Descending Ego’s Stairs: St. Thérèse of Lisieux’s Christmas Conversion

The traumatic loss of her mother when she was four deeply wounded the youngest daughter of French lacemaker Louis Martin.  By the age of 13 Thérèse, all frills and curls, was a sensitive "tween" given to tearful outbursts. Pampered by her older sisters and doted on by a father her who called her his “little … Continue reading Descending Ego’s Stairs: St. Thérèse of Lisieux’s Christmas Conversion

A Younger Brother, a Boy’s Lunch and Bread for the Life of the World

He was Simon’s younger brother. He had introduced his tough, zealous brother to Jesus, and Jesus had renamed Simon Peter, Rock.  But Andrew, Peter’s younger brother, wasn’t a big name among the disciples. He didn't go up the mountain with Peter, James and John. He was Christ’s humble friend. His heart was pure enough listen … Continue reading A Younger Brother, a Boy’s Lunch and Bread for the Life of the World

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

Live the Questions this Advent with Sally Read’s Annunciation: A Call to Faith in a Broken World

I don't want sentimental piety at Advent; I crave a seeker's authenticity and a contemplative's conviction. I welcome Sally Read's voice at any time of year, and Advent isn't the occasion that produced Annunciation: A Call to Faith in A Broken World. It's just that Annunciation is the best book of its kind I encountered … Continue reading Live the Questions this Advent with Sally Read’s Annunciation: A Call to Faith in a Broken World

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