Beyond Partisanship

I've had it. Don't spin me. Don't lie to me. Don't bury me in a mountain of legalize and tell me I'm ignorant. Don't exploit my tax dollars. Don't sell my country to special interests foreign and domestic. Don't tell me you are for a champion of the poor and squire around DC in limos, fly across the country in government-provided transportation, and dine at DC's finest restaurants. Don't tell me you are a champion of the people and focus on getting re-elected over and over again. Don't poor … [Read more...]

The Lenten Life: Falling and Getting Back Up Again

A Catholic parish near our home features this on their home page, front and center: Lenten and Triduum regulations 2015These are the 2015 Lenten and Triduum regulations:FAST AND ABSTINENCEThe holy season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 18, 2015.Masses on Ash Wednesday will be offered at 8 am 12:10 pm and 7 pm.Both Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, April 03, are days of abstinence from meat for all who are 14 years and older. They are also days of fast (one full meal … [Read more...]

Taking to the Street

images

My friend and colleague, Kevin Martin, achieves "Onion-esque" success at his blogspot with a satire that raises a serious question.  What happens when we transplant liturgical acts and sacraments from sacred space to the public domain? Baptismal Font Goes on the MoveEven though heavily endowed, Grace Memorial Episcopal Church in Kelso, Ohio, a town just outside of Columbus is facing hard times.  The Rector, an Assisting Priest, and a Deacon have only three remaining Church members.  That is … [Read more...]

The Language of Lent: Repentance

Lent is making something of a comeback as Christians who historically have observed the season bump up against those who don’t in the blogosphere.  But the language of Lent, which is rooted in larger Christian practice, often makes people uncomfortable.Of the many words associated with Lent, “repentance” may actually qualify as one of the more underappreciated and misunderstood words.  The conversation about repentance with the larger culture and, for that matter, conversations with people wi … [Read more...]

Throw Like a Girl: The Power of Enacted Contradictions

In a world fraught with an increasing number of bitter debates over what is theoretically possible, the best antidote to prejudice may still be the enacted contradiction.  That, at least, is one of the lessons to be learned from the Little League career of pitcher Mo’ne Davis who pitches at 70 mph and just threw history’s first shut out for Philadelphia’s Taney Dragons. She shatters sexist assumptions about what it means to “throw like a girl” and she does it all with composure that most adults f … [Read more...]

Sobriety: “Guardian of the spirit”

Dictionaries capture the impoverished meaning of the word “sobriety” in modern, American parlance.  One on-line dictionary, for example, offers three possible meanings:The state or quality of being sober. Temperance or moderation, especially in the use of alcoholic beverages. Seriousness, gravity, or solemnityBroadly speaking, however, the popular understanding of sobriety often amounts to little more than freedom from the influence of addictive substances (though some AA sites d … [Read more...]

Burning Snow

Snow

Saint John Climacus, a seventh century monk at the monastery on Mt. Sinai was admired for his spiritual depth. As a result, a neighboring monastery asked him to serve as their spiritual director.  We don’t know much about Climacus, but it is reasonably certain that the one book he wrote, The Ladder of Divine Ascent was written in response to that request.Consisting of thirty chapters that allude to the life of Jesus and the Old Testament story of Jacob’s ladder, the book consists of three sec … [Read more...]

When a Fast is not Fast

I realize that I risk appearing to be a "traditionalist" --- gasp! --- i.e., someone who believes that Lenten fasting has a specific purpose, defined by the history of its observance. But it does. Kallistos Ware puts it succinctly and accurately: "The primary aim of fasting is to make us conscious of our dependence upon God. If practiced seriously...The purpose of this [fasting from food] is to lead us in turn to a sense of inward brokenness and contrition; to bring us, that is, to the point … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X