Poetry’s Penetrating Power in Five Minutes with the Daily Poem Podcast

 ...I have had too much Of apple-picking: I am overtired Of the great harvest I myself desired. Poetry wounds and and poetry heals.  It lifts the spirit and breaks our hearts. Profound poets offer the gift of contemplation.  Transcendent truth slips into the soul through the simple, solid things poets hold before our eyes. Take … Continue reading Poetry’s Penetrating Power in Five Minutes with the Daily Poem Podcast

Walker Percy’s Last Letter to the NY Times and the Red/Blue Corruption of the American Moral Compass

Two years before his death in 1990, Walker Percy sent a letter to the New York Times which its editorial board refused to print. I stumbled on an excerpt while finishing Baylor Professor Ralph Woods' Flannery O'Connor and the Christ-Haunted South. "That our national 'newspaper of record' refused to run a plea voiced by one … Continue reading Walker Percy’s Last Letter to the NY Times and the Red/Blue Corruption of the American Moral Compass

They Made Me Take the Mother Down: John Stewart, Mother Teresa and the Power of Song in the Field Where the Angels Dance

He died ten years ago at the age of 68.  He didn't achieve fame at the level of some who admired him, among them James Taylor, Carole King, Lindsey Buckingham, Nanci Griffith and Roseanne Cash. Nevertheless, he remains a highly-acclaimed hero of Americana music, one of the original singer/songwriters to blend folk music with rock.  … Continue reading They Made Me Take the Mother Down: John Stewart, Mother Teresa and the Power of Song in the Field Where the Angels Dance

Scandal and Self-Definition: The Choice Between Fight or Flight

The past few weeks have been gut-wrenching for serious Catholics who must face the reality that the gates of hell had forged deeper inroads into the heart of the Church than our worst fears would have imagined. We wonder how much outrage we can take.  How many unsatisfying platitudes and knee-jerk one-liners we must endure in … Continue reading Scandal and Self-Definition: The Choice Between Fight or Flight

Unselfconcious Icons: The Hidden Power of a Good Example in an Age of Bluster and Bling

On an ordinary day in the Denver photofinishing plant where I worked as a personnel clerk many years ago, one of the department heads came running into the manager's office across the hall from mine. "Somebody just puked in the restroom!" he exclaimed. "The custodian's at lunch and there's nobody to clean it up!" "Who? … Continue reading Unselfconcious Icons: The Hidden Power of a Good Example in an Age of Bluster and Bling

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: How Music Helps Us Rise when All We Want to Do Is Quit

There's more than enough anxiety to go around these days and plenty of places to place the blame.  Plenty of sin, plenty of harm, plenty of reasons to disengage.  Or just give up. A little thing just about tipped me this morning because it arrived after a series of sadnesses and frustrations big and small.  … Continue reading Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: How Music Helps Us Rise when All We Want to Do Is Quit

Create Peace by Dying to Red/Blue Hostility in a Martyrdom of the Heart

Our nation's discord is tainting every aspect of the culture. It seems nearly every injury has become a chance to take to the streets, announcing our umbrage to the world.  Formerly unity-creating public rituals from professional football games to entertainment awards ceremonies are now subjected to political controversy in ways ranging from the sincere statement … Continue reading Create Peace by Dying to Red/Blue Hostility in a Martyrdom of the Heart

Children Pay Price over Border Policy

After 20 years experience working with children impacted by our policies regarding the US/Mexico border, I responded to the most recent border crisis (family separation) with a reflection carried by Colorado's oldest newspaper, The Pueblo Chieftain.  (See Peggy Haslar:  Children pay price over border policy.) It's about children, red/blue division and our national inability to … Continue reading Children Pay Price over Border Policy

Becoming Rememberers: How Wendell Berry Helps Us Grieve Our Time’s Tragic Tradeoffs

The only bookstore in the mountain valley where I live closed its doors this spring. We still have some stores that sell books around here, but you know what I mean. As jobs fade, families leave. Businesses fail. And now the bookstore has closed. The Narrow Gauge Newsstand stood on the corner of the main … Continue reading Becoming Rememberers: How Wendell Berry Helps Us Grieve Our Time’s Tragic Tradeoffs