Praying for good courage in a hospital emergency room … and quiet confidence while sweating out a scary diagnosis

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phngTmv7IW4 From "Mountain Vespers" service for Holden Village by Dr. Kent Gustavson Many of us pray best in church, or in the resonant silence of an empty cathedral. Others pray at home, relying on candles, music or other aids to help ease them into a prayerful attitude. Me? It seems like I pray best in … Continue reading Praying for good courage in a hospital emergency room … and quiet confidence while sweating out a scary diagnosis

A new (church) year’s resolution poses a question — is music ‘an agnostic’s spiritual practice?’ My answer: I don’t know

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjAuBTLdqPg&t=18s Paula Bär-Giese, soprano; and Hans Meijer, lute, performing as Katie von Bora and Martin Luther. Translation: "From heaven above I come here" and "A child is born in Bethlehem." Happy new year! I know, I know. It's only November. But Advent begins on the Sunday closest to St. Andrew's Day -- Sunday, Nov. 28, … Continue reading A new (church) year’s resolution poses a question — is music ‘an agnostic’s spiritual practice?’ My answer: I don’t know

Paraphrase of Talmudic scholar who fled the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE hits home in another time of apocalypse

Screen grab from my Facebook news feed, Oct. 29, 2021 Here's something that's been on my mind for quite a while now. I started writing something on it when the this meme popped up in my Facebook "memories" at the end of October. It's a paraphrase of a saying in the Talmud by a second-century … Continue reading Paraphrase of Talmudic scholar who fled the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE hits home in another time of apocalypse

‘How Firm a Foundation’: Calling on a shape-note folk hymn in the hospital … and later by my fireside at home

Cross-posted to my trad music blog Hogfiddle. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzUUkWwBZdI Recorded for online worship service on Sept. 6, 2020, Providence Church, Austin, Texas. This is the story of how I came to be singing an old Baptist folk hymn from the Sacred Harp under my breath as the anesthesia was taking hold last week in the cath … Continue reading ‘How Firm a Foundation’: Calling on a shape-note folk hymn in the hospital … and later by my fireside at home

A spiritual journal for my birthday — looking back over this ‘festering boil of a year’ in 2020 and 2021

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KkuoMs2MOI&list=PLrR4rlaGn2Ga5fsYl6vnCJsfU5wWeiofq&index=13 English folk singers usher out 'this festering boil of a year' (at 3:30) in December 2020. So look forward with hope to the twelvemonth a-coming, And away with this festering boil of a year; But the fire is still burning, and the world is still turning, And despite all its efforts, we're still bloody … Continue reading A spiritual journal for my birthday — looking back over this ‘festering boil of a year’ in 2020 and 2021

The flesh is swelling, but the spirit … is looking up folk remedies for gout on the internet (with a cherry on top).

Etching after G.M. Woodward, 1801 (Wikimedia Commons). So what's this doing on a spirituality blog? Only this: Yesterday a doctor told me he thinks I have may have gout. At this point it's more of a hunch than a diagnosis, and there are other suspects in the lineup. But I got on the internet and … Continue reading The flesh is swelling, but the spirit … is looking up folk remedies for gout on the internet (with a cherry on top).

Stray thoughts on original sin, Franciscan spirituality and a painting of the Garden of Eden by Jan Brueghel the Elder

Jan Brueghel the Elder and Pieter Paul Rubens, Fall of Adam and Eve (Wikipedia) When God closes a door, as an old saying down South has it, God leaves a window cracked open somewhere. We may have to exercise a little creativity to find it, but there's always another opening. Another old saying, one I … Continue reading Stray thoughts on original sin, Franciscan spirituality and a painting of the Garden of Eden by Jan Brueghel the Elder

A spiritual mutt discovers Franciscan spirituality in a time of apocalypse, learns he knew at least some of it all along

Click here https://cac.org/category/daily-meditations/2021/ for directory. Last week I signed up for Richard Rohr's daily meditations. I figured a brief daily exercise might lend a little discipline to my spiritual routine (or lack thereof) in these days of lingering pandemic, self-quarantine and isolation. I've read his stuff before, and it liked it. So I haven't been … Continue reading A spiritual mutt discovers Franciscan spirituality in a time of apocalypse, learns he knew at least some of it all along

Connecting the dots between a gospel reading from Mark, the historical Jesus, St. Francis and monarch butterfly eggs

Brother Caterpillar and Sister Milkweed (photo Debi Edumnd Ellertsen). Mark 7 [NRSV]. Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, 2 they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. 3 (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless … Continue reading Connecting the dots between a gospel reading from Mark, the historical Jesus, St. Francis and monarch butterfly eggs