Beware: Inner Peace

I received this alert, and it’s the kind of warning that–in this Advent season–I am delighted to pass on. Symptoms of Inner Peace Be on the lookout for symptoms of inner peace. The hearts of a great many have already been exposed to inner peace and it is possible that people everywhere could come down…

You Shall Conceive and Bear a (Grand) Child

My daughter is having a baby which means that I am having a grandchild. Grandparenthood is once removed. This is a birth you did not conceive. You did not have any choice in this matter. Often parents have to “try” to have a child. They decide that now is a good time to allow it…

Excuse Me, Mr. Buddha

  I spent last week in a monastery praying with Buddhist monks and nuns. It wasn’t as easy as I thought. Every November I take a week of retreat—almost always to a Benedictine monastery. I love to sit in chapel and hear the monks chant the Psalms, to walk the cloister, to sit in the…

‘Prophylactic’ Suicide

Many of us who are still in good health have decided . . . that at some point we will not wish to cope with the diminishment of our lives, the narrowing choices, the prospect of both physical and intellectual decay. When that point comes, we’ll go out. Deciding just when should be the choice…

Just for a Moment

One of the lessons we learn as we grow older is to cherish life every day, and not to pin our hopes on a future that never comes. We all believe in the myth of future bliss. Americans especially swear by this one—that with a lot of hard work and sacrifice we’ll one day achieve…