Men and their Fathers

WalkwithDad

 One of my favorite pieces of art is a linoleum print by New Mexico artist Jack McCarthy, entitled “A Walk with Dad.”  Based on the Old Testament story of Abraham and Isaac, it portrays a frightened Isaac held and muzzled by his father, a knife poised for the sacrifice.  Only the one eye betrays Isaac’s fear.  Abraham’s expression is without emotion.Over the years my conversations with men have convinced me that there may be no relationship that exercises greater influence on men than their r … [Read more...]

Life Prayers

Life Prayer

In our search for spiritual direction we often look for the exceptional and the extraordinary.  That is understandable, particularly in an increasingly materialistic world where what is most real is what we can sense --- see, feel, hear, touch, and smell.  It is also understandable, given our tendency to think of that world as a world devoid of God’s presence.Far too often we assume that if God does exist, God likely lurks just beyond the last material reality that we have discovered and und … [Read more...]

Mary, Men, and Women

Mary

Poor Mary.It’s not like being the Christ bearer wasn’t hard enough.  She has to tolerate our deeply mixed motives for loving her.For men, among others, it’s the need of a mother.  For women she’s a rallying point for women’s rights and empowerment.There are arguments to be made for both points of view, but she was and is so much more.There’s not a lot to go on in the Gospels and it’s hard to know how much another version of projected needs were already at work in the first telling … [Read more...]

Venomous and Poisonous

snakes

My wife is reading a novel --- a novel about Scots and the English.  So, the author cares about language and along the way he makes some pretty fine distinctions.  One of them, she tells me, is the difference between venomous and poisonous.They might appear to be the same, but they aren’t.  If something bites you and it makes you sick, it’s venomous.  If you bite into something and it makes you sick, it’s poisonous.  In one fairly humorous passage a snake escapes into the privy and there’s a … [Read more...]


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