Holy Saturday: Harrowing the Hell in Our Hearts (plus more songs for Holy Week)

It was on a Holy Saturday about ten years back that I first saw an image of the "Harrowing of Hell," a depiction of Christ entering the realm of the dead and releasing the souls imprisoned there (1 Peter 3:19). We proclaim it in the Apostle's Creed:  Jesus Christ "suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, … Continue reading Holy Saturday: Harrowing the Hell in Our Hearts (plus more songs for Holy Week)

A Holy Week Playlist: Music for Meditating on the Death that Changed the World

"This is it!" I once heard a priest, robed in red, proclaim on Passion Sunday. "This week is the center of our faith." And so it is. This is the week to ponder the meaning of the Christ, the Cross, the Death that changed the world. "Long before [Matthew] Arnold's sea of faith began its … Continue reading A Holy Week Playlist: Music for Meditating on the Death that Changed the World

Satan’s Sifter: Why Judging Others Is Always Wrong

"Simon, Simon, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat." I find those words some of the most troubling in all scripture. I know what happened next. The night of Christ's execution was the night of Peter's sifting. The overconfident man whose passion for Christ was so strong he proclaimed that … Continue reading Satan’s Sifter: Why Judging Others Is Always Wrong

Aslan, Ashes and Jonah: the Incredible Opportunity of a Lenten Prophetic Witness

One of my favorite moments in The Chronicles of Narnia occurs in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe when Aslan, the golden-lion Christ figure, breathes life into creatures who had been turned to stone by the White Witch. Having released the statue-captives from bondage, Aslan immediately prepares them for battle: The stone lion Aslan … Continue reading Aslan, Ashes and Jonah: the Incredible Opportunity of a Lenten Prophetic Witness

Tracking the Transcendent: Four Physicists Open to Its Possibilities

"Most educated people are not religious," a friend remarked to me the other day when the subject of faith came up in conversation. What troubled me most about his comment was its case-closed lack of curiosity about the transcendent realm. Whatever his source for adopting such a stance, if this bright young man allows the … Continue reading Tracking the Transcendent: Four Physicists Open to Its Possibilities

Galileo’s Daughter Meets God and the Astronomers: When Faith and Science Confront Infinite Mystery

Science, faith and love: each a mystery worthy of a human mind's complete preoccupation. Their interplay is enchanting in Galileo's Daughter, a historical memoir masterfully woven by former New York Times science writer Dava Sobel. I've owned the book since it was first published but it remained on my shelf until last summer, when keeping a … Continue reading Galileo’s Daughter Meets God and the Astronomers: When Faith and Science Confront Infinite Mystery

When Defending the Right to Life, Choose Beauty. Choose Love.

The anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade provides a yearly opportunity to consider the aftermath of the landmark Supreme Court decision. The court's ruling has made a political battleground of human life's earliest stages. Abortion is the most intimate of issues, piercing the into heart of our deepest questions concerning freedom, … Continue reading When Defending the Right to Life, Choose Beauty. Choose Love.

Boost Your Reading Life this Year with these Five Tips

"I haven't read many books," the young literature professor confided to his chatty, title-dropping students at a writer's workshop I once attended. "But the books I have read, I've read well." His gentle admission stayed with me. I'm a booklover, as I suspect you are if you're reading this, and perhaps your anxiety about not … Continue reading Boost Your Reading Life this Year with these Five Tips

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