I think I’ll quit belaboring this exercise, so here are some quicker answers.
3) People whom I consider modern day saints are… My Protestant Evangelical heritage comes to the fore here. I really learned well the lesson that we are all saints and all sinners. I suppose the people have have devoted themselves single-mindedly to bettering the world in some way without neglecting other responsibilities they have taken on, I might consider them saints. But I don’t know who they are. If I had to name one person with whom I have sat at a table and eaten a meal whom I consider closest to a modern day saint (though certainly not a perfect man, just truly devoted), it would be my Illinois Roommate’s father. She writes about him here.
4) Some of my family’s traditions that have had special meaning for my spiritual journey are… My family isn’t so much on traditions. I suppose the closest thing here would be that each night when I went to bed each parent, separately, came in and said goodnight and prayed with me. That was meaningful.
5) A couple of my favorite scripture passages are… Here.
6) My Favorite Hymns Are… This one was interesting. I think favorite, at least for me, often equates to familiar. My favorites are the old, standard, sang-them-all-the-time, loud, catchy hymns from my childhood. Iffy music, iffy theology–maybe. Rousing and memorable–definitely. Not in the Presbyterian Hymnal–most of them: “Up from the Grave He Arose,” “Power in the Blood,” “Victory in Jesus,” “Blessed Assurance.” I do like a few more lyrical or haunting things, some of which might even be found in the Presby hymnal: “For the Beauty of the Earth” (but I know the other tune) and “What Wondrous Love Is This” come to mind.
7) Book that have greatly influenced my life are… Mostly anything and everything by Madeleine L’Engle, right? But I read a lot. And then some more. So here are a few additional thoughts. I read a lot of The Sugar Creek Gang and that particular genre of evangelical children’s lit. It must have influenced me. Of course there were also The Chronicles of Narnia and its imitators (Anyone else ever heard of The Tower of Geburah?) I picked up Celtic Daily Prayer from the Northumbria Community when I was in my early twenties. It gave me a way in to prayer that the church had never given me. And imagine my delight when I started delving into medieval literature and the same Oswald and Aidan and Hilda and so on show up. Lots of authors and books influenced my life, but Madeleine does stand first and foremost.
One more for now. 8) The places that have been most important in my spiritual journey are… because… I don’t think in places. I suppose Eldon, Missouri where it all started; Austin, Nevada where it all could have come crumbling down, but didn’t because my parents never insisted that we give undue respect to unearned authority (their way was to check anything anyone said against Scripture itself), even when the authority figures might have wished they would; the University where it was no longer about my parents and I found my own people and started to make my faith my own.