Finding Your Soul
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What Kind Of A God Would Die On A Cross?
A Prayer to the God Who Fell From Heaven If you had stayedtightfisted in the skyand watched us thrashwith all the patience of a pipe smoker,I would pray like a golden bulletaimed at your heart.But the story saysyou criedand so heavy was the tearyou fell with it to earthhere like a baritone in a barit […]
Who Is Hard For You To Love? (And How Might You Love Them Anyway?)
“We love because God loved us first” (1 John 4:19). That truth is especially sublime when we hear it in Holy Week, when we watch with awe as someone embraces the whole world in love—and chooses to die rather than limiting or qualifying that love. If Jesus had recanted, if he had just admitted that, […]
What Are You Willing To Suffer For?
Palm Sunday—the Sunday of the Passion—is a good moment to stop and consider this question. When I tried to answer it, my first thoughts leapt to the heroic. What cross would I die on? What great cause could demand, as the hymn sings it, “my soul, my life, my all”? Once I recognized the ego […]
Of All The Things You Have Done In Your Life, Which Is The One You Would Most Like To Undo?
Plenty of people, especially near the end of life, claim they have no regrets. We ought to feel sorry for them. To regret something we’ve done is to acknowledge a higher principle than we were able to live up to. Regret can strengthen our moral character: Never again will I do something like that. If […]
What If I’ve Lost My Way?
Speaking of her early stage of faith, writer and retreat leader Paula D’Arcy shared a dream in which the kitchen table of her childhood disappeared. That table symbolized the beautiful security of her early years. It was the heart of her childhood home, where she learned her Baltimore Catechism, mastered every question, and came to […]
Are You Spiritually Bypassing?
Every once in a while, you hear a term that perfectly describes something you’ve experienced but didn’t have a name for. That’s how I felt when someone used the phrase “spiritual bypass,” coined by psychologist John Welwood in the 80s. He defined it as a “tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or […]
What is Jesus’ ‘Theory of Change’?
Jesus did not try to change one person. He certainly didn’t set out to change the world. We hear a lot these days about “theory of change.” It’s a term in non-profit, philanthropy and development that describes the organization’s goal of social change and the step-by-step process for achieving it. I’m sure it does all […]
Are You The Person You Say You Are?
A few weeks before her mother died, my wife Pam discovered that her mother had been married—and divorced—before she met and married Pam’s father. It was a shock to Pam because, as an only child, she wondered how her mother could have withheld the story of her life. And then, of course, in the light […]
Why Is Prayer Such A Struggle?
How I pray is breathe.” -Thomas Merton I grew up with the slogan, “Prayer changes things,” which I believed. I was just wrong about what got changed. I thought it could change my lot, save my soul, rescue people I cared about. I hoped I could change God’s mind. Not surprisingly, that kind of prayer […]