Christ is both our goal and our way

Christ is everything to the believer. Our lives follow his.This short reflection from Augustine's City of God shows us that Christ is the goal of human life and the way we walk toward that goal. He's the point and the path. (I've paraphrased it here from Marcus Dods' translation.)Man is properly understood to be made in God’s image. This is the higher part of his nature that transcends the lowly animals and brings him nearer to the Supreme. But while the human mind is naturally capable o … [Read more...]

In Christ we ascend beyond the angels

It is sometimes easy to focus on how sinful we are. Our frailty and failings stand in stark contrast to the life we hope and believe we can live in Christ. Focus on these things too long and we can become very discouraged. But there are reasons for encouragement, and one example can be found by looking at a song about Jesus’ mother.Orthodox and Eastern Catholic believers sing a short hymn about Mary called the “Axion Estin,” or “It is Truly Meet,” which declares her “more honorable than the … [Read more...]

Hippies, monks, and Lent

Here we are in the middle of Lent and I'm stuck on hippies.I've always been fascinated by the 1960s. These were wild and momentous years, populated by colorful and absurd characters whose impact far outstripped their usefulness. But drop the whole psychedelic mess into the period of the Great Fast and a compelling comparison of cultures emerges, one that might change how we see ourselves. … [Read more...]

Growing into Christ

When you’re a kid you rarely glimpse just how challenging, grief-stricken, and dangerous the world really is. Other people—God bless them—are busy taking care of it for you. But as you grow up, you have to shoulder more of those responsibilities yourself, few of which come with rulebooks or how-to’s.It’s not for the faint of heart. You get a call with news that punches your gut. You face an ethical quandary in which the “solutions” just look like myriad muddy shades of gray. When you’re lucky … [Read more...]