It is Christmas Day. My wife and I are having a simple, quiet day together before the fire. Reading to one another from new books, wearing newly gifted clothing, spending time with our sweet animal companions…it’s a nice day.
For us, Christmas is a quiet moment between our observance of Solstice and the celebration of Julie’s birthday. It is a day when I contemplate the idea of incarnation—the human-divine connection present in all of us—and the significance of the images of Jesus of Nazareth throughout history and across the world.
I am, as a friend of mine recently said, “Christian-adjacent.” That is to say, there are many Christians whose faith is similar to mine. One of our main differences, however, is that I don’t claim the identity, while others do.
On this Solemnity of the Nativity of Jesus, as it is called in my Roman Catholic roots, I consider the things about Catholicism I love and those I have left.
The main thing I have left behind is believing that any individual tradition has a corner on true doctrine. There is no one way. I don’t believe that all roads lead to the same place. Nonetheless, I do believe that spiritual practices from different traditions can evoke many of the same feelings, virtues, and ways of being.
This January, in Growing Our Souls, I invite you to a month of support for growing and deepening spiritual practice. In four meetings (Tuesdays starting the 5th), our group will encourage one another in trying new practices or deepening familiar ones. We will discuss our engagement with spiritual practice and routines, I will offer a new practice each week, and we will try it together.
Growing Our Souls is not about class time. It is not about simply taking in information. It is about trying things on, taking practices out for a spin and seeing how they work for you over time. Growing Our Souls is a way to support one another in making changes, committing or recommitting to our spiritual lives in deeper ways, and developing relationships as we do it.
I love my Roman Catholic past. I love some of the spiritual practice I have learned there. I also love the time I have spent in Quaker, Jewish, EarthReligious, Afro-Caribbean, and Unitarian Universalist communities and the practices I have learned there.
Spiritual practice makes our whole lives expressions of the Sacred. No matter from what traditions I come or what traditions I practice now, that is my goal: Let my life be an expression of the Sacred.
Will you join me in learning more? Learning more about how to lean into the Holy, how to pray and practice in new or deepened ways… learning more about what works for you in your quest for Spirit…learning more about where you have been and where you are now…
I’d love to see you…Tuesdays in January. Here for you.