Let there Be Light: Thoughts on the Life-Giving, Death-Dealing Power of the Tongue

I'd just been paired with a stranger for one of those awful icebreakers at a conference in a Denver hotel. We stood among the other pairs, politely smiling, straining to hear each other in the din of the introductions going on all around us. He was a tall man, late sixties maybe, with thinning hair … Continue reading Let there Be Light: Thoughts on the Life-Giving, Death-Dealing Power of the Tongue

A Prayer Practice for the Anxious Heart

There are plenty of "hard sayings" in the Bible, but one I often puzzle over doesn't tend to make the lists offered for our reflection. It's Christ's directive to have no anxiety. What? I protest. Anxiously. A spiritual director once asked me point blank, "Why are you so anxious?" Momentarily stunned, I responded with a … Continue reading A Prayer Practice for the Anxious Heart

Recharge Wellness, Wonder and Spiritual Spark, Beginning with a One-Page Miracle

Whatever happens day by day as various authorities work out rules of re-entry in the tenuous phases of COVID-19 response, the easing of quarantine has many of us asking ourselves what we've learned from this experience so far, what we've lost and what we want to recover. Re-entry, whether to half-capacity churches, marked-off restaurant spaces … Continue reading Recharge Wellness, Wonder and Spiritual Spark, Beginning with a One-Page Miracle

Choose Something Like a Star: A Christmas Contemplation Inspired by Robert Frost

Starry skies call those who long for silence: leave the party, the mall, the jingle bell rock, the smart phone, the laptop and the trivial TV. Step outside. Look up. Robert Frost's 1943 poem “Choose Something Like a Star" speaks to our position beneath the glittering skyscape. Alone beneath the stars the poet addresses "the … Continue reading Choose Something Like a Star: A Christmas Contemplation Inspired by Robert Frost

Lamenting Notre Dame’s Losses: “Heaven in Stone and Glass”

When I heard, on Tuesday of Holy Week, that Notre Dame Cathedral was engulfed in flames, I immediately texted my oldest son, the family's intrepid world traveler who had just returned from Paris and had visited Notre Dame only days before. (We differ philosophically, but he graciously allowed me to share his photos in this … Continue reading Lamenting Notre Dame’s Losses: “Heaven in Stone and Glass”

How to Speak of Easter Joy without Harming the Humble Christ/Plus Easter Playlist

Swiss painter Eugène Burnand renders the confusion and hope of Peter and John’s first Easter morning with such poignancy. They’d learned of the resurrection from some women friends who’d been told by an angel, and particularly from Mary Magdalene, told by the risen Christ himself, to tell them.  And then they ran to see that tomb.  They wouldn’t … Continue reading How to Speak of Easter Joy without Harming the Humble Christ/Plus Easter Playlist

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)

Brother’s Keeper: A Playlist for Growing a Merciful Heart

Lent can make you appreciate the length of a lived-out 40: Christ's 40 day fast, Noah's 40 day float trip, Israel's 40 days of wilderness wandering. Forty days takes discipline and desire, and it helps to know going in that there will come a point where you might just want to quit. I've found it … Continue reading Brother’s Keeper: A Playlist for Growing a Merciful Heart

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