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

Malls

Having grown up in Orange County, California, malls will always feel familiar, and wild rivers exotic. Read more

Gull Feathers

The high tide pushed the gull feathers into a straight line along several hundred feet of beach. There was no sign of the body. Only the inscribed threshold of those delicate feathers on the rocky shore. Read more

Non-Yogis Like Me Should Not Practice Yoga. There, I Said it.

In a popular online Yoga for Complete Beginners video, the instructor begins by inviting participants into a Sanskrit-named pose. We, the viewers, are going to relax, to ‘watch’ the breath, ‘create space’ in the body, and ‘connect’ with ourselves. We are encouraged to remember that there are no right or wrong poses. The movements are about “self-expression” and “awareness” of the body. When I finished my awkward attempts at the poses and lay on my back listening to the soft… Read more

Sketches of the Three Kingdoms of Christianity

“Our Father in Heaven. Your Kingdom Come.” This familiar prayer has been spoken by Christians for over 2,000 years. But over the span of Christian history, we seem to have directed the longing this prayer expresses in three directions. Maybe there are more, but the way I read it, Christianity longs for a three-fold kingdom of God. Read more

Master of None’s ‘Religion’ Episode and the Representation of Religion

In the episode entitled ‘Religion’ in the much anticipated second season of Aziz Ansari’s show ‘Master of None,’ Aziz’s character Dev Shah finds himself forced to pretend he is an observant Muslim to please his parents. Aziz was himself raised Muslim, but does not practice, or take religion all that seriously. In the episode, Dev’s devout aunt and uncle are in town, and his parents pressure him to say he is fasting for Ramadan, regularly attends the Mosque for prayer,… Read more

Let the Rivers Clap

  “Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy.” –Psalms 98:8 Read more

Holy Breath

We need Holy Breath now more than ever. Read more

Why We Need the Cursing Psalms

Today in my morning prayers I read Psalms 58. If you are not familiar, Psalms 58 is one of the more vicious “Cursing” Psalms, wherein the poet-author begs God for vengeance on his enemies. Some exceptionally gruesome lines read: O God, break the teeth in their mouths; tear out the fangs of these lions, O Lord! Let them vanish like water that runs away; Let them wither like grass that is trodden underfoot. Let them be like the snail that… Read more

The Liturgy is an Old Growth Forest

“The liturgy creates a universe brimming with fruitful spiritual life, and allows the soul to wander about in it at will and to develop itself there.” –Romano Guardini, The Spirit of the Liturgy Read more

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