5 Hopes For the New Year

By Wendy MurrayDear Friends and Readers,I have been on hiatus from posting and it has been time well spent, though I apologize for the prolonged and unexplained absence from Poets & Lunatics. In the upcoming year I will be writing, as I have tried to in the past, about issues that highlight the complicated humanness with which we tangle while at the same time trying to remain people of authentic faith.I have spent these months in transition, being on the road most of the summer … [Read more...]

Remembering St. Francis of Assisi

Saint Francis of Assisi died 787 years ago today, and yet he seems more alive than ever despite the passage of time. In the Catholic tradition, this anniversary marks the "Feast Day of St. Francis." Remembering the champions who have gone before seems an appropriate tradition and one which Protestants lose out on. Francis of Assisi is certainly one whom Christians of all traditions ought to know and celebrate.I lived in Assisi when I wrote my book about St. Francis and came to love the … [Read more...]

The Day the World Stopped

I was writing a book, titled Facing Forward, in September 2001, a memoir related to the uncertainties of mid-life. Then on a bright Tuesday morning, September 11, everything stopped. Uncertainties about mid-life were irrelevant. I joined our country in a collective lament. The world as we knew it ended that day and the world has not been the same since.I include below the concluding paragraphs of the chapter I was writing in the aftermath of  this sad day. In the end I found that -- whether i … [Read more...]

Do Not Let Others Judge You (and Don’t Judge)

 People will judge you, of course. That is my point. Determine in your heart and mind, ahead of time, how this will affect you. Depending upon your moment in life and the circumstances in which you find yourself, others will always take liberties with opinions and conclusions about your situation, your efforts, stratagems, applied logic or whatever else. It is good if you possess the ability to thank them. It is better if, after thanking them, you think about what they have said and … [Read more...]

What You Do, Do — With a Swift Pace and Nimble Step

Clare of Assisi died 760 years ago tomorrow (August 11, 1253). Yet she remains as much a beacon for women and men of faith today as she did in her own day. For centuries the story of Clare  has been interpreted through the life of Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), the one-time playboy who was destined to become Catholicism’s most popular saint.Yet her indomitable faith complements that of her guide and truest love, St. Francis, whom I wrote about in my book A Mended and Broken Heart: The L … [Read more...]

Stones Kill Everybody

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 Sanctity of the Airport

 Only in an airport are human beings compatriots in a netherworld of suspension, neither here nor there. They are on the way. An airport is the in-between space where an eccentric confluence of human specimens are reduced to a common ilk, though traveling methodologies could not be more diverse. I stood in a check-in line recently behind a large woman in a kaleidoscope sarong, her hair braided tightly and effusively about her crown, with painted fingernails grown so long they curled … [Read more...]