The Noblest Deed

One hundred and fifty years ago today, President Lincoln issued a Preliminary Proclamation that mandated the emancipation of all slaves in Confederate territory that did not return to the Union by January 1 of the following year. It was the beginning of the end of one of the greatest blots upon the face of liberty, [Read More...]

Hope Springs: Vulnerability and Longing

Last night I went to the movie, “Hope Springs.” For those who have not seen the previews, this is a movie about a couple (Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep) in a 31 year marriage where the thrill, as they say, is gone. It is about their journey towards getting the juice back into the [Read More...]

Violence Begets Violence

I’m sure you’ve heard the aphorism, that violence never solves anything.  It is a good line, one I have previously used myself.  In the long view it even has some truth to it… violence often does lead to more and more complicated problems over time. The problem with it is that in the short view [Read More...]

Grief and Atonement

There are so many reasons to be filled with grief: the four diplomats whose lives were cut short and the families devastated by the amputation of a beloved person from their midst. The loss of trust between partners in the US and Libya working for peace and freedom. Our national sense of violation and vulnerability [Read More...]

Come In and Sing!

The National Cathedral in Reykjavík is a modest edifice, as far as cathedrals go, and despite the fact that I’ve passed by it at least a hundred times on my visits to Iceland, I had never stepped inside—until last month. I’m not entirely sure why. I have ventured inside dozens of other churches in the [Read More...]

All In This Together

Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh teaches about something he calls interbeing. “If you are a poet,” he writes about a sheet of paper, “you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without [Read More...]

Savoring autumn days

It’s beautiful these days, cool and no humidity in Minnesota, but the days are also somewhat sad in my household right now. Dawn is breaking later every day, and sunset coming earlier, putting a dent in the time I have for gardening. Most of my high schooler’s friends are heading out of state to college. [Read More...]

Motivations

In religion as well as in politics (and probably in innumerable other realms of human endeavor as well), any seeker after truth and meaning can be bombarded with an incomprehensibly vast heap of supposed facts and truths. It is very easy to encounter a multiplicity of voices which appear to assert, with the utmost confidence, [Read More...]

Pro-Life

The moral and ethical questions surrounding abortion are complex, and although I have my own firm opinions, I know that good people disagree with me for good reasons. I have no intention of arguing the question here. No, what I’m wondering about at the moment is just what it means to be “pro-life.” After all, [Read More...]


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