Happy New Year! A Planner and a Playlist for the Road Ahead

Rarely do I begin a contemporary book and feel it's paid for itself before the end of the first chapter. But I've begun 2019's reading year wth Karen Swallow Prior's On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books and I'm feeling grateful and inspired. My college major was English and when I finished, I spent ten happy years teaching communication … Continue reading Happy New Year! A Planner and a Playlist for the Road Ahead

Conversion at the Crèche: A Poem for the Unfinished Soul

The story of theBirth is read, theBabe placed in theManger.Smiling on theMother-girl, who gaveHim to a fallen world,I ask if I might hold herSon, her littleOne, theSavior. She gives a graciousYes. It's ChristmasEve. Cradle His head and place His body on your Breast. He is a Perfect littleLamb, atRest in theCrook Of my own arm. … Continue reading Conversion at the Crèche: A Poem for the Unfinished Soul

Add a Splash of Sobriety to Your Christmas Playlist with These Six Songs

One of the songs that rocked my world, changed my thinking and opened my heart is Jackson Browne's "The Rebel Jesus." But the first thing it did was upset me. Decades ago, driving in the dark with the radio on, I was drawn in by the tune's driving rhythm and lilting violin. I delighted in … Continue reading Add a Splash of Sobriety to Your Christmas Playlist with These Six Songs

Graham Greene Reminds Us That Hate Is a Failure of Imagination

"All too late, experience has taught me that we should not evaluate people by their vices but, on the contrary, by what they have kept intact and pure, by what there is still left in them of childhood, however deep we have to search for it." I discovered this quote from French novelist George Bernanos … Continue reading Graham Greene Reminds Us That Hate Is a Failure of Imagination

Meditating on Handel’s Messiah and More: Advent’s Perpetual Preparation for Peace

It is Advent once again.  And "what we must do in all earnestness," writes Hans urs von Balthasar in his Advent sermon "The Future has Already Come," "is to examine things with regard to their eternal content and eternal promise or, even better, allow ourselves to be addressed by the eternal promise that is embodied in … Continue reading Meditating on Handel’s Messiah and More: Advent’s Perpetual Preparation for Peace

Netflix’ Outlaw King: Battle, Betrayal and the Body’s True Beauty

Give me swords clashing and chail mail flashing.  Bloody battles and medieval mystery have captivated my imagination ever since my grandmother refashioned Idylls of the King and Ivanhoe as bedtime stories for my brothers and me. Give me a just cause and an undying love and impossible odds.  Give me legend.  Give me history. Give me heroes … Continue reading Netflix’ Outlaw King: Battle, Betrayal and the Body’s True Beauty

Rembrandt’s Wordless Roadmap to the Soul

"Rembrandt goes so deep into the mysterious that he says things for which there are no words in any language," wrote Vincent van Gogh, who took the practice of signing his own works simply "Vincent" from van Rijn, the 17th Century Dutch Master who identified his work by his first name alone. I last visited the … Continue reading Rembrandt’s Wordless Roadmap to the Soul

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

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 John Stewart, Mother Teresa and the Power of Song in the Field Where the Angels Dance