lent 2021

goodfriday_chickadee_812x600 A chickadee perches in a tree on Good Friday of 2014, the day after the ashes of my parents were buried in the plot below its branches.

Lent ushers in hope. As my dad used to observe, the word Lent means “lengthening” — the days get longer, reaching out to the hope of resurrection. May hope sustain you on this Ash Wednesday.

Here are a couple of resources for the season of Lent (more to come):

what is faith-based hope?

I’ve just released another podcast episode with Kale Zelden, in which we begin a close reading of Spe Salvi (“Saved in Hope”) by Pope Benedict XVI. In the course of our conversation, we discuss the performative nature of God’s word; Saint Josephine Bakhita; faith and doubt; and rediscovering the meaning of Christian hope in our experience.

46th president of the United States

After a long, divisive and surreal election season, I’d like to take a moment to pray for the president-elect, Joseph Biden. I didn’t vote for him, and I disagree with him fundamentally on most issues, but I will pray for him and am ready to lend my support to any initiatives that are actually worthy of the human person. May God bless America, and show us mercy.

being released

large-wave-capsize-boat2020 brought many changes in the world… a good deal of upset and the unveiling of many things. 2019 was like a rehearsal for me, on a personal scale.

I posted this song by Carrie Newcomer on January 1st, as my prayer for 2020. I think I chose well, in ways I could never anticipate.

May you bless the place you live,
And bless the spot you fell,
And let go of hidden stories
Too dangerous to tell.
Let there be no stones to throw,
And someone to watch your back,
And some prayers be never answered
For the things we think we lack.

May we be released;
May we be held dear.
May we listen to the wisdom
That we didn’t want to hear.
May we be released.
May we….

May you leave and walk away,
Kick the dust and shout unfair.
May we finally stop and think
Of the blame that we both share.
When you stand in gale force winds
And home a passing thought,
When the truth catches your eye
May you have the grace to stop.

May we be released;
May we be held dear.
May we listen to the wisdom
That we didn’t want to hear.
May we be released.
May we….

May you get fed up and finish
Old obsessions past their prime.
May you find the silent center
And leave all undone behind.
May there be bread and honey.
May somebody love your flaws,
Give a stranger your umbrella
And love a grateful dog.

May we be released;
May we be held dear.
May we listen to the wisdom
That we didn’t want to hear.
May we be released.
May we….

May we finally see
May we finally hear
All the perfect lies
That kept us here.
And all the skills we learned
Just to keep us whole
Be thanked for what they were
And finally let go.

May the unseen world be present
Invoked into your life.
May you have the strength to question
All the things you thought were right.
May you sense the light around
The very old and very young.
May you go ahead and quit
What you should never have begun.

May we be released;
May we be held dear.
May we listen to the wisdom
That we didn’t want to hear.
May we be released.
May we.

May We Be Released, from the album Everything is Everywhere

advent longing

Beginning on December 17th, the Church’s ancient liturgy heralds the coming of Christ by singing the O antiphons.

December 17th: O Sapientia (O Wisdom)
December 18th: O Adonai (O Lord)
December 19th: O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse)
December 20th: O Clavis David (O Key of David)
December 21st: O Oriens (O Dayspring)
December 22nd: O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations)
December 23rd: O Emmanuel (O With Us is God)

Even while nights are still lengthening, joy permeates a longing infused with hope:

“Gaude!” “Rejoice!”