Pony up

I was working through one of those loud and chaotic inner conversations with myself yesterday about how I want things to go. You know, in life. Do you have these? Well, this one got a bit heated, and me, myself, and I all had to take separate corners for a while there. In the end--when... Continue Reading →

M’Tribe

I haven’t been writing much lately. Not enough time. Not enough brain space. Sometimes one has to withdraw from the writing to engage in the life. Let’s call it a Lenten switchup. I’ll be back after Pascha, I’m sure. But I have had great occasion recently to wonder with fear and trembling at the tremendous... Continue Reading →

To be the chaplain

Accidental Saints found its way into my library hold shelf a while back. I didn't review it. Not because it wasn't good. Just because I didn't. I can do that sometimes... read a book and not even have the decency to write about it. Apologies. I loved it. Nadia Bolz-Weber is a foul-mouth overly-tatted rough-and-tumble... Continue Reading →

Today… Theophany

The Manifestation of God. This is what we’re celebrating today. Just a few little words, loaded well over the safety line. Theophany is here, and Christ is baptized in the Jordan, by none other than John the Baptizer himself, who--I dare say--has no interest in baptizing the Messiah himself. I imagine he was feeling a... Continue Reading →

Timing

I've been wondering why it is that flashes of brilliance - or at least flashes of our best selves - manifest themselves while we're in no position to act on them. Creative juices, spiritual prods, humanitarian urges. They all arrive when we are somehow incapacitated. I'm sure I'm not alone. You are resolved (and possibly... Continue Reading →

Gratitude Squared

A little follow up on yesterday's post... It took me a while to find it, as the much-coveted book has already been surrendered to the library, but I thought it worth reposting Mike Perry's closing essay from Roughneck Grace. Kind of sums up those times around the fire, no matter how they're spent. A bit... Continue Reading →

Wilderness, and Home

We returned yesterday from our annual week in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. There is always a bit of culture shock as we re-integrate into the civilized world, and this year was no different. I took a walk this morning. On pavement. I was not navigating a boulder-riddled portage trail under the weight of... Continue Reading →

Huddle Up

On the set of the smash Broadway musical Hamilton, before each and every performance, Chris Jackson leads the cast in pep talk and prayer. "Let's agree that for the next two and a half hours, this is the most important thing we'll do in our lives." Chris Jackson, for those 2 and a half hours, transforms... Continue Reading →

Christ is Risen!

If any man be devout and love God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast. If any man be a wise servant, let him rejoicing enter into the joy of his Lord. If any have labored long in fasting, let him now receive his recompense. If any have wrought from the first hour,... Continue Reading →

Do thy work

On Tuesday of Holy Week, as we approach the Passion, we are often spent. Lent has wrung us dry, we are expectant yet exhausted, and we long for the warm fuzzy feelings of different days. If we are to travel with Christ, we must have more than feelings to fuel our faith. George MacDonald, mentor... Continue Reading →

Holding on

We're coming up on the final days of Lent. It's been quite the journey. Today, just a short reminder of what drawing near to God entails, because it is so easy to forget: People in earlier generations had more familiarity with the characteristics of fire than we do. Until a hundred years ago, there was... Continue Reading →

Theotokos

I set aside fiction for Lent this year, intent upon digesting more spiritual reading in it's place. It's not such a great sacrifice, really; I wasn't in the fiction mood before Lent anyway. But you know when putting forth any measure of spiritual effort, even the most inane fiction on the shelves is suddenly very tempting.... Continue Reading →

A bit more on silence…

... and walking, because that is where I find my silence. Thanks to the many-a-mentioned MOOC and the Monks of New Skete, I've learned some things about myself, and how to finally find some measure of stillness in my life. I got to thinking about that quite a bit a while ago, whilst evaluating my progress, and there was... Continue Reading →

Unearthing

"Do not let your intellect be disturbed by mere names, for Paradise has simply clothed itself in terms akin to you" (Hymns on Paradise, 11), admonished St. Ephrem the Syrian. Paradise is in this world. It is inside of every earthman and earthwoman and all around them, waiting to be reclaimed. ~ Vigen Guroian, The Fragrance of God... Continue Reading →

On compassion…

I judge. It is what I do. I am a people watcher from the word go, and for me it is not generally an exercise in edification, mine nor those so tormented to be found beneath my gaze. I do work very hard to stand in the way of my own comfort at the bench,... Continue Reading →

God in dirt

We are a fickle creation. Capable of such amazing feats of love and mercy, yet so often stuck in judgment and vice. We may stand in awe of God's majesty when we are hit in the head with it - when it comes to us as lightening to the scalp - but so often anything... Continue Reading →

The recovery of a sunset

When that notorious beauty-lover Oscar Wilde announced in The Decay of Lying, "Nobody of any real culture... ever talks nowadays about the beauty of a sunset. Sunsets are quite old-fashioned," sunsets reeled under the blow, then recovered. ~Susan Sontag, An Argument About Beauty The question of beauty is, as they say, subjective. Sadly, it changes with the... Continue Reading →

A treasure lost in the computer…

Things are tightening down a bit.  And loosening up.  My image of God, my perception of the Truth, my model of Perfection.  They are being honed in and refined, while at the same time broadening out and becoming more and more universal.  It is an interesting process, and one which has proven greatly frustrating, and... Continue Reading →

Helpers

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.  Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and with thy governing spirit establish me. - Psalm 50(51):10-12 For nearly thirteen years I have been... Continue Reading →

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