Fiction, Politics and Spiritual Physics: Sparrowfare’s Most Surprising 2021 Reads

It is the people you meet and the books you read that change you most in a year. Whoever said that forgot to include experiences, invited or not, that change our lives in a moment. But that line about books and people has stayed with me since I read it sometime in my teens. While … Continue reading Fiction, Politics and Spiritual Physics: Sparrowfare’s Most Surprising 2021 Reads

Halloween, Holy Time and our Longing for “Days that Are Different”

Sarah Clarkson, in her incredibleThis Beautiful Truth: How God’s Goodness Breaks into Our Darkness, describes her Holy Saturday during the Covid 19 lockdown of 2020. She’d been out for a walk on the downs near her English home, where in the first phase of the pandemic she was allowed only one walk a day. “The … Continue reading Halloween, Holy Time and our Longing for “Days that Are Different”

Dante’s Divine Comedy: Links to Lead You through History’s Greatest Poem

“Midway upon the journey of our life, I found myself in a dark wilderness, for I had wandered from the straight and true." These, the opening lines of Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy (Anthony Esolen translation) speak to the inner journey of the soul. They confront us with the voice of a man who knows … Continue reading Dante’s Divine Comedy: Links to Lead You through History’s Greatest Poem

Why I Couldn’t Put Down Sohrab Ahmari’s From Fire by Water

I read it in two days. I'd received an email notification that Sohrab Ahmari would be the first guest on this summer discussion series. I wanted to know more about him before listening to the conversation with the author, editor and essayist. My husband and I were going camping and I relished the thought of … Continue reading Why I Couldn’t Put Down Sohrab Ahmari’s From Fire by Water

Picture Book Biographies: Childhoods of Self-Discovery Lead to Meaningful Lives

"Play the real way." I can't identify the moment I noticed that when the children I counsel in my rural school told me about a game they liked to play they no longer meant tag or UNO or imaginary pirates, but a favorite video game. I do remember suggesting a board game as a fun … Continue reading Picture Book Biographies: Childhoods of Self-Discovery Lead to Meaningful Lives

Hillbilly Elegy’s Window into Addiction and Disfunction Rings True

Back in 2017, Bill Gates included Hillbilly Elegy among his summer reading recommendations. Having come from an advantaged home in Seattle, Gates said he reads memoirs like this to understand another side of America. "Through deeply personal stories like these, 'Hillbilly Elegy' sheds light on our nation's vast cultural divide — a topic that has … Continue reading Hillbilly Elegy’s Window into Addiction and Disfunction Rings True

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