May 3, 2020

Stereotyping all things “other” has been something of a given in the history of humanity since the first concepts of tribal, religious, and territorial distinctions emerged. The East and West divide between Christians and Muslims is certainly no exception, hammered home by centuries of wars and rumors of wars, spurred on by the instinct to simplify the complexity of anything perceived to be a threat, creating cardboard cut-out images defined by certain aspects or attributes, usually overblown, taken out of… Read more

April 29, 2020

The world is turning faster and faster and faster, and so many of us feel as if we’re about to fall off the carousel. We are shocked at the spin, and cannot find our footing. For, surely, this has never happened before. Surely, we are the first ones to stand at the edge, and look down and down and down, and not know which way to walk in a starless twilight. But as one versed in history, I find myself… Read more

April 26, 2020

In order to get to heaven, is it only necessary that we be a “good person”? This is a question that has been asked, and slapped down, within Christian rhetorical circles on a regular basis. But perhaps we are too quick to do the slapping and less keen on analyzing what goodness truly means, and how moving towards the good connects to the idea of embracing salvation, and indeed where it falls short. First up, massive disclaimer: I cannot tell… Read more

April 23, 2020

Poetry is a language often able to penetrate more deeply than prose into the nature of the divine as lover of the soul. One poem in particular, “Pass through My Will”, written by renowned Trappist monk and mystic Thomas Merton and later put to music by Franciscan John Michael Talbot, stands out as a beautiful example, taking the reader on an interior journey through layers upon layers of spiritual significance and growth. At the same time, it captures the simplicity… Read more

April 21, 2020

One of the first things that struck me about the character of Professor Severus Snape as portrayed by Alan Rickman in the Harry Potter film series was how in sync it tended to be with the militaristic teaching styles of real British boarding schools well into the second half of the 20th century. He made a perfect stereotypical black-cloaked, pale-faced, long-nosed schoolmaster, who did not suffer fools lightly, took no “cheek” from his students, and would not wear his emotions… Read more

April 19, 2020

Deep in a tangled forest, there dwelt four sisters whose mother, a wood-wife, had died by the bite of a werewolf years before. Still they spun her magic through potion and spell, healing and weaving with color and light, and villagers brave enough to venture into the forest depths would seek favors from them. They never turned anyone away without a meal from their cauldron nor a cloak from their spinning wheel. But forces of evil were at work who… Read more

April 18, 2020

One of the objections that has been raised frequently against the Christian concept of redemption through the cross is that God would not require a blood sacrifice in order to forgive sins, nor indeed that God would not require a sin (i.e. the unjust condemnation and execution of Christ) to forgive our sins. This is especially common within Muslim circles. I feel that this objection mainly targets simplistic theological explanations on the part of some Christians, and which requires multi-faceted… Read more

April 15, 2020

My first encounters with the legends of Robin Hood are, in many ways, the memory of my own maturing, realizing things for the first time which have characterized my understanding of the world around me. I suppose that this is the crux of a life-changing story; it crafts some aspect of your inner self, in a way that almost feels predestined. I first watched the Disney animated feature when I was six, and it left me gripped by the plot…. Read more

April 13, 2020

There once lived a man named Darrick, with strong arms and bulging muscles, a smith by trade, accustomed to hammering down metal and bending it to his will. In the village, he was renowned for being able to best any man in a fight, and women often whispered to themselves about their secret desire to be held in his arms. But Darrick wanted more from life than what the locality had to offer. He wanted power and prestige, for he… Read more

April 11, 2020

My childhood memories of Holy Week, when Christians the world over commemorate the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, are a kaleidoscope of images and impressions, turning from lighter colors to deepening hues. I dyed eggs and watched Peter Cottontail. I savored marshmallow peeps and beamed over My Little Pony toys in my Easter basket. I basked in the lengthening days, the freshness of the spring air in the house, and the way the sun warmed the earth after… Read more

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