Robert Pirsig wrote, “The only Zen you find on a mountain top is the Zen you bring.”
I thought of that as I worshipped in an historic church recently.
I watched the young couples practicing personal piety.
I saw students bow their head in prayer for the entire service.
No one welcomed me, no one said goodbye.
And it was perfect.
Richard Kerrigan is a chef working at The Goat’s Toe in Bangor, Northern Ireland. He works relief for mental health support charities, and he has a background in mental health nursing.
It’s difficult to ignore the references to food and cookery in the Bible. From the first bite of that seemingly perfect, shiny apple in Genesis to the Last Supper and the feasts and wine in the New Testament, there are scores of nods to the culinary world. Many are metaphors for knowledge sharing (unless Christ really did feed thousands using a couple of cod fillets & a few baps). Indeed, a lot of Jesus’s teaching and preaching is done at mealtimes & when else would be better to feed the mind than when you are feeding the belly? Folk are more likely to listen if there’s free sandwiches and a pot of coffee. It’s the reason most of us turn up at training days.
Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg writes books about the messy business of trying to be a person in the world, and how spirituality can inform and transform that work. Sometimes that’s about parenting, sometimes feminism, sex, God, justice, or joy. It’s all interconnected, isn’t it?
She’s a highly-sought keynote speaker and lecturer who has been named by Newsweek and The Daily Beast as one of ten “rabbis to watch,” and one of the top 50 most influential women rabbis. Continue reading
Philip Kosloski is a writer and author of the book, The Last Monks of Skellig Michael, and creator of a comic book under the same name. He is a spirituality writer for Aleteia.org and a big Star Wars geek.
The Rev. Robert W. Lee (IV) is an ordained pastor and author of the book, “Stained Glass Millenials.” A sought-after speaker, Rob also writes for several publications. A friend of the Abbey, we are pleased to present Rob’s writing to you on this first Sunday in Advent.