Bruce Cockburn’s The Whole Night Sky: A Holy Week Interpretation

Every Holy Week, when the Palm Sunday readings take us from the adulation of the crowd at Christ's Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem to their cries to crucify him only days later, the lyrics of a Bruce Cockburn song from The Charity of Night rise in my mind. They turned their backsI made it too hardEvery … Continue reading Bruce Cockburn’s The Whole Night Sky: A Holy Week Interpretation

“It Does Not Appear What We Shall Be” — Reflections on the Loss of a Brother

I lost a brother last month. I'm the oldest sibling in my family and the only sister. Andy, the middle of my three younger brothers, lost his life to COVID-19 on February 10. A grieving heart wants to review the details of what happened. It wants to relive the memories. It wants to make sense … Continue reading “It Does Not Appear What We Shall Be” — Reflections on the Loss of a Brother

Begin Your Reading Year with this Book (and Live Your Own Story Well)

One afternoon during the COVID-19 lockdown of 2020, I listened to a lecture on the joys of reading. I love reading and I needed joy. Steven Jonathan Rummelsburg, a veteran teacher, offered the following reasons for becoming a more intentional reader, particularly of the classics: to grow in wonder, to join more fully in the … Continue reading Begin Your Reading Year with this Book (and Live Your Own Story Well)

Nazi Prison New Year: The Integrity of Alfred Delp

"It is difficult to sum up the year now ending in a few words. So much has happened during this year and yet I cannot see what its real message is for me, or its real achievement....Hardship and hunger and violence have intensified and are now more shattering than anyone could have imagined." With left … Continue reading Nazi Prison New Year: The Integrity of Alfred Delp

Contemplating Christmas Cards with Thomas Merton

Two days before Christmas in 1949, Thomas Merton returned to his room in Kentucky's Abbey of Gethsemani and opened his mail. He had received a postcard bearing Fra Angelico's golden rendering of the Annunciation, the moment when the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary with the invitation to bring God into the world through her own … Continue reading Contemplating Christmas Cards with Thomas Merton

End 2020 on the Path to the Ever-Ancient, Ever-New Normal

Remember when email was fun? How simple it was to "shoot" a greeting to a friend, receive a pithy reply and close your inbox feeling content and connected? I now have three inboxes and I approach each of them with trepidation. Even my personal inbox is more like Pandora's box than a friendly greeting gatherer. … Continue reading End 2020 on the Path to the Ever-Ancient, Ever-New Normal

A Thanksgiving Children’s Book for Weary, Grieving Hearts

COVID-weariness is a thing this Thanksgiving. In my little corner of the world it shows itself on the faces of parents, children and teachers navigating the yo-yo of school closures and re-openings as we monitor the number of active COVID-19 cases in our county, our valley and our state. It surfaces in my father's voice … Continue reading A Thanksgiving Children’s Book for Weary, Grieving Hearts

Two Songs for the Election-Anxious Soul

"These are the times that try men's souls." -- Thomas Paine Phrases like "these unprecedented times" and "these challenging times" have become cliché as, amid pandemic and pandemonium, the next president will be decided. My father, whose parents survived the Great Depression, whose boyhood memories include World War II and who can tell you all … Continue reading Two Songs for the Election-Anxious Soul