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 […]
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 […]
In a Stressed-Out World, How Do I Deal With My Anger?
A man is having an enjoyable boat ride down the river. It is dusk. The man looks up to see another boat coming toward him. His first thought is how nice that someone else is out enjoying the river. Then he realizes the boat speeding, in fact it’s coming straight at him. Faster and faster […]
What Does It Mean To Repent?
The original word for repent is not so much lost, as destroyed in translation. Wherever in the New Testament we see the word “repent,” it’s a gross mistranslation of metanoia. The problem seems to have begun with Jerome, who in 382 translated the Greek New Testament into the Latin Vulgate. When Jerome got to Matthew […]
The Yellow Falling Leaf
Question One: What more did I think I wanted? We don’t think of Ash Wednesday as a time to reflect on happiness. Isn’t it about sackcloth and guilt? But Ash Wednesday is set apart simply as a day to ponder this one fact: We came from dust, and we return to dust. When we accept […]
Falling Down a Wormhole
I’ve been away for a while. Some of you have asked where I’ve been. The thing is, I’m not sure. I do know that almost exactly one year ago my first grandchild was born, and for a wonderful time Dashiell and his parents lived with us during maternity leave. About the time they moved back […]
Letting Beliefs Go
This morning I read this: A broad group of scholars is beginning to demonstrate that religious belief and factual belief are indeed different kinds of mental creatures. First of all, they have noticed that the very language people use changes when they talk about religious beings, and the changes mean that they think about their […]
Where is Your Life Taking You?
Where is your life taking you? That’s the question I heard Parker Palmer asking. The Quaker wise man was being interviewed. “I had to ask myself,” he said, “where my life was taking me, rather than just where I was trying to take my life.” It’s important to try to take your life somewhere. Without […]