My Quaint, Silly, Ridiculous, Little, Lovely, Lovely Faith

The Calling of St. Matthew by Michelangelo Merisi da CaravaggioWhen I was growing up, I was raised in a Lutheran home. My mother's father was a gifted, but somewhat stern Lutheran pastor who informed my mother's faith. We attended church regularly, prayed at meals, prayed before bedtime and read stories from "Hurlbut's Story of the Bible". I recall close friendships between my parents and our pastors. I remember walks with my dad down long train tracks, as our black lab manically sniffed for … [Read more...]

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Why That Woman Wept At Confession

  I have to be honest. I was jarred when I first heard it. It was on a Tuesday night - a Lenten Reconciliation Service. The gorgeous sanctuary of our church was warmly lit and Richard, the music director, gingerly played beautiful, familiar, sweetened hymns on the piano. Lines were formed around the periphery of the sanctuary. Five priests were working overtime (as if there is a prescribed set of "working hours" in a priest's life anyway) leaning in, comforting, consoling, … [Read more...]

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Twisted Cross, True Cross

  I was only nine when I saw it. And it is strange that I still remember it. It was in the basement of my childhood home – my father’s office, to be exact. Unlike the house we lived in before, this basement had no natural light. Though light fixtures and lamps fought against the encroaching darkness, an older sister could devilishly switch the light off while you were down there and leave you instantly consumed by the inky blackness. And it was frightening.So it was in t … [Read more...]

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God & the Darkness

 Forgive me. I am in a dark mood.There is darkness these days. And sometimes, is seems, it approaches blackness. These days ISIS pours across the Middle East brazenly leaving the crucified, decapitated & raped in their wake. An unabashed Iranian regime with an undisputed record of deceit, oppression and genocidal aspirations moves ever closer to an internationally approved nuclear capability. A Russian despot without cover of ideology or provocation shamelessly violates every … [Read more...]

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“Nothing New”: On Aggression & Inertia

Let us imagine a Country with an inordinate hatred. A hatred of a People. Whenever words are used to describe the vilified People, they are filled with abject vitriol and fiery contempt. The "enemy" is described as Degenerate, Vermin & Criminal and are threatened with Destruction, Erasure & Annihilation. This creed of vengeance is not a peripheral matter for the country, but is a belief system deeply, deeply set in its marrow. It informs, invigorates, inspires the Country's actions and, i … [Read more...]

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All I Aspire To This Lent I Learned From a Saint & a Twelve-Year Old

I. The Saint It was a warm August day in 1958 and the water was just right. The community of young kayakers were just beginning their river journey - a journey to be filled with paddling, riverbank soccer and deep discussions about family and faith under starlit skies. They were so excited he could be there. Wujek, they affectionately called him: Uncle. And he was thrilled to be there with them. My Srodowisko, he called them. His environment or milieu.But he wouldn't be there long. Thanks to … [Read more...]

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