Life of Meaning

The Next Chapter of The Next Chapter with Charlie

December 2, 2023 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments


The Next Chapter with Charlie is taking a two-month break. After nearly 10 years of blogs and podcasts, we are taking time to consider a bit of refocus on our goals and reflections. Times have changed radically. I feel called to a renewed focus aimed at everyday spirituality. Please know, however, the show will continue to be practical and inspiring for living a life that matters… to you! Below are more thoughts.


In that day, people will be so hungry for the Word of the Lord that they won’t even know what they are hungry for. And many will stagger searching for it.” The Prophet Amos

People are hungry. We know that something is missing, our minds are in a continual search for something more or different or even meaningful. What’s even more fascinating is that although we know deep in our gut that something is missing, we just don’t know what it is.

And so, typically, we seem to do one of two things: Our proactive option is found in a never-ending search for new careers/avocations or new relationships. And then there is the second alternative of numbing and ignoring the issue with what we called in the 60’s: sex, drugs, and rock n roll.
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Religion is Not Useful in a Rational Sort of Way

November 25, 2023 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Religion is not useful in a rational sort of way… I don’t want to go into a church to discover the rational things of life.” Nick Cave with Krista Tippett

Storyteller Garrison Keillor, once said, “We go to church every Sunday for one reason. That is, for just a few moments, to step out of this life and into the next.”

We long for a transcendent world, one that feels not the burdens, sorrows, and sadnesses of our present lives, but rather, one that extends into the mysterious, the loving, and the life filled full in the goodness of the Divine.
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You ARE Potential!

November 18, 2023 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Everything exists in a state of potentiality. When God creates, God does not bring about new essences, but God brings to completion or actualization that which he created as incomplete or as potential.” Ilia Delio interpreting thoughts of Bonaventure (1250 AD)

You do not “have” potential, you “are” potential.

Truly this, for me, is one of the most life-impacting ideas I have come across for years. As human persons, we are born incomplete, like an empty container just waiting to be filled. And particularly, we await the filling of grace to live in harmony with Divine Intention.
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The Spiritual Quest: A Relational Endeavor

October 29, 2023 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Part of the spiritual quest is to improve our ability to relate.” Reid Hoffman

Why is it that for many of us involved in some kind of religious tradition, far too much of the spiritual quest has devolved into a kind of transactional spirituality? That is, we earn spirituality through the practice of the right disciplines, rights thoughts, and right actions. If we do good and score well on our spiritual quest, we will be rewarded with deep spirituality.
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On “Being”

October 8, 2023 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

When you get your, Who am I? question right, then all of your, What should I do? questions tend to take care of themselves.Richard Rohr 

I’m loving the quote above. At first read, it seems obvious: Who I am naturally guides what I do. Essence (or ontology) precedes action. However, actions and essence are truly synergistic. Essence guides action, but action informs essence (“you will know Who I am by What I do). The two are distinct as much as they are intertangled.
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Noticing with Curiosity and Imagination

October 1, 2023 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

How we choose to pay attention renders the world what it is.” Maria Popova

Here I am once again preaching that YOU are the center of your universe. Not that you are the most important piece of your universe, but that you are the sole receptor of all that occurs in your world. Your world is built upon the information you take in, information that you first receive through your senses and then process through your hungry mind.
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Belief: Deduction or Proposition

September 23, 2023 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

A self that goes on changing is a self that goes on living.” Virginia Woolf

Woolf continues brilliantly…  

Movement and change are the essence of our being; rigidity is death; conformity is death: let us say what comes into our heads, repeat ourselves, contradict ourselves, fling out the wildest nonsense, and follow the most fantastic fancies without caring what the world does or thinks or says.”

Existential Bliss

I am enamored with the idea of Existential Bliss. That we somehow find the deepest of satisfactions within our own core, especially as our core intimately connects with the essence of the Eternal, in whose image we are created.

One way I have accessed this Bliss is by means of pondering what I believe (in the words of author Douglas Adams) about “life, the universe, and everything.” Perhaps, above all other things, what I believe will determine who I am. And so why not give my imagination permission to play a role in what I believe.
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A Life of Pleasure

September 16, 2023 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

For the main road and shortest road to heaven is run by desires and not by footsteps… By their life he meant their love and desire, which in spiritual terms are their life.” The Anonymous Author of The Cloud of Unknowing

In the Episcopal communion liturgy, it is written, “Eternal God, heavenly Father, in your infinite love you made us for yourself.”

It seems to me that too little is written about the delights (and yes, the pleasures) of God. It is as if God only desires an emotionally detached sort of obedience that leads to perfection and salvation.
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Judgmental? Yep!

September 2, 2023 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Those who are quick to censure may be very acute in judgment, but they are as yet very immature in heart… when our virtues become more mature, I trust we shall be more tolerant of infirmity, more hopeful for people, and certainly less arrogant in our criticisms.” Charles Spurgeon

Truth is, we operate our daily lives with a spirit of judgment.

Our paths are led moment-by moment by “sound” judgment: good or not-so-good, right or wrong, healthy or not healthy, meaningful or trivial, important or urgent… the list is never ending because life’s experiences are never ending.
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Repent and Change Your Heart

August 26, 2023 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Repentance is to change direction so you don’t end up where you are heading…” Anne Lamott

Today I am considering the well-known cry of John the Baptist, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near.” As I ponder the deeper meaning of this decree, I must admit that I am perplexed by the common connotations for the word “repent.”

I googled the word and found this definition (which is typical)… “to feel or express regret or remorse about one’s wrongdoing or sin.”

Okay. So what?
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