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Along the Way
Thoughts along the way...
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The series includes reflections on a wide range of topics, all of which relate to our spiritual journey.
 
Check out the new postings in thoughts and homilies!

One of the greatest works of English literature produced in the Middle Ages was Canterbury Tales. It is a collection of stories that are brought together by a band of pilgrims who entertain themselves each evening by sharing tales of heroism, humor, romance, and moral instruction. As the pilgrims travel and share their tales they begin to change, so that by the end of their journey they are better people.

In the pages that follow we will set out on an inner journey. We will make our pilgrimage to the Holy Land of the spirit. This series of reflections is called "Along the Way." They are like the tales told by pilgrims as they journey along the way to their goal. Perhaps we will share in the same transformation that comes to the pilgrim who achieves his goal.

"The Way" refers not only to the experience of pilgrimage. Before followers Christ were called Christians, they were referred to as people of the "Way". Jesus referred to himself as the "Way." To follow the "Way" is to live as Christ. The Christian not only has faith but lives a way of life that gives substance to his faith. It is this way of life that we will explore as well as we travel.

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The articles listed here include popular ones from early in the series, as well as more recent reflections. Click on the title of the article you want to read.

Harry Potter  -- Is this popular series of books and movies something to be enjoyed or avoided?
 
The World--We are told to flee the temptations of the world if we want the spiritual life. Yet, what exactly is it that we are fleeing? Is the world anything that can be left, other than by an astronaut? What is a realistic approach to the world?
 
Death--Death and taxes are the only certainties of life. Yet we avoid facing either unless we are forced. This reflection takes a look at death in our society and in the life of the author.
 
People Along the Way--When we are on a journey there are usually road signs that point in a particular direction. The difficulty with the spiritual journey is that often the signs point in several directions!
 
Contemplation...in a world of action?--The heart of the spiritual life is contemplation. What is it? Is it possible in today's hectic and confusing world?
 
Power of stories--We often dismiss stories as being any thing more than entertainment. Yet, stories exert a powerful influence on our lives...for good or ill.
 
Education for love--While people may have many reasons for pursuing an education the greatest is to grow in wisdom. 
 
Reflections on the abuse scandal-- There has been much news in recent months on the mishandling of allegations of abuse reported to dioceses over the years. The response of the Church has been problematic. This article examines issues related to the scandal.
 
Spiritual Machines? -- Rather than simply a reflection, this is a website in itself that takes a look at the integration of humanity and computers. A primary focus is on the moral questions raised by this intersection. What does it mean to be human in a world where we and computers are one? What does it mean to be human in a world with sentient computers? What does it mean to be human when reality is virtual?
 
Mary at the foot of the cross -- Both joy and sorrow were woven together in the fabric of the Blessed Mother's life, as they are in the live of each of us. As a society our ultimate goal seems to be to avoid pain and suffering. We are told to take this pill or buy that toy and we will be happy. Is it possible to avoid all pain and suffering? Is suffering simply part of life and to avoid all suffering is to avoid an integral part of life?
 
Paul's Letter to the Marianas--What would it be like to have been one of the Christian communities to receive a letter from St. Paul? This series is an imaginative look at a "Letter to the Marianas" in the style of St. Paul. Along the way we learn a little about St. Paul and his world.
 
The cost of finding your true self...--Thomas Merton and Dietrich Bonhofer paid the price of discipleship and in the process they discovered their true selves. Are we willing to pay that price?
 
Getting it Right!! The Church has Good News to share with a postmodern generation of young adults who are seeking for meaning. Rather than good news they often encounter debates on who does the dishes and are offered spiritual heroes with whom they have nothing in common. The opportunity for sharing is there but we have to start getting it right if we want to reach them!
 
Heroes.  One of the best new series this year is "Heroes". In addition to great writing and respect for the comic book roots of the series, it taps into a deep psychological and spiritual need in its viewers.
Also read A Course in Christian Spirituality by Deacon Shewman that is available through this link.

(c) 1997-2008. Richard Shewman. All stories, articles, reflections and other written material contained in this website are the creative fruit and property of Richard Shewman. All rights are reserved. The written material contained in this website may not be reproduced or published in any form, except for the individual and personal use of the reader, without the express consent of the author.