POETRY: October by David Brendan Hopes

June 13, 2018

It’s nuthatch on the box elder outside the window. He’s making his clown’s voice, nnink, nning, nnink, pecking to grubs, seeds, scraps. The first snow powdered down last night while he slept, and as birds have dreams there’s snow in his song now. Nighthawk heard it. He is gone. Warbler heard it. She is gone. Thrasher went. Finch went. You could hear them at night, little bells so far off you thought they were the stars ringing. I sat on an empty hill and said goodbye. The geese, like tragic actresses, keep nothing to themselves. They eat down the center of the air crying, and crying, how the white north snaps behind them, how their nests are shoveled under, how their circle is broken by fox, bullet, and cold. The [...]

WISDOM: Justice by Joan Chittister

December 8, 2015

From Illuminated Life: Monastic Wisdom for Seekers of Light Abba James said, “Just as a lamp lights up a dark room, so the fear of God, when it penetrates the heart, illuminates, teaching all the virtues and commandments of God.” T   here is a danger in the contemplative life.  The danger is that contemplation is often used to justify distance from the great questions of life.  Contemplation becomes an excuse to let the world go to rot.  It is a sad use of the contemplative life and, at base, a bogus one.  If contemplation is coming to see the world as God sees the world, then see it clearly we must.  If contemplation means to become immersed in the mind of God, then we must come to think beyond our own small [...]

SATURDAY READING: Eucharist As An Alternative Space To The Globalization Of Media by Joshva Raja

December 5, 2015

From The Edge of God A Story of a Eucharist Manjolai is a small tea estate, owned by a group of shareholders under the name of Bombay Burma Trading Corporation.  It has seven estates with more than 2,000 full-time workers.  The majority of the laborers are from Dalit communities.  I worked in this place as a priest in 1994 and 1995.  During my ministry there I experimented in a project for the Church of South India (CSI) synod named a “Laborer’s awareness project.”  Interestingly, the church became the center of the community and the priest was seen as a labor union representative.  As I ran this project, I could mediate between the company managers and laborers.  Very often during and after the Holy Communion [...]

POETRY: Late Justice by Kay Ryan

September 17, 2014

Late justice may be more useless than none. Some expungings or making-rights or getting-backs lack the capacity to correct. The formerly aggrieved become exacting in unattractive ways: intolerant of delay, determined to collect. And shocked— shocked—at their new unappeasableness, who had so long been so [...]

PEACEMAKING: Forgiveness, Reconciliation, And Justice — A Christian Contribution to a More Peaceful Environment, by Miroslav Volf

September 16, 2014

From Christian Peace and Nonviolence, edited by Michael G. Long In this essay I want to contest the claim that the Christian faith, as one of the major world religions, predominantly fosters violence, and to argue, instead, that it should be seen as a contributor to more peaceful social environments.  I will not argue that the Christian faith was not and is not often employed to foster violence.  Obviously, such an argument cannot be plausibly made; not only have Christians committed atrocities and other lesser forms of violence but they have also drawn on religious beliefs to justify them.  Neither will I argue that the Christian faith has been historically less associated with violence than other major religions; I am not at all [...]

SERMON: A Tough Mind And A Tender Heart, by Martin Luther King, Jr.

May 4, 2014

Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. (Matthew 10:16) A French philosopher said, “No man is strong unless he bears within his character antitheses strongly marked.”  The strong man holds in a living blend strongly marked opposites.   Not ordinarily do men achieve this balance of opposites.  The idealists are not usually realistic, and the realists are not usually idealistic.  The militant are not generally known to be passive, nor the passive to be militant.  Seldom are the humble self-assertive, or the self-assertive humble.  But life at its best is a creative synthesis of opposites in fruitful harmony.  The philosopher Hegel said that truth is found neither in the thesis nor the antithesis, but in an [...]

SCRIPTURE: Cain Murders — and Walks by Alan M. Dershowitz

October 10, 2013

From The Genesis of Justice It was, after the passing of days that Kayin [Hebrew for Cain] brought, from the fruit of the soil, a gift to YHWH [Hebrew for God], and as for Hevel [Hebrew for Abel], he too brought – from the firstborn of his flock, from their fat-parts. YHWH had regard for Hevel and his gift, for Kayin and his gift he had no regard. Kayin became exceedingly upset and his face fell. YHWH said to Kayin: Why are you so upset? Why has you face fallen? It is not thus: If you intend good, bear-it-aloft, but if you do not intend good, at the entrance is sin, a crouching demon, toward you his lust – but you can rule over him. But then it was, when they were out in the field that Kayin rose up against Hevel, his brother, and [...]