Where you live (vague as you wanna be):
Texas by way of Los Angeles, next only God knows.
What you do as a vocation or avocation?
I love writing. My vocation currently is student and soon to be minister of Word and Action (not yet Sacramental)
Your two favorite books:
“You Shall Know Our Velocity” by Dave Eggers and “The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger. With Egger’s book I was taken into a confused world I felt I knew and understood. While there I discovered that I was not alone and that the mystery of God laughs at the preparations I had made to travel across its routes. I wept as I read Niffenegger’s book. She helped me understand Divine love and let me chew on what heaven could be like. This book is beautiful and the most loving book I have ever read.
Your two favorite CDs:
“Return to Cookie Mountain” by TV on The Radio. This album invades my soul every time I here it. To me it embodies the tension of the here and not yet. “Welcome to A Cruel World” by Ben Harper. I have loved this album for over a decade now. It narrates my journey to the foot of the cross and illuminates the mystery encountered there.
Why you are interested in spirituality?
I hunger for the Divine. I can not but pursue spirituality. It is natural to me. I have always looked at the margins of the existence and sought a way to shed this mortal body. In my endeavor to understand my finitude I have encountered Christ in a way that gives me a bit of relief. The beautiful story of Rabi’a an early Sufi illustrates best why I am interested in spirituality. Rabi’a roams the streets of Basra, Iraq with a flaming torch in one hand and a bucket of water in the other hand. When asked why she did this she answered, “With this water I will quench the fires of hell and with this torch I will set fire to the paradise of heaven.” So that people would not worship God out of fear of going to hell or for the desire to be in paradise they would worship God for the sake of worshiping God alone. I do not want fire insurance or the eternal choirs of praise to move me to relationship with God. I want more. I want to dwell in the mystery of God.
Your favorite quote:
“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.” Thomas Merton
Your favorite web sites:
tribalchurch.org, cnn.com, Wikipedia.com, latimes.com, thesneeze.com, Presbymergent.org, thefetteredheart.com, hymnsandneedles.org, nunidecommunity.org and many more…
Johnny Cash! He is the patron saint of seeking post moderns. He fought, clawed, and begged his way into relationship with Jesus Christ, as he remained human and vulnerable to the divine love that sought him. His story is beautiful. I shutter to think of this world absent of the footprints of Johnny Cash. Johnny has the kind of kick your ass, dirt in the face, gravel in your mouth, gut wrenching, hungry faith that I want and desire.
A spiritual lesson you hope to learn?
I hope to learn that it really is not about me. It is about the relationships that pervade the seclusion I seek in the selfish acts of duty, dogma, and religion that hamper the utter encounter of the Divine. I want to go beyond my limitations and embrace the finitude of my mind and open the my heart to the love of God.
A place in the world where you feel spiritually “connected?”
In the esoteric sense it is in the wrestling matches I have with God. The harder I fight the more alive I feel and the deeper my questions go. In the physical sense I feel the most spiritually connected in the margins of society, among the sinners, the saints, and the forgotten. I sense a deep connection to the mystery of God as the conversation dares God to disappear or appear.
What food reminds you of your spirituality and why?
I want to say Dodger Dogs, because it is the season. With all of their free condimeny goodness it is reminiscent of Gods grace. So I don’t think I would use the Dodger Dog here. Tacos!!! There are many kinds of tacos, beef, chicken, veggie, with or without cheese, pico, and guacamole. But it never ceases being a taco. It is adventurous and familiar. It is changing and adapting to the culture around it, yet it is a taco. So tacos remind me of my spirituality. I forgot to mention the hot sauce!