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  • Gratitude for the World

    Our theme for this issue is gratitude, exploring it through the lens of Fr. Adrian van Kaam’s formative spirituality. Our contributors this month invite you to consider the gift of our world and how our individual and collective experiences and reflections can engender profound gratitude, which leads us to joyful recognition and union with God’s grace all around us. Rough Places Plain Kirk Wareham This, then, is something that I have observed over the years. In many cases, nature is astonishingly quick and efficient at reclaiming a piece of herself that has been abused in some manner. Patiently she applies her healing balm to the rough places, blunting the sharp…

  • Listening to “Angels Unawares”

    In this issue of THEMA the contributors are themselves angels unawares who give so much to others through ministry, music, film and creativity! You will find many examples of spiritual guidance from surprising sources that will help you to discern how God, Mystery, is speaking in your life, and increasing your awareness of the sacred. “Angels Unawares,” Truly On behalf of the WVIS Board of Directors by WVIS Executive Director Sr. Carole Riley, C.D.P., PhD, LPC, AAPC-Fellow Confluence: remarkable instances where the right people with the right gifts come together in the right place for the right task. Over a year ago a group of WVIS associate spiritual directors raised…

  • Listening While Whistling a Tune

    In this issue of Thema, listen while whistling a tune and celebrate the joy of life. I recently lost my nephew and though grieving found expressions of God’s love uplifting, full of hope and wonder. I learned that the path of joy sometimes begins in moments of despair and sadness. I invite you to be spiritually deepened through reflections, art, literature, film, music, poetry and a sermon.  Experiencing Joy on Retreat Ms. Sally Orcutt, O.P. When your life changes so dramatically, when everything you thought you knew is turned upside down in the best possible way, how can anyone keep that to themselves?  Experiencing joy on retreat is a special…

  • Listening When Everything Turns to Dust

    In this issue of Thema, the articles, poems, and sermon give voice to struggle, loss, depression, and the absence of God. But as Muriel Rukeyser proclaims in her poem, “Elegy in Joy,” not all are blest, but the blessing is in the seed.  The Bible often reveals new beginnings after much struggle. In the Book of Ruth, Naomi had lost her husband and her sons: yet her daughter-in-law, Ruth, traveled with her to a new beginning that ultimately became part of the ancestry of Jesus. After Jesus, innocent of all wrongdoing, was cruelly crucified, he was resurrected into a new life. The disciples despite their grief and fear were empowered…

  • Listening with Your Socks Blown Off

    The diverse messages, sermons, essays, poems, and reflections in this issue of Thema are rich with meaningful experiences that point to the glory of God within our lives, experiences that amaze, daze, and set our hearts ablaze with awe, wonder, and delight.  Social Justice Quilt Project By BA Miskowiec Listening with Your Socks Blown Off By Sister Deborah Lockwood How to Feel Alive Again By Christina Caron Grief as Innovation By Rebecca Messman “Can We Eat the Lettuce Yet?” By Jacob Kose Delight in a poem by Gerald G. Jampolsky, M.D. and listen with your socks blown off to the songs, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World”…

  • Listening to the Groans of Creation

    On Maundy Thursday we remember how Jesus solemnly shared Passover with his disciples but was soon to be cruelly crucified. He typifies our human condition of both love and undeserved suffering. We’d all like to skip the crucifixion and be done with the pain and humiliation, but God’s mystery is greater than our understanding and/or desires. The writers and sermonizers in this issue ponder our own groans of despair and pain.

  • Welcome to THEMA

    The West Virginia Institute of Spirituality celebrates its Silver anniversary in 2023-24 and we introduce our digital magazine, THEMA. Welcome to our digital venture, THEMA, a digital magazine for the spiritually curious. Edited by Rev. Christina St. Clair, our associate spiritual director from Kentucky, and curated by our Georgia Satellite associate spiritual director Rev. Dr. Rindy Trouteaud, THEMA’s articles will augment the annual theme chosen by the Board of Directors. This bi-monthly publication will enhance the gifts of spiritual directors and help seekers deepen their connection to the Divine, discern God’s voice in the world, broaden communal listening capacity, and pique the interest of those wrestling with questions about the…