Trust Yourself

Fifth in a five-part series Chaim Potok, the distinguished Jewish novelist, tells how he knew he wanted to be a writer when he was very young. But his mother said, “Chaim, be a brain surgeon. You’ll save a lot of people from dying, and you’ll make a better living.” So he grew up and went…

The Secret Prayer

  Fourth in a five-part series As a young boy I remember going to “Prayer Meeting” on Wednesday nights at the Baptist Church. We sat in the pews, we sang hymns, the pastor preached a sermon–it was just like Sunday morning, except that we took some prayer requests and the preacher offered a longer “pastoral…

Secret Saints

Part three in a five part series. This Lent we’re turning over and over those classic words from the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:1-21), where Jesus warns us away from public shows of fasting, almsgiving and prayer. It must all be done, he insists, “in secret.” Jesus really hates pompous worship. That’s the lowdown…

The Secret Reward

Part 2 in a Five-Part Lenten Series Imagine the Academy Awards… in secret. Someone from the Academy calls. “Congratulations,” the voice says, “you are the Best Actress.” That’s it. There is no gala, no red carpet, no envelope please, no Oscar statuette. No one ever finds out who wins. Only you. Isn’t that the whole…

The Big Secret

First in a Lenten Series How did I miss this? I’ve been reading this Ash Wednesday gospel for decades. Same every year. Matthew 6. Sermon on the Mount. Yet when I heard it this year, I was struck by what seemed the most obvious, pressing, urgent message of Jesus’ address. It’s the word secret. I…