Thoughts on Lent 15 ~ Affliction shall Advance the Flight in Me

EasterWings

The season of Lent rises to its devastating and astonishing conclusion this week. At long last, the veil of the dark night will be forever rent and those who abide in death will have a door to walk through into a new kind of life. Jesus will suffer first (Good Friday), and then the forces that crushed him will themselves be crushed two days later (Resurrection Sunday). In its time it was a cosmic event that, in its starkest movements, occurred beyond the veil, in a place where human eyes cannot … [Read more...]

For Lent I Give Up Not Buying Sweet Rolls

Hot-crossed buns

Even as a person of faith for more than forty years, Lent still confounds me. The stated purpose according to the Catholic tradition, is to spiritually prepare for Holy Week by means of personal penance.As I have worked this over in my mind, not being rooted in the Catholic tradition, I have come to appropriate Lent not so much with the mindset of "giving things up" -- to suffer because Jesus suffered -- but of making room for holiness, even as Jesus embodied holiness during his last … [Read more...]

Clergy Abuse Overwhelmed a Pope: It Ought to Be Exposed

The legacy of the church in the life of one man: is this what trust looks like?

By Wendy MurrayI recently watched a Frontline documentary titled "Secrets of the Vatican" highlighting the daunting challenges facing Pope Francis. His predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, resigned from the office a year ago today (Feb. 28, 2013) under a cloud of corruption and the stench of unresolved rampant sex-abuse cases. The documentary highlights the challenge Pope Francis faces in the unspoken mandate to clean up the Church, most notably the shameful sordid legacy of covering up of … [Read more...]

Stones Kill Everybody

7-WomanCaughtInAdultery

One of the most confounding and at the same time consoling passages in the New Testament is that of Jesus' encounter with the woman caught in adultery (John 8:4 to 11). Some scholars assert that this short portion of the gospel of John was not contained in the original text  since it is missing from some of the earliest manuscripts. Others demur. Regardless the episode clearly represents and is consistent with everything Jesus did and taught in his earthly ministry. 4 "Teacher," they said to J … [Read more...]

The Secret Life of Jesus ~ Thoughts on Prayer

Archangel Michael

Jesus would welcome anyone, even liars and religious hypocrites, before whom he leveled a steady gaze into unsettled eyes. Is it possible then that one can accept the challenge of his grace yet dismiss the force behind them?He acted and-- in some cases restrained from acting-- in harmony with the purposes of his Father whom he met in prayer. When he was weak he prayed to stay the course, to complete the work of his Father, and to resist the temptation to exercise his bestowal before its … [Read more...]

True North

Francis and Leper 2

I have come to believe that the greatest battle of our age is not, as one would suppose, the "war on terror," meaning terrorists. I believe it is an invisible war with its own element of terror, which every human heart either longs for or repels decisively.Pascal, whom I have been reading (the Pensées), describes the character of one has who set himself up as his own god: "He [or she] wants to be the object of love and esteem . . . He devotes all his attention to hiding his faults both from … [Read more...]

A Very Dark Thursday

Jesus Fresco arms wide_edited

 Thomas Merton described the spiritual death of the Dark Night of the Soul as “the awful dereliction of the soul closed in upon itself.” This seems an apt description of what Jesus experienced on the last full day of his life, also known as Maundy Thursday, when all those he loved abandoned him.On the evening of Maundy Thursday many years ago, in the aftermath of my divorce, I entered a dimly lit sanctuary. Two glowing candles adorned the altar in a darkened sanctuary amid cros … [Read more...]


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