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

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

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: How Music Helps Us Rise when All We Want to Do Is Quit

There's more than enough anxiety to go around these days and plenty of places to place the blame.  Plenty of sin, plenty of harm, plenty of reasons to disengage.  Or just give up. A little thing just about tipped me this morning because it arrived after a series of sadnesses and frustrations big and small.  … Continue reading Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: How Music Helps Us Rise when All We Want to Do Is Quit

Celebrate Strong Dads with a Song and a Slice of Enemy Pie (and Learn to Love Your Enemies Too)

It seems almost everyone is complaining about division in the culture, but our loudest hate-speech protesters often behave no better than the groups they complain about.  And if we're honest with ourselves, most of the rest of us have, at least once in a while, been edgier with opponents than we're proud of. Try as … Continue reading Celebrate Strong Dads with a Song and a Slice of Enemy Pie (and Learn to Love Your Enemies Too)

Advent’s First Week: It Is Better to Light One Candle

December days are short, hemmed in darkness. Grateful for a new liturgical year with its wisdom of waiting and preparation, we place new candles in the old Advent wreath. We light the first candle. Just the first. In silence, preparing to read the first scripture of the season, an old proverb rises in the heart: … Continue reading Advent’s First Week: It Is Better to Light One Candle

Grow Your Family’s Gratitude with The Secret of Saying Thanks

"The world is full of secrets, gentle, shy things that some people know and some don't.  The best secrets are the ones that make us happy, and the best thing about any secret is sharing it with someone else who wants to know..." Read these words with a child and perhaps you'll find yourself the … Continue reading Grow Your Family’s Gratitude with The Secret of Saying Thanks