In The Cloister Walk, Kathleen Norris chronicles her extended stays among the Benedictines. The aspect that she found most intensely memorable about those living the monastic life was their hospitality. This unwavering genuine generosity, this putting of other before self, is the hallmark of a fruitful relationship in Christ. During the past few challenging months, I am reminded again by that hospitality shown by those I live among here, in my very own church, and far abroad, when I visit other churches. The common denominator of true hospitality does indeed set the Church apart from the World. For when churches fail, as they will given they are institutions made up of fallible people like everything else, they really fail. But when they succeed, indeed, there is nothing like it! Enjoying such hospitality at the hands and hearts of Christ’s followers surely gives the best foretaste of the Kingdom to come.
In the series on Spiritual Autobiography and Memoir: Part II
Often I am asked two fundamental questions about the genre on which I am focusing this series: literary nonfiction about one’s life.
1. What is the difference between ‘regular’ autobiography and ‘spiritual’”?
Spiritual memoir is more popular than ever, it seems. A few months ago, I had the pleasure of giving a keynote address at the Write Canada Conference sponsored by the Word Guild. I also taught a workshop on spiritual memoir and spiritual autobiography there. This was a wonderful time with wonderful folks, for which I remain grateful. One of the questions I get asked most frequently whenever I speak on this genre is how I approach writing as a memoirist. As I open this series today, I would like to share with you my basic reply to this question.
Here is my final excerpt in my series from my new book Holy is the Day: Living in the Gift of the Present. I hope you will enjoy! Thank you for all the encouragement and support. My husband took this photo of a buck just the other day. He (the buck, not my husband) surprised us with his majestic presence (though my husband has been known to do that on occasion as well).
Across many mythologies, the deer represents a messenger from the spiritual world. And of course, for me as a lover of puns, deer/dear and heart/hart are just far too loaded not to enjoy in that wonderful (as Eric Metaxas puts it so well) “secret vocabulary of my heart” – the way in which God knows, speaks and enacts with each one of us, intimately.
Over the next week or two, before I return to my faith and fiction series, I would like to share a few excerpts from my new book now out with InterVarsity Press called Holy is the Day: Living in the Gift of the Present.
The following excerpt comes from my chapter entitled “At the Threshold.” How might you be at a threshold too? Continue Reading…