I once watched a chicken on top of a blackboard running around inside a circle that had been drawn on it with white chalk. I watched him for a long time as he ran to and fro and hesitated to jump over the white line, which he probably perceived to be a living creature or a high wall. Continue reading “Playing Chicken”
I was tired and harried when I saw Father Stephen’s lastest blog post. For instance, “God brings forth fruitfulness from barrenness – it is a theme of His work of salvation.”
Yeah, yeah, Father; that’s nice. But why did you have to drag it out so long?
I’m glad I went back fresh this morning, Continue reading “Fruitfulness from Barrenness”
A soul which has been caught to serve the enemy’s will then serves as a snare for other souls, for it conceals the grief of sin with its apparent delight.
Ephraim the Syrian, A Spiritual Psalter, Third Stasis.
“God is gracious and loves mankind.” This is a deeply-rooted dogma of Orthodox Christianity, repeated in prayers and benedictions constantly.
How (not how much) does he love mankind? John 3:16 comes to mind. He “so loves the world that He gave his only-beggoten son.”
Is His love limited — to semites, or to those in the western realm called Christendom? Continue reading “How He loves mankind”
“Left Hand? Hello, Right Hand calling.”
I see an interesting juxtaposition between columnists at Townhall.com today. Star Parker (who, by the way, is running for Congress) says that “[a]s the economy gets increasingly sophisticated, the penalty for lack of education gets greater. But we’re failing to deliver this needed education to lower income Americans.” Meanwhile, Michael Barone is publicizing the theory that we’re riding an “education bubble” that’s apt to burst.
James Allen, a radio talk-show host and second- or third-tier columnist at Townhall.com, praises Glenn Beck as a “great leader” who has a “belief in a transcendent being called God.” I dissent and accuse Allen of suborning violations of the 1st Commandment. Continue reading “American Civil Religion Redux”
Sometimes Father Stephen says something that shocks me:
I would suggest that it is a mistake to describe Christianity as a “historical” religion, Continue reading “Historic or eschatological?”
Part of an occasional series, I point to poetry I’ve encountered and enjoyed in one way or another.
Most of this material is copyrighted, and I don’t care to get permission for use, so I’ll link to Writer’s Almanac, which did have permssion.
Let’s start with love and romance.
Poor Gerald Locklin can hardly get started with a new girl without an old friend showing up, but as he says, “I’ve Always Enjoyed Her Sense of Humor.”
In Complaint, James Wright utters sentiments that make me cringe. I guess it’s a sort of love, but a sort I’d sooner avoid.
In Half-Rack at the Rendezvous, William Notter paints what for me is a vivid, frank and believable picture of two passions and their connection: devouring ribs and “delirious honeybees working wisteria” (wink, wink).
Having been married for nearly 40 years now, I am touched by Epithalamium, by Thomas Lynch, involving the end of a marriage after some 70 years.
Personal relations short of love.
William Notter in Breakfast at the Road Runner Cafe does some people watching a feebly reaches out. What’s he supposed to do? Charles Bukowski’s the finger reminds us of how common a less friendly approach has become. It puts me in mind of how much public affairs coverage proceeds these day: Fox fingering MSNBC and vice-versa.
Reverie and despair.
Three male poets reflect variously on aging and death:
- two nights before my 72nd birthday (Charles Bukowski) is the cheeriest. I’ve felt that.
- Brotherhood (X.J. Kennedy) is somber, but I’ve been there, too.
- Maybe if the Jobholder (David Ignatow) would tune in one of the bread and circus channels instead of reading some stupid book, he wouldn’t have noticed what he has noticed.
My final choice seems the most theological and sacramental too me: The Gardener by Ken Weisner.
Your taxonomy of these poems might vary.
The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not; They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths.
They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusteth in them. Continue reading “Who sees and hears?”