Patches

If you visit the Basilica of St Francis of Assisi, you will find a small museum containing some of the most famous relics of the saint. The finest is the patched robe Francis wore to cover “Brother Body.”  It was a sign of his poverty vow, certainly, but a plain brown robe would do for…

The Ones Who Couldn’t Get Out

“How we view the world,” writes John Dear, “depends on where we stand. If we stand with the wealthy we will contemplate the world from the heights of privilege and domination. If, however, we stand with those who are poor and marginalized, oppressed and persecuted, then we shall contemplate the world from the experience of…

“My Old Man”

Today is my father’s birthday. He is 96. I love my father. I always have loved him. Sometimes a boy will go through stages where he does not trust his father, or turns against him so that a bitterness and anger rises in the boy’s heart. That was never true for me. There were times…

Two Notes

There is an old Jewish story that helps prepare us for Ash Wednesday and the coming of Lent. A certain rabbi, seeking to know his place in the world, kept with him two notes. In one pocket he kept a note which said, “For me the world was created.” In the other he tucked a…

Judgers and Blessers

Priests and ministers get calls from the local funeral home all the time. Someone has died. They may have been Methodist or Lutheran or Episcopalian, whatever the denomination of your church, but that’s the only, tenuous connection. Would you come and do a service? I walked into the funeral home and met the two daughters….