A Season for Kenosis (I)

To empty the self is to dig down to the source of the living waters that bubble up at the core of our being, where God is continually present to us and in fact creating us at each moment. Read more

On the Mass

There is a kind of ‘surface tension’ to the Mass. By this, I mean that church can be boring when you stay on the surface, like a spiritual water strider bug. But I have found that if you just relax your mind and heart a bit, treat it more like meditation, and allow yourself to sink into the poetic, embodied, elemental, and rhythmic flow of the liturgy you will never reach the bottom of its spiritual depth, beauty, and mystery. Read more

‘It’s Always in the Desert’: Breaking Bad’s Anti-Spiritual Ecology

While Breaking Bad features many beautiful scenes of the desert. If Walt is an anti-hero, then Walt’s cherished desert is an anti-spiritual ecology. Read more

Leaves

As the leaves yellow, fade, and             fall. I am still clinging to mine. ‘Let go,’ whispers the Beloved. Read more

Living Reconciliation

On Saturday evening, my Parish, Saint James Anglican Church, hosted a reconciliation dinner for First Nations’ survivors of Canadian residential schools. Much like their counterparts in the US, Canadian residential schools were boarding schools administered by Christian churches mandated to assimilate native peoples to North American culture and language. Over 100 years of existence, more than 150,000 indigenous children were forced to attend. An estimated 6,000 died for various reasons mostly associated with abuse while in the custody of these… Read more

Antinatalism and Moral Equivalences

In a recent Grist.org post, the author displays a bar graph which shows in descending impact the things we can do to reduce our consumption of CO2, the greenhouse gas most likely responsible for the rise in global temperatures, attributed to human consumption of fossil fuels. The bar farthest to the right, and thus with the most impact on CO2 emissions is entitled “have one fewer child.” The choice to the direct left of that bar is entitled “live car-free.”… Read more

Watching ‘The Christians’ in Secular Vancouver

The other night, I went to see the Lucas Hnath play ‘The Christians.’ The play has a small cast and revolves around a mega-church pastor who has stopped believing in hell. The play takes place inside the church, and the audience gets the handout for that Sunday’s service. The sermon that launches the play is sincere, and the gospel choir sings joyfully of Christ’s redeeming sacrifice. There is no hint of cynicism or commentary on the typical twang of the evangelical preacher,… Read more

Redemption

Redemption comes in tiny ripples, not crashing waves. Redemption arrives quietly like swallows—one or two appear overnight and stay on for a time. Redemption comes in an instant like the sparkle of grains of sand that catch the sun just right. Redemption works on a person like the tides. What begins as the sharp edges of broken glass-hearts, yield their violence to the slow washing over of the ever breathing sea. Redemption comes like clouds of pollen from sturdy pines… Read more

Religions are Rivers of Life

“Religions are like rivers: they all flow to the same sea.” ― Elif Shafak, The Forty Rules of Love The religions are like rivers great and small. Most of them lead to the ocean. They can be treacherous and rocky. They can be downright polluted in places, constrained and shackled by artificial Riprap. They can be downright polluted in places. They can be constrained and shackled by artificial Riprap by human beings who do not trust the natural flow. But each river… Read more

Two Walks

On Sunday I took two walks. One before church and one after. The first took me through the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver’s urban core. I set up the vestments and chalices for the morning Mass. Then, I left the church and headed west along the boundary between Gastown and Chinatown. Gentrification has created a kind of checker board of social housing interspersed with hip up and coming vintage stores, pizza by the slice and dive bars. Buildings tower over head. The streets… Read more

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