Much Fear and Trembling

What Luther discovered, which we too often hide from, is the theological and existential discovery that God is crucified, that the monster takes God, that death and separation destroy God. And this is not to be celebrated, but despaired. Just like Paul, we are in much fear and trembling. For Luther, like Nietzsche, God is […]

Social Justic vs. Divine Justice

That biblical vision of a world-for-all did not come from our modern ideas of democratic power or our contemporary claims about human or civil rights. It did not come from liberalism, socialism, or communism. In recognizing its challenge we are not retrojecting any of that modernity back onto antiquity. A world-for-all came, if one needs […]

Dostoevsky explains the monastic way

“Very different is the monastic way. Obedience, fasting, and prayer are laughed at, yet they alone constitute the way to real and true freedom: I cut away my superfluous and unnecessary needs, through obedience I humble and chasten my vain and proud will, and thereby, with God’s help, attain freedom of spirit, and with that, […]

Karen Armstrong Believes That Religion and Art are Allies

Religion was never supposed to provide answers to questions that lay within the reach of human reason… Religion’s task, closely allied to that of art, was to help us to live creatively, peacefully, and even joyously with realities for which there were no easy explanations and problems that we could not solve; morality, pain, grief, […]

I went to the woods because

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. –Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1854) Watercolor painting by Fauve

Blest Be the Tie that Binds: A Sad Post

We share our mutual woes, Our mutual burdens bear, And often for each other flows The sympathizing tear. When here our pathways part, We suffer bitter pain; Yet, one in Christ and one in heart, We hope to meet again. This post is in memory of an honorable man who will be missed by many. […]

One book, printed in the hearts own wax, is worth a thousand in the stacks

For those early writers, a trained memory wasn’t just about gaining easy access to information. It was about strengthening ones personal ethics and becoming a more complete person. A trained memory was the key to cultivating judgement, citizenship and piety. What one memorized helped shape ones character. Just as the secret to becoming a chess […]

July 4th, 2011: Happy St. Elizabeth of Portugal Day!!

Born in 1271, Queen Isabel was married to King Diniz (or Dinis). Like her great-aunt Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, for whom she was named, Saint Elizabeth of Portugal dedicated her life to the poor. She established orphanages and provided shelter for the homeless. She also founded a convent in Coimbra. Read more about Saint Elizabeth […]

In Defense of Slow

Often, the tendency is to call something “boring” and “slow” when we don’t understand it or lack the energy to make a stab at comprehension. But I think sometimes there are other forces at work as well: cynicism and pride. Cynicism makes us skeptical that there is meaning, truth, beauty and goodness out there worth […]

Is Space Really Empty?

So space can bend and drag; but is it really empty? Don’t say there’s nothing there to a physicist. Space has a seething quantum structure to it. I like to think of it as a pot of water on the stove with bubbles coming out. Space is like that. It’s always bubbling. We could see […]