Reflections of An Aging Mother

Many faded photos of women in horn-rimmed glasses and puffy hair are popping up on social networking sites: "My precious mother" or "My gone-but-not-forgotten dear mother." As I have aged I continue to see that the connection to one's mother is the singular most defining relationship that shapes another human's life, for better or worse. My heart goes out to those women whose hearts will ache this Sunday when mothers are hailed, doted upon, and held up as saviors and saints. I'm sorry for the … [Read more...]

Mary Rejoicing, Rachel Weeping

by Wendy MurrayA disastrous event that took place in Bethlehem related to Jesus’ birth that is also part of the picture of Christmas. Herod ordered the slaughter of all the boys two years old and under. Yet we tend to allow sleigh bells, evergreens, and shopping trips to push it out of view. It is nevertheless, in all its brutality, what Christmas is about: a Savior's "invasion" (to borrow from C. S. Lewis) and confrontation with the forces of evil.Matthew's narrative of Christ's b … [Read more...]

Crime & Punishment in Plymouth Colony

By Wendy Murray Thanksgiving approaches and, amid giving thanks, the sojourners at Plymouth had plenty of problems to contend with in forming their system of governing in the precarious and hostile environment they confronted upon landing on Cape Cod. The following information, which delineates the crimes and judgments they rendered, comes from the website Mayflower History, whose research is gratefully acknowledged.Records from Plymouth Colony's earliest courts have actually survived a … [Read more...]

C.S. Lewis on Suffering, Let’s Do Lunch ~ a New Book

Alistair McGrath's new book If I Had Lunch with C.S.Lewis is a short volume with a lively tea-and-biscuit feel that explores Lewis's ideas on subjects related to the struggle and beauty of faith.The book's casual presentation could be helpful to some, but I stumbled over it.  The issues addressed in Lewis's arsenal of thought are not tea-and-biscuit fare. When Lewis himself broached such matters-- heaven, education or suffering, it typically involved book-length discussions and years of … [Read more...]

Clarity of Mind

My vocation happens to be that of a writer, though every person's vocation requires clarity of mind. In my case clarity of mind drives the pen. What does it drive in your case? If your mind is cluttered as a writer your words will be tedious and often superfluous. If your mind is cluttered in any vocation, you will feel like you are walking in circles.Whether in my vocation or yours (do you know what your vocation is?), unhealthy dependence upon social media in its various forms carries the … [Read more...]

God Bless the Addicts ~ Philip Seymour Hoffman and Thoughts on Addiction

by Wendy MurrayEternal rest (death) and the picture of Philip Seymour Hoffman with a needle in his arm (addiction) paint the picture of the human and divine. The well-loved actor was found dead on Sunday in his home, heroin nearby. His death elicits anguish, not because of the impact he's left through his affecting roles (unmatched) but because of the soul he brought to them. His work took us to other worlds. And yet he seemed to be languishing for something, and as it turns out, he was. He … [Read more...]

Judge in Amanda Knox Verdict : “This Case Consumed Many Lives”

By Wendy MurrayAlessandro Nencini, the presiding judge in the recent guilty verdict in the case against Amanda Knox, agreed to be interviewed by Italian crime journalist Fiorenza Sarzanini, for Italy's  newspaper, Corriere della Sera. The interview was published two days after Knox was found guilty (along with Raffaele Sollecito) of the 2007  murder of her housemate, Meredith Kercher, and sentenced to 28.6 years in prison. (A third convict, Rudy Guede, is already serving a 16-year prison sen … [Read more...]