Blessings to Impart
What’s stopping you from blessing your yard, neighbors, and neighborhood, your watershed, the land you drive over everyday? Bless the world, literally, and with your being. Offer it up to the one who has created it and cares for us all.
A Community of Aliens
I continued to stumble on, frequently forgetting my own story, seeking evermore opportunities for dislocated, immortal, heroic freedom from the chains of that finite, particular history. It was only a gradual awakening to a far deeper reality that radically changed the course of my life.
Augustine, Vodolazkin, and Christian Visions of Past and Future
Vodolazkin’s critical vision of the Medieval Russian past is no different in essence from Augustine’s similarly sharp and un-glamorous vision of Roman history.
Deeper than Religion, with Powys and Chesterton
Instead of opposing one religion to another, we need the conscience and that humorous raised eyebrow, which Powys described, with feminine overtones, as “that withdrawn, quizzical look which conscience, that tough customer, regards as an invasion of its preserves,” to rend the veil in all of our religious temples: cultural/educational, economic and political.
The Poor You Have Always With You
Accompanying the poor or inhabiting their number, the honest among us recognize our own fundamental impoverishment. Bernanos, a father and husband who long depended on others for sustenance, inhabited the paradox of Christianity.
Combatting the Christmas-Industrial-Complex
One can have a very merry Christmas with great simplicity. And maybe, thinking of charity toward our less fortunate neighbors, modeling simplicity has its virtues.
A is for Alligator
But the promise of the coming of the Messiah is that all these animals will be changed from enemies of the human race into its friends, or at least comfortable and tolerant neighbors. This promise sheds, furthermore, a different light on the present discomfort that some of us may feel over the invading much-maligned bugs and wildlife.
No Justice, No Peace? René Girard and Endless Rivalries
The rivalry we’re experiencing goes deeper than symptoms, political principles, and even the need for responsive, wise leaders. Indeed, it may bypass principles and wisdom altogether. But to explain it, I need the help of anthropologist and literary critic René Girard.
Losing Elections and Telling Better Stories
As we enter this season of Advent, we would do well to share the skepticism of Mary and her misfit Son about the powers of this age to establish an unshakeable kingdom.
The Insistent Cough of Grace: Remembering Frederick Buechner
His books are not a diminishment of historic and intellectual Christianity. They are a translation of Aquinas, Barth, Calvin, and the rest into the language we all speak innately but are all too often deaf to: the language of our quotidian lives, in which the undifferentiated mass of uncertain “certain things” forms the alphabet of grace.