July 20, 2022

I had an unexpected and very interesting exchange concerning science and faith on Facebook the other day. I know that “interesting exchange on Facebook” might sound oxymoronic, but it actually happened. Commenting on a new blog essay that I wrote while on retreat a couple of weeks ago, a Facebook acquaintance who is a fellow graduate of the Great Books program at St. John’s College wrote the following. Him: I don’t believe in your God nor in the notion that... Read more

July 18, 2022

I’ve been thinking a lot about end of life issues lately. Really. They seem to be showing up everywhere–on the television show we are currently binge-watching, in my readings in the Psalms, in Montaigne’s Essais that I taught last year, in a lead article in the Atlantic that just came in the mail, in a novel I am rereading that will be the first assignment in my ethics class in the fall. It may also have to do with a significant... Read more

July 17, 2022

Thirty-four years ago today, two early thirty-somethings stood in front of their four parents and exchanged promises; the groom’s father was an ordained minister, so the promises exchanged were official. It was a quickly organized, impromptu event because the groom’s mother was dying of cancer and might not live to experience the real, full-blown wedding planned for a year or so down the road. That wedding never happened. The groom’s mother died less than three months later, followed unexpectedly by... Read more

July 14, 2022

My recently concluded crappy month of June ended with a minor fender-bender, the result of a guy deciding that it was a good idea to come to a complete stop in the middle of a busy on-ramp onto I-95 North when there was a perfectly good merging lane for everyone once you get onto the interstate. I ran into the rear of his car. It wasn’t my fault. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. So now our 2011... Read more

July 11, 2022

I recently found myself in the midst of a Facebook discussion, the sort of online discussion that I should try to avoid at all costs. The topic was same-sex marriage; in the middle of some testy back and forth between persons of vastly different beliefs and commitments, a former student with whom I am friends on Facebook, a young Muslim woman, posted this: I honestly wonder – why are some religious folks so quick to condemn and oppose the legalization... Read more

July 9, 2022

A couple of weeks ago I posted an essay called “What They Don’t Tell Us About Wisdom,” inspired by a reading from the book of Proverbs that was part of the Sunday lectionary offerings that I had read in church as lector the previous Sunday. What They Don’t Tell Us About Wisdom–Part One The focus of the reading that Sunday, and the focus of much of Proverbs is Wisdom, presented as a woman who stands at the gates and has... Read more

July 7, 2022

Facebook reminded me that eight years ago I was on retreat at the New Camoldoli Hermitage in California, a retreat that turned out to be important in many ways–not the least being that it gave me a good deal of uninterrupted writing time during which I paid attention to my blog, which at the time was less than a year old. What follows is one of the essays that I wrote while on that retreat–sometimes our best attempts at holiness... Read more

July 5, 2022

I had an unusually positive experience a couple of days ago—amazingly enough, it was in a Facebook thread. A Facebook friend, whom I’ve not met in person but with whom I have exchanged a number of pleasantries (some rooted in our love of the Red Sox, others in our shared New England heritage, even others in our perceived agreement on many political/social issues) posted a meme on his FB site. It was from a Jewish rabbi, apparently copied and pasted from... Read more

July 2, 2022

Christianity, or any branch of it, loses its Christian character when its self-proclaimed supporters outnumber and outshout its actual adherents. Marilynne Robinson Is America a Christian nation? Attempts to answer this disputed question usually focus on specific language in the founding documents of the United States, quotations from the correspondence and essays of the Founding Fathers, what percentage of the citizenry identifies as “Christian,” and individual interpretations of history. It’s a familiar debate in which the various sides tend to align... Read more

June 30, 2022

Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony before the January 6th Select Committee last Tuesday was both powerful and devastating. When I learned early in the day who the “surprise” witness would be, my first thought was “how can a 25-year old White House aide  and special assistant be this important in the story of the January 6th insurrection?” Before long, though, I realized that her position as Mark Meadows’ aide placed her perfectly to hear and see everything. She was always in the... Read more

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