Reflecting on Trinity Sunday with St. Augustine

St. Augustine opens his De Trinitate with a forward in which he recounts his efforts to complete this work which was suddenly interrupted by the theft of his incomplete manuscript. At first, Augustine refused to resume his efforts as an act of protest. But after much encouragement from Aurelius, the Bishop of Carthage, he agreed to complete the work on the condition that it contain a preface expressing his concern that the previously stolen work might, due to its incompleteness, not be … [Read more...]

Un-sandwiching Holy Saturday: Reclaiming the Discipline of Waiting

Holy Saturday tends to gets sandwiched between Good Friday and Easter. I want to make the case that it is actually quite important.It is, at its essence, about waiting. Christ's disciples were awaiting persecution by the Romans and rabbis. We now are await the return of Christ. It is about waiting in limbo, in between stages, caught in the middle of the death of Good Friday and the life of Easter.It is, thus, an apt metaphor for this earthly life. As Christians we have died to our old … [Read more...]

A Brief Theology of Coffee

w-Giant-Coffee-Cup75917

 The season of Lent has come, and I’ve spent the past weeks watching my more liturgical friends drop off Facebook and refuse beers, chocolate, and Netflix references. This season leaves me feeling guilty, not so much because I’m not giving up anything for Lent, but because I didn’t remember that it was Lent until I saw a friend post “Ash Wednesday” on Facebook. My spiritual calendar has been reduced to social media posts, which I now feel guilty about reading anyway.To cover this gui … [Read more...]

“Be Perfect”

In his reflections on February 23rd’s Gospel reading from the Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 5:38-48), Carl Olson draws attention to the ease with which a priest and his congregation glossed over Jesus’ words: “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  Perfectionism can lead to pride and personality disorders.  Better to acknowledge our limitations, and try to be “the best policeman, or fireman, or Indian chief, that we can be,” Olson’s priest advised in his homily.  This is no doubt go … [Read more...]

Millennial Presumptions

RHE

Rachel Held Evans’ latest post at CNN's religion blog has stirred up controversy in just the way RHE knows how to do so well. See here and here for some reactions. Part of what’s challenging about her piece (and all her writing, really) is that it contains a lot of truth. In her comments on liturgy, authenticity, and a broader Christian cultural-political mandate, RHE offers or, at least, approaches some important insights.  The merits of some of her points have not been fully appreciated by some … [Read more...]

On Honesty and Confession

Banquo

Does a moral, psychological “point of no return” exist? Shakespeare illustrates what this turning point might look like in Act III of Macbeth. After killing his king and one of his closest friends, Macbeth, the newly crowned king, announces to his wife, I am in bloodStepped in so far that, should I wade no more,Returning were as tedious as go o’er.Strange things I have in head, that will to hand,which must be acted ere they may be scanned. After this pronouncement, he goes onto … [Read more...]

Learning to Want What We Want

The_Assumption_of_the_Virgin

During the course of a homily on the virtue of faith I heard this Sunday, the priest gave an anecdote from his teenage years. I can’t quote him verbatim, but this is essence of what he said: As a teenager, I thought that Heaven was essentially a mass that never ended. The very idea of sitting through a never-ending series of church hymns repulsed me. Nevertheless, I wanted to want this because I believed I should. His experience of wanting Heaven despite his visceral repulsion to it is an e … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X