Bruce Cockburn’s The Whole Night Sky: A Holy Week Interpretation

Every Holy Week, when the Palm Sunday readings take us from the adulation of the crowd at Christ's Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem to their cries to crucify him only days later, the lyrics of a Bruce Cockburn song from The Charity of Night rise in my mind. They turned their backsI made it too hardEvery … Continue reading Bruce Cockburn’s The Whole Night Sky: A Holy Week Interpretation

Two Songs for the Election-Anxious Soul

"These are the times that try men's souls." -- Thomas Paine Phrases like "these unprecedented times" and "these challenging times" have become cliché as, amid pandemic and pandemonium, the next president will be decided. My father, whose parents survived the Great Depression, whose boyhood memories include World War II and who can tell you all … Continue reading Two Songs for the Election-Anxious Soul

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

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

Choose Something Like a Star: A Christmas Contemplation

Starry skies call those who long for silence: leave the party, the mall, the jingle bell rock, 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 fairest one in sight." He admires … Continue reading Choose Something Like a Star: A Christmas Contemplation