Hearts and Brains and Courage – Oh My!


Austrian psychotherapist Alfred Adler may have died two years before the film release of The Wizard of Oz, but he probably would have been a fan.Adler famously counseled that in any human endeavor we should follow our hearts - but we must also take our brains along with us.L. Frank Baum's masterpiece drilled a little bit deeper and found courage, too, a critical element. All three harmoniously work their magic together - the heart leads while the mind counsels and courage finds a way … [Read more...]

A Field Hospital In The Heart of Manhattan – UPDATED


It was barely noticeable. Not much more than an autumn sniffle. At first.Then it grew louder. Yes, she's definitely crying.I turned my head to the right ever . . . so . . . slowly. She was seated just two rows behind me and she noticed that I had spotted her. Her hands quickly engulfed her face; her eyes, full of tears, cast downward. I had never seen this woman before.Mass was about to start. And I'm used to sitting quietly in my own spot. By myself. In peace. It's the only few minu … [Read more...]

Joel Osteen Held Open a Door for Me . . .


and I walked right through it.Joel and Victoria Osteen have received a lot of well-deserved criticism of late, some from my exceptionally astute and articulate fellow blogger, Kyle Cupp. The Osteens preach a message that doesn't align with the true gospel of Christ. Theirs is a personal message of deliverance from financial limitation, emotional and physical suffering, and a lack of joy and happiness. It's more a self-help manual than a gospel proclaiming the Kingdom.Speak the right wor … [Read more...]

Of Pears, And Lusts, And Conversions, And Music


This is SamHe's wicked smart. He teaches. He writes. He explores. He expounds. And now he makes good music.Not just any kind of music. Soul music.Not just any kind of soul music. Augustinian soul music.Say what?You see, my co-blogger at Patheos, Professor Sam Rocha, has written and performed something unique. It's really a meditation set to music. A meditation utilizing the sum and substance of St. Augustine's own words, his own life story. Some say that St. Augustine's a … [Read more...]

Jennifer Lawrence Has Been on My Mind A Lot Lately

But not in the way that you might think.We've all heard about the recent phone hacking that has caused much celebrity angst. Private photos stolen and disseminated all over the internet. Very private, very personal photos, now all very public thanks to Google and other search engines.Privacy has become an endangered commodity. No method of communication, no financial transaction, no aspect of our lives is snoop-free. We've grown accustomed to surrendering the smallest details of our exis … [Read more...]

Wherein I Confess

I can't blog any more until I get this off my chest. It wouldn't be right. You need to know that I have been harboring a secret.It all started back in high school. Wow - I'm not even good at owning up. Let me start over. It actually started earlier than that, like when I was around 7 or 8. Maybe even earlier. Yes, I was quite precocious. I can't really remember a time when it didn't cause at least some internal grief, although it was always very much hidden away, even from my … [Read more...]

Memories Casting Shadows

It was time. One year after my dad's passing, the house that my parents had shared for the last 30 years was up at auction. The hand tools, the tons of specialized wood-working equipment, the scores of craftsmen magazines were all gone now. Some sold, some gifted, some junked. For nephews, nieces, children, and grandchildren, gifts too numerous to remember were crafted by hands that each year had become just a little bit stiffer, and eyes that had become just a little bit duller. Some of these … [Read more...]

Three Words

Precision. Accuracy. Clarity.These are three words that, as a lawyer, I must always keep in mind. You see, lawyers are ever-cautious about finding just the right word, or that critical legal phrase, or that indisputable contractual clause. And most lawyers know that when crafting a contract, or any legal document, the one who controls the drafting process typically holds the advantage. Sloppy drafting often leads to misunderstandings, resentment, anger, and lawsuits. There are always … [Read more...]

Somewhere Between Humbled and Humiliated

 A person is known by the company he keeps - at least that's how the old saw goes. I'm not sure how well that applies here.You see, there was a story to be told. One that affected me deeply. It was the story about Douglas, the homeless man that I had met on Third Avenue, curled up and drunk in a CVS doorway at 8 a.m. In a few brief moments together his story of loss, despair, and desperation touched my soul. He spoke to me of "turning into dust." Within hours, he was gone. I … [Read more...]

Another Rich Young Man Involved in a Hit and Run

Well, it wasn't exactly his fault. I mean, he wasn't even driving. He wasn't even in a car. In fact, the nearest car was some 2,000 years away.Yes, I'm referring to the rich young man that Christ addressed in Matthew 19:16-22, and it's the story of today's gospel message: Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to [the] poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”There's a lot to unpack here. But one thing that I'm pretty cer … [Read more...]