Category Archives: Forgiveness

Never Too Late to Love

“It is never too late to love.” That’s what a good friend told me this week. I was telling her of a kind of break-through: I had learned to love someone a little better, to forgive someone (and pardon myself as well). It felt good, but almost immediately I thought, “I wish I had come…

Two Words and a Wedding

  Tonight I will officiate at my second wedding in a week. I like weddings, but I always struggle with what to say. At baptisms, the parents in the front pews listen even though they’re often tussling with older siblings of the one in white. At funerals, people listen intently. Their stare—both skeptical and desperate—says:…

You Don’t Have to Be Good

The things people tell a minister after church. . . . Yesterday a woman I did not know spoke to me after church—she was there for a baptism. I heard about the church of her childhood, where “salvation” was attained by refraining from smoking and drinking and dancing and cursing. It was a rigid theology…

Abba Moses and the Leaky Jug

Yesterday I sat in the second pew at St. Stephen’s church in Richmond, Virginia. There to speak later in the morning, I was worshiping at the 9 o’clock Eucharist. My friend Gary Jones preached—masterfully—on that well-known parable from Luke. Two men go up to the temple to pray, a Pharisee and a tax collector. The…

“Obsessed” With Abortion, Homosexuality and Birth Control

The church is “obsessed” with abortion, homosexuality and birth control. That comment by Pope Francis a few days ago made global headlines. It’s no mistake that all three bugbears are physical, of the body, sexual. Little-mind religion seizes on the carnal sins and makes avoiding them a cardinal virtue. That’s because it is mostly preoccupied…