November 28, 2022

The only Twitter profiles Blockchain uses to communicate with users are: @blockchain & @AskBlockchain We caution users against engaging with any other profiles claiming to represent our team. As always, you can reach out for support & report spam here: — Blockchain (@blockchain) April 17, 2018 Read more

May 2, 2017

“I don’t have all the time in the world, but I have all night.”             James Dickey, “The Cancer Match” I have learned that there is a kindness in announcing limits. To a dear friend who would love a sympathetic ear for four hours straight if she could get it, whose childhood was stolen by abuse, who needs to tell her story again and again, I have learned to say as she picks up the phone, “I have about a... Read more

April 15, 2017

The harrowing of hell A harrow is a spiked implement that is drawn over ploughed land to break up clods, tear up weeds, and level the ground for planting. Knowing that bit of agricultural history gives the common figurative use of the word harrowing an important layer of meaning. We speak of a harrowing experience—one that is hair-raising, unnerving, that disturbs our peace and challenges our sense of security. Whatever in us remains to be broken up and rooted out... Read more

April 14, 2017

Stations of the Cross This ancient practice, observed especially on Good Friday, serves more than one purpose. It walks us through the events of Jesus’ betrayal, torture and death on the cross. It also invites reflection on the way suffering continues among the innocent, inflicted by the ignorant—the way, as Catholic writer Caryll Houselander put it, the Christ-life continues in the world. Before attending a service this morning at which we walked the stations of the cross, I read the... Read more

April 14, 2017

Different from all other nights Why is this night different from all other nights? This question is asked on Passover as a prompt to remember the story of an enslaved people, spared and chosen and changed. Jesus didn’t abolish that commemoration, but transformed its meaning on the night he was betrayed. He carried out the ritual of Passover and completed it: after supper he took the bread and the wine and shared them with the shocking words we now hear... Read more

April 13, 2017

Too much with us “The world is too much with us, late and soon, / Getting and spending we lay waste our powers . . .” These opening lines of a Wordsworth sonnet (written among rolling English hills that make me wonder what “too much” looked like in 1807) come to me often as I make the rounds from Trader Joe’s to the Emigh’s hardware looking for parking. I thought of them yesterday as I juggled three bags of groceries... Read more

April 13, 2017

Imitation of Christ The fifteenth-century devotional classic The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, according to some sources, is the most widely read devotional work among Christians outside the Bible. Clearly the idea of imitating Christ is appealing to pilgrim souls who long for union with God. To identify Christ as God incarnate puts him, in a sense, beyond imitation. But to read the Gospels is to recognize in them not only his godliness but also a consummate model of... Read more

April 11, 2017

And the Spirit of God came upon him . . . Biblical stories of encounters with God or with angelic beings are fascinating in their variety. Balaam lifted up his eyes, saw the tribes of Israel encamped, “and the Spirit of God came upon him.” The same Spirit came upon the messengers of Saul and they abandoned their mission to take David and began prophesying. The Spirit actually rushed upon Samson to help him break free. In Acts we read... Read more

April 10, 2017

a multitude keeping festival . . . Ps. 42 I like the word festivity. It’s a little different from celebration, a lot different from partying. It has a slight antique ring to it, as well it might: references to festival, festal occasions and festivity go back as far as Exodus. Festive refers both to the nature of an occasion and to the collective state of mind such occasions foster–a lovely weave of thanksgiving, celebration—usually of something completed, something survived, something... Read more

April 9, 2017

Prayer is a place “I go there all the time,” one woman said recently in a conversation about prayer. She went on to speak of prayer as an interior space she entered easily and often—a ready refuge from the rushing world. She had things to say about talking with God, but what struck me was how, for her, prayer was more to be entered into than undertaken. Once you’re there, you’re there: what you do may vary: you can sit... Read more

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