Reflections on prayer in the parking lot of a walk-in clinic during a time of pandemic

It's a perfect late fall afternoon, blustery with tufts of white cloud scudding past in a blue sky. Temperature in the 40s, but enough sunshine coming through the windshield that I don't have the car heater on while I'm waiting in the HSHS PromptCare walk-in clinic's parking lot on MacArthur. This is how we do … Continue reading Reflections on prayer in the parking lot of a walk-in clinic during a time of pandemic

Notes on an election-day article about Lincoln, the better angels of our nature and the book of Job

https://www.facebook.com/133051906718090/photos/a.1509816089041658/3741315792558332 On the same day as Tuesday's election, the Jesuit magazine America published an article I thought was singularly appropriate to the occasion. It was what we used to call a "think piece" in the newspaper business, an essay by a divinity student and political activist on what comfort -- if "comfort" is the right … Continue reading Notes on an election-day article about Lincoln, the better angels of our nature and the book of Job

Well done, good and faithful servants: A memorial plaque in a university chapel and a meditation for All Saints’ Day

Memorial plaque in All Saints' Chapel, University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn. When my parents lived in the suburbs of Atlanta, Debi and I would drive to Atlanta and back just about every time I had a school vacation. Sometimes I'd drive down on my own. Either way, the trip settled into a set rhythm. … Continue reading Well done, good and faithful servants: A memorial plaque in a university chapel and a meditation for All Saints’ Day

Rethinking grief, detachment, the Book of Job and the engravings of William Blake (!) in a time of pandemic

William Blake, Illustrations of the Book of Job, Plate 21 William Blake has never been exactly my cup of tea. When it comes to English Romantic poets, I'm more of a Byron and Wordsworth guy, and I like cats too much to get much pleasure out of thinking about Blake's tiger "burning bright, / In the … Continue reading Rethinking grief, detachment, the Book of Job and the engravings of William Blake (!) in a time of pandemic

Spiritual direction, August-September

Email, lightly edited to make sense of a couple of really clunky sentences, that I sent today to my spiritual director in advance of our September meeting. Excerpts from my earlier posts are in italics and linked to the original posts to this blog. Hi Sister -- Here's the usual note to confirm our appointment … Continue reading Spiritual direction, August-September

Word, sacrament, a Lutheran chorale and reading the bible: Lessons from a Swedish immigrant church in Chicago during a time of cholera

First phrase of chorale by Philipp Nicolai Svenska Psalmbok (1819), Nos. 55, 412. O Gud! ditt ord och sakramentLåt aldrig bliva från oss vändt ...-- Svenska Psalmbok (1819), No. 412, v. 6[O God, let your word and sacrament / never be turned away from us ...] No doubt it's just a coincidence, but since I … Continue reading Word, sacrament, a Lutheran chorale and reading the bible: Lessons from a Swedish immigrant church in Chicago during a time of cholera

Spiritual journal for August — further thoughts on Word and sacrament in a time of pandemic

Email sent today to my spiritual director, lightly edited. Since it quotes extensively from this blog (and WordPress isn't letting me do block quotations the way I want to), I am putting my email message in lightface italics and leaving quoted material in Roman type. Hi Sister -- [* * *] Not very much to … Continue reading Spiritual journal for August — further thoughts on Word and sacrament in a time of pandemic

Elijah and the word of the Lord: No windstorm, no fire, no earthquake. Just get back to work (Pentecost X)

1 Kings 19:11-13 (NRSV) [The word of the Lord] said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the … Continue reading Elijah and the word of the Lord: No windstorm, no fire, no earthquake. Just get back to work (Pentecost X)

Spiritual direction journal — July

Copy of an email sent tonight (Saturday) to my spiritual director. Lightly edited in the interest of making sense and removing obvious illiteracies. Hi Sister -- Just a quick note -- quicker than usual this month -- to confirm that unless I hear otherwise from you, I'll be calling you Monday at 2:30 p.m. for our … Continue reading Spiritual direction journal — July