Wednesday, September 22, 2010


As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies dráw fláme;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves—goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying Whát I do is me: for that I came.
Í say móre: the just man justices;
Kéeps gráce: thát keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is—
Chríst—for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.
 ~by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Walking Ancient Paths

Ancient Paths: Discover Christian Formation the Benedictine Way (Paraclete Press, August 2010), a newly published book by David Robinson, offers insights into spiritual formation based upon the Rule of St. Benedict, an ancient guidebook for spiritual formation in community. Drawing upon centuries of Benedictine spirituality and monastic spiritual practices, Ancient Paths presents a five-fold approach to Christian formation in community, including the way of communal prayer, spiritual leadership, ordinary spirituality, sacred study of Scripture and the way of Benedictine hospitality.
What is Christian formation? As St. Paul writes, we who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18). This book is designed to help you and other grow together in spiritual life in Christ “with ever-increasing glory”.  Ancient Paths presents Benedict’s perspectives and principles as a rich source of wisdom and practical guidance for Christian formation today.
Ancient Paths shows how the Benedictine way of life has been lived day by day over the past fifteen centuries. With commentary on every chapter of The Rule of St. Benedict, and with biblical principles laid out in this book, oblates, pastors and church members will discover how to implement ancient Benedictine ways of Christian life together. Pastors, priests, and lay-leaders in the local congregation will find a variety of helps in this book to grow a community of faith in the ancient way of Christ. Each chapter concludes with a list of practical ideas called “Taking Steps into Christian Formation”.  In addition, a three year plan is included for developing Christian formation within the local church, along with a user’s guide to taking a monastic retreat. A twelve-week study guide is also provided for pastors, church leadership boards, home groups, house churches and small group leaders.
David Robinson has served since 1993 as pastor of Community Presbyterian Church, Cannon Beach. He is married with three grown kids. Robinson received his undergraduate degree from University of Washington, Seattle in Comparative World Religion (1979); his Master of Divinity (1984) and Doctor of Ministry (2009) from Fuller Theological Seminary. Ancient Paths is his fourth book on Benedictine spirituality. Robinson is a Benedictine oblate with Mount Angel Abbey, Oregon.