I was pretty clear with myself that I didn’t think it would be an easy practice to take on reading daily scripture together, I was hopeful. And, in fact, it has been a hope-sustaining and lovely time.
I had a friend once observe about Lenten disciplines that, while they shouldn’t be used as just another way to try to address our bad habits, there was some comfort in trying out a discipline without the pressure of “forever.”
How do we observe Advent?
Today marks the feast of Joachim and Anne, the parents of Mary and the grandparents of Jesus. They don’t appear in canonical scriptures; lacking source material, generations of Christians have looked for them in themselves.
A morning not long ago, I was walking my dog in the woods near my house. It was my day off, so I was out later than usual. The summer sun was already high in the sky; light streamed through the trees in the most dazzling way.
My daughter has a book about unusual animal friendships. It hits every mark for cuteness: miniature animals, golden retrievers, implausible successe. Rather than being sticky sweet, though, the book offers a generosity of spirit
Getting ready for Holy Week, I’m struck, as always, by how jarring the Palm Sunday liturgy is. One minute we’re all shouting “hosanna, hosanna!” (Greek for “save us”) and then the next thing we know, we’re shouting “Crucify him.” It’s emotionally wrenching; hope and expectation give way to fury and fear. No settling in, no probing depths. Our liturgy moves us from place to place, scarcely able to take a breath.
Every year my sermon for Ash Wednesday comes down to one thing: this business of smearing ashes on our faces? It’s for us, not for God.
In terms of my life circumstances, I couldn’t possibly have less in common with the ammas who fled to the desert for spiritual growth and exploration. I have a marriage, a parish, and two kids. And a dog. And chickens (maybe they had chickens in the desert?).
“What do you remember about last night?” “Just being cold and wet.” I was talking with my nine-year-old daughter while we walked to school about […]