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Eremos Magazine - Current Issue

Magazine No 141 [ December 2017 ]

For many people in the world today, finding a safe place to belong is a painful reality, not just a metaphor for addressing ‘existential’ homelessness. So where does that leave those of us for whom this is a metaphor – who are drawn to spiritual practices like retreats, pilgrimages and spiritual direction as a way of coming home to God and our self?

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Inside this issue

HOLY INNOCENTS by Noel Davis
FINDING OUR TRUE HOME by Alex Nelson
HOME: OUR PLACE OF ORIGIN AND OUR PLACE OF ARRIVAL by Carolyn Craig-Emilsen
SPIRITUAL DIRECTION: A CONVERSATION THAT CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE by Philip Carter
WALK YOUR OWN WALK by Kate Brennan
CHRISTIANS AND HOMOSEXUALITY by Pamela Shaw
JUDY CANNATO’S 'RADICAL AMAZEMENT' reviewed by Rob Brennan
'JESUS OF MONTREAL' reviewed by Don Meadows
WYN MORIARTY’S 'A FATHER’S DREAMS' reviewed by Digby Hannah
EREMOS AND ME by Digby Hannah
A CHRISTMAS SONG by Ian Riley

Editorial

Judith Mehr, who allowed us to use her 2016 painting on the cover of this issue free of charge, writes:

Several months ago, I became obsessed with the news image of the little fiveyear-old boy, Omran Daqneesh, in Aleppo, Syria, who had been pulled out of the rubble of a bombed building and placed, bleeding, alone and forlorn, on an ambulance seat. His hopeless, dazed, vacant expression haunted me … I felt powerless as I longed to reach out and comfort him.

… and I knew that I needed to "speak" with my painting talent to share these feelings and bring angels to comfort Omran. … I am grateful for the work of Andrei Rublev and William Bouguereau for details and inspiration in helping me find the right note for the angels in this work.

Painting this was the only way I felt empowered in the face of such insane world events. As you view this painting, may the ideals communicated therein bring to you joy, hope, peace (judithmehr.com).

I invite you to sit with this painting, her words above and with Noël Davis’ moving and powerful poem, ‘Holy Innocents’, and allow them to address you. What moves, challenges or questions you? How might
you respond? You might follow this with Ian Riley’s ‘A Christmas Song’, linking manger and cross.

For many people in the world today, finding a safe place to belong is a painful reality, not just a metaphor for addressing ‘existential’ homelessness. So where does that leave those of us for whom this is a metaphor – who are drawn to spiritual practices like retreats, pilgrimages and spiritual direction as a way of coming home to God and our self?

Perhaps it is only as we detach from the conditioning of family and culture, as Alex Nelson and Carolyn Craig-Emilsen seem to suggest, that we can become more open, compassionate and able to show our solidarity and willingness to stay with those who are suffering – in whatever ways we are called to do so. Perhaps, like Mehr, we then find the gift that is ours to share.

Another way of coming home to ourselves and God is through spiritual direction – or spiritual companioning – which Philip Carter describes as the ‘conversation that transforms’. Or, like Kate Brennan we might choose to go on pilgrimage to reflect on what is most important to us. The point of these practices is so that we can connect more deeply with others, enlarging our borders, not thickening them.

In ‘Christians and Homosexuals’, Pamela Shaw questions whether the church’s condemnation of homosexuals reflects the inclusiveness and compassion of Christ.

Don Meadows’ review of Jesus of Montreal, originally published in 1991, is republished here to mark our 35th Anniversary.

Digby Hannah’s review, ‘A Father’s Dream’, echoes the idea of needing to leave home to find one’s true calling, while Rob Brennan’s review of Radical Amazement perhaps invites us to find our home in the cosmos not just our local tribe.

With love and peace

Frances MacKay

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