Journal

Author: Wade Ballou

A Day in the Life of Jesus

A Day in the Life of Jesus

“It’s just one of those days.” How often do you hear that? How often do we say that ourselves. Let’s consider a day in the life of Jesus using Matthew 14. His day would begin the evening before, with sundown. Bedtime would typically be early. So, it’s not surprising...
Your Taxes as a Prayer of Examen

Your Taxes as a Prayer of Examen

The season of Lent often coincides with tax season and these days we can find ourselves sorting through receipts and bank statements taking stock of our year financially, as well as taking stock of our interior lives.  Any examination connected to federal income taxes...

I Wonder as I Wander

The year was 1933, deep into the Great Depression. In Murphy, NC, a small Appalachian town, a group of evangelicals seeking to raise funds had been ordered out of town. At one point before leaving: “A girl had stepped out to the edge of the little platform...

Quiet and Community — An Anchor in the Storm

“War, sin, killing and a robbing — they say that the world is one big problem. I’ve got one, I tell you now, I can’t find my guernsey cow. I didn’t write no constitution but I got one good solution: drink a little wine, drink a little booze, sit on the back porch and...

What leads you to wonder?

My first invitation to wonder about Jesus’ coming came when I was a boy, stealing away to my childhood living room and sitting alone among all the bright trimmings of the season. Without really knowing it was happening, the mystery of the season seeped into my soul....

Living in the Kingdom of God

One of the questions I’ve been considering lately is, what does it mean to live in the kingdom of God? As I’ve talked with God about this, he continues to lead me back to the image of the garden. From the beginning of the Bible to the very end, the garden...

Responding Like Jesus to Life’s Demands

In a fast-paced world, we are constantly bombarded with things that require immediate responses, even designed to elicit them. Taking time out to really think about the right response seems counterproductive and there’s almost no room for it. I’m not immune to demands...

20/20 Vision Through the Lens of Gratitude

The eye doctor remarked on how much my vision had changed during the past year. I waited with increasing anticipation for more than the week it took for the optician to prepare new lenses for me. Finally, I excitedly picked up my new lenses and experienced once again...
Tragedy and Grief

Tragedy and Grief

There is nothing that can replace the absence of someone dear to us, and one should not even attempt to do so. One must simply hold out and endure it. At first that sounds very hard, but at the same time it is also a great comfort. For to the extent the emptiness...

Quiet in the (Beltway) Chaos

We live in a frenzied and seemingly chaotic world. We drive ourselves to distraction with our devices and multitasking. We strive for the next customer, contract, or position. For many the electronic world means that the work world is always present. We carry our...
Reflection On A Construction Dumpster

Reflection On A Construction Dumpster

“It is time.” These are the words of beginning for me and I know that I’ve come to a beginning when I hear them inwardly.  My wife and I heard them almost a year ago the summer of 2014 concerning our house. It was time to deal with the leaky bathroom issues, and...

Another reflection from Monastic Immersion Weekend

My Monastic Immersion Weekend at Holy Cross Abbey began in earnest with Vigils. Three o’clock in the morning is early. Nah, it’s not even morning yet. I’m not used to what this hour looks like and I’m definitely not used to being functional at this hour. And that’s...
Coracle in Northern Virginia

Coracle in Northern Virginia

A common sentiment among those who retreat at Corhaven is how powerful it is simply to step back from the noise, and be still, and create space for God to enter in and speak, and even more than that, to encounter God’s love again. Simply stepping away from daily...

Why I say “Yes!” to Get in the Boat

“Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” – Rainer Maria Rilke, from Letters to a Young Poet One theme from the early years of my life is restlessness. I tend...

Thanksgiving in the Midst

“For the beauty of the skies … for the joy of human love …” The lines of this favorite hymn fill my heart this Thanksgiving and guide me into reflection–What am I thankful for? I am thankful for God’s blessings around me, and I know joy in being in Christ. I am...

The Lord Does Not Waste A Background

“God doesn’t waste a background.” This thought, planted by the Rev. Sam Ferguson during a study of the life of St. Paul began coming to fruition for me during my preparations for giving the general Father’s Blessing at the January 2014 Mother/Father’s Blessing held by...
Christmas Mystery of Marriage

Christmas Mystery of Marriage

In the Joseph portion of the Christmas story (Matthew 1: 18-24), Joseph reverses his decision to put Mary away due to his encounter with an angel of the Lord who comes in a dream. In the Mary portion of the Christmas story (Luke 1: 26-56), Mary accepts the word of the...

Thankful For Soggy Messes

A Japanese red maple graces the front of our home. We planted it about 20 years ago. It provides wonderful shade while in leaf and lately has been home to a family of doves. It does however have the bad habit of dripping a sticky resin onto our cars. In the Fall its...