Mary Rejoicing, Rachel Weeping

1824 (oil on canvas), Cogniet, Leon (1794-1880) Musee des Beaux-Arts, Rennes, France / Giraudon / The Bridgeman Art Library

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

NC Wyeth Illustrates cover for Addison Irving Bacheller (September 26, 1859 – February 24, 1950), American journalist and writer who founded the first modern newspaper syndicate in the United States.

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

Alister McGrath

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...]

Thoughts on Lent 13: Clarity of Mind

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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

Phillip Seymour Hoffman

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”

Alessandro Nencini

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...]

3 Meaningful Truths to Embrace Wildly This Year

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By Wendy Murray1.  Don't InterruptTalk ought to be sacred because it is so light, so tenuous, so trivial, if you will; so frail and easy to destroy. Cutting short its life is worse than murder; it’s infanticide. It’s like killing a baby that’s trying to come to life. It can never be restored to life … . A good light conversation can never be put together again when it’s broken to pieces; because you can’t get back all the pieces.G.K. Chesterton, in The Paradoxes of Mr. Pond   … [Read more...]


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