• A eucharistic prayer over an awakening world

    On the Feast of the Transfiguration in 1923, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin found himself alone at sunrise in the Ordos desert in China, watching the sun spread its orange and red light across the horizon. He was deeply moved, humanly and religiously.



  • An obituary for a suicide

    The more things change, the more they stay the same. That axiom still holds true for our understanding of suicide.



  • Children of both heaven and earth

    “Because, my God, though I lack the soul-zeal and the sublime integrity of your saints, I yet have received from you an overwhelming sympathy for all that stirs within the dark mass of matter; because I know myself to be irremediably less a child of heaven and a son of earth.”

  • The healing place of silence

    A recent book by Robyn Cadwallander, “The Anchoress,” tells the story of a young woman, Sarah, who chooses to shut herself off from the world and lives as an anchoress (like Julian of Norwich).

  • Healing: A theory

    All of us live with some wounds, bad habits, addictions and temperamental flaws that are so deeply ingrained and long-standing that it seems like they are part of our genetic makeup. And so we tend to give into a certain quiet despair in terms of ever being healed of them.

  • The value and power of ritual

    Today we no longer understand the value and power of ritual. This is more than an individual failing. It’s the cultural air we breathe.



  • The God of our desires

    What lies deepest inside authentic faith is the truth that God is the object of all human desire, no matter how earthy and unholy that desire might seem at times. This implies that everything we desire is contained in God.



  • The hero complex

    Several years ago, the movie “Argo” won the Academy Award as the best movie of the year. I enjoyed the movie in that it was a good drama, one that held its audience in proper suspense even as it provided some good humor and banter on the side.

  • The best one can do in the circumstances

    Recently I led a weeklong retreat for some 60 people at a renewal center. Overall, it went very well, though ideally it could have gone better.

  • A primal understanding of the Eucharist

    Christian de Cherge, the Trappist Abbott who was martyred in Algeria in 1996, grew up in a Roman Catholic family in France. On the day of his First Communion he said to his mother: “I don’t understand what I’m doing.” She answered simply: “It’s OK, you don’t have to understand it now, later you will understand.”

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A blaze of praise

Father Ed Benioff

If you say nice things about my preaching — or my writing, or my shoes — I have to admit, I’ll be pleased. I’ll remember what you said. Pay me a compliment, and it may even change the course of my day. That’s the power of praise when it’s directed at another human being. For a moment, it makes us feel like we’re the object of admiration and even love.


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November 27, 2015

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