Cowley is the magazine newsletter of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist and is issued three times a year. It features theological reflection essays, Updates on brothers’ mission work and community life, upcoming retreat offerings, and other news and events in the life of the Society.
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The lesson this morning from the Letter to the Ephesians speaks of our need for spiritual armor. This is so we can withstand evil forces, “for our struggle [in this world] is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places…” For many people, perhaps many of you gathered here, “spiritual armor” is not something quite in vogue. That’s my hunch. You probably have up-to-date anti-virus software on your computer; you will take seriously your doctor’s recommendation to have an H1-N1 swine flu vaccination this fall; you wash your hands before you eat; you accept our country’s need for military defense to guard us against adversaries… All of these are protections to ward against enemy forces, whether armed confrontation or in the form of viruses and germs. But your sense of need for “spiritual armor” may not garner much of attention. It should. Continue reading
He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum.
As it happens, I was just there at Capernaum a couple weeks ago. We brothers, you may know, serve as chaplains for courses at St. George’s College in Jerusalem. Our band of pilgrims visited the site of ancient Capernaum on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee as part of the College’s “Palestine of Jesus” course. There are ruins of the first century village as well as a later synagogue and a Byzantine period church built over the house said to have been Peter’s. Continue reading
To celebrate the new millennium, the editors of the World Almanac compiled a list of memorable quotes by Americans in the one hundred leading up to the turn of this past century. In the top ten, surprisingly, is a short prayer. Perhaps you know it:
God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference. Continue reading
Exodus 16: 2-4, 9-15
Psalm 78: 23-29
Ephesians 4: 1-16
This past Lent, I took on what some might think of as a rather unusual Lenten discipline. It was a discipline which by all reports, was highly popular among the brothers in the community and our guests. In fact it was the most popular Lenten discipline I have ever taken on. I decided for Lent to bake bread two or three times a week. At one point, after going through 100 pounds of flour, and starting on my third 50 pound bag, Timothy told me that we had gone through more flour in three or four weeks, than we normally go through in a year! Continue reading