine Spirit. The soul
who prays well attracts the mysterious waters of grace." Selah
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Prayers for Melissa and Patti
These two wonderful persons were members of a church I pastored several
years ago. Please remember them in your prayers.
I'm leaving for Africa this morning and this will be your last prayer
request update until I get back. Sorry, this one is so delayed, but it
has been a wild two week. I did sit for both exams Mon & Tues and
passed. Yeah God! Roger and I got moved (barely) from the hotel to our
house. We stayed here last night. I covet your prayers for me as I
begin this adventure.
I just wanted to tell you about an amazing opportunity God has brought
my way. Next week, Oct. 17-23, I am planning to travel to just outside
Montego Bay, Jamaica for a mission trip. While Jamaica is known for its
beautiful resorts and tropical beaches, just outsides these touristy
areas, live people who are beyond poor: both financially and
The Jamaican people live in fear of the spirits around them. Voodoo and
witchcraft are prominent among even those who confess Christ as Savior.
Physically, the situation is equally desperate. During my time there, I
will be working at an orphanage. There are approximately 60 children
there, most orphans due to the impact of HIV/AIDS. The orphanage is
painfully understaffed. While there, I will be working with others from
the USA on basic maintenance and upkeep on the physical property,
participating in Children's Bible School, and relieving the nurses by
helping with the children.
I am humbly asking for your help. Please pray for me and the others
while we are there. Specific prayer requests include:
· Safety while traveling, this will be the longest flight I've ever been
on. I know it's not that far, but it's the farthest I've been :)
· Safety while there, the island of Jamaica is characterized by
· Opportunity for sharing the gospel: Pray that God will allow me
sharing Christ's love with others and for the boldness to take the
opportunities speak the Truth in love.
· Just this year alone, three hurricanes swept over Jamaica and have
damaged the building. Pray that our repairs will be as professional as
possible and effective.
· Pray for the others who will joining me there. I am going alone, so
pray that God
will use this as a time to fellowship and bond with other Christians.
Please, above all, pray for the children and adults that we will be
ministering to. Pray that they would be able to feel and sense the love
of Christ and that the
Holy Spirit would intercede and convict, convince and consecrate their
Thank you so much for sharing in what God is doing in my life. My first
year and a half at school has been beyond description. I have learned
so much, not just academically but experientially, about our Lord's
love, faithfulness, providence, and plan for my life. If you have any
questions please let me know: My cell phone is 615-804-4956 and my
e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
In His Service, Melissa Proctor
I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness
to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive
forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith
Friday, October 14, 2005
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Lectio-Divina adds some interesting comments to our lives. This morning from Psalm 108 I read "Great is THY Faithfulness." What a wonderful reminder to each of us.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
10 p.m. And Giants
I am preparing a sermon called Giants, Grasshoppers, and God based on
I read from Robert Frost, one acquainted with the night.
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Thoughts on Prayer
Prayer is a dialogue between lovers.
Prayer is not doing something but being with someone.
Prayer is a loving exchange of friendship between God and the soul. (St.
Friday, October 07, 2005
Thanks to all of you who helped make my birthday meaningful. There have been requests for the sermon outline of my first ever birthday sermon.
Four Things Every Christian Should Know:
You should remember your birth. (Babies are all beautiful and welcomed into our world. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I Knew You. Before you were born I set you apart.” For me, I only weighed a little over 3 pounds and at that time my Mother dedicated me to the Lord because they were not sure I would live.
We should remember our re-birth. (John 3:16) –Recently I went to the home of Ralph Murray and went out to eat with he and his wife Jane. Ralph, when I was 9 years old and had just become a Christian, baptized me at the Smithwood Baptist Church in Knoxville, TN.
We should remember what God has done in our lives. (Joshua 2:4) I collect rocks that represent times that God has been present in my live. The book of Joshua says we are collect rocks in memory of what God has done in our lives. I then shared an experience where I accidently found the grave of Robert Frost and felt like God had led me to that place.
We should remember that God is still at work in our lives. (Roman 8:28) God wants to continue working in our lives daily if we are committed to him.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
RAMBLINGS ON A TUESDAY MORNING
Kathleen Norris wrote one of my favorite books, A Cloister Walk. It describes a year she spent at St. John’s Monastery in Minnesota. Many times I just thumb through it and read the underlined passages.
Anyway, “the cloister,” an enclosure inside of a monastery is a special place. It is a place where a person walks and prays. Sometimes people sit there and read sacred books and pray. The reason I mention this is that we have a cloister at our hospital. Only one person has ever walked it besides myself and is probably the only one that knows about it. In fact, there is a hesitancy for me to tell you about it except for one thing, it is an important religious place for myself.
On a particularly “religious morning” I will do a couple of things unusual. First, I eat oatmeal. Oatmeal is an important religious food because that is what they always eat at the Abbey of Gethsemane. No eggs. No bacon. No ham. Just oatmeal and cheese. Secondly, I walk through the cloister, up the sidewalk to the place where the “black SUV sits” then turn right into the building. The whole trip is fairly short but usually I pray during the journey.
I know, where is the cloister? Well, if you must know, it is besides the place we always eat Corky’s Barbeque. It is an enclosed sidewalk that no one uses. It does not have a covering but is basically enclosed and looks just like a cloister at a monastery. Be sure to let me know if you walk through it, ok?
This morning, after my journey through the cloister, I happened to see USA Today. Now, this is the most important day in the year to buy USA TODAY. Do you know why? Because it has the final batting averages for the major leagues for the year. This is especially important if one keeps up with the playoffs. And, yes I have been keeping up with batting averages since I was in the 8th grade. One of my teachers use to think I memorized all of the batting averages. In fact, it is the only thing I have ever had a photographic memory about. But, it is playoff time and the Braves have a distant chance once again, something to be happy about.
Well, that’s about it. Some have complained I have not written much lately, but really I have just gone through a lull, which by the way isn’t all bad. There are some good things happening. Inky, the Maine Coon Cat, has come to live with us. Inky is a lot like a dog which is especially nice since our dog, Prissy, recently passed away after 18 good years with us. And Inky is always entertaining. He is an especially good at hiding in unusual places, running through the hall at breakneck speed and scaring one to death. And should there be a visitor he immediately jumps in their lap for attention.
And yes, tomorrow is my birthday and I will be preaching my first birthday sermon, FOUR THINGS EVERY CHRISTIAN SHOULD REMEMBER, which I am sure you don’t want to miss. Cheers!!
Monday, October 03, 2005
Monday Evening -Oct. 3
spent some time at Borders. As it approaches 9 pm, I am studying "all
the prayers of the Bible" and drinking a diet coke.
In two days it will be my birthday. For the first time I will preach a
birthday sermon. That should be a new experience.
In the background Inky the cat meows as I listen to WCBS in New York.
The baseball playoffs begin tomorrow. I'm afraid my braves will not do