Today I met a new human being face-to-face for the first time, and of course he did not look like what I thought he would look like. He is quite large and I am quite small. He also does not walk at the rapid pace I and most of my companions walk. And in asking me to slow down as we took a longer walk than he has taken in a long time, he told me that when he was living in Buloxi, on 107 degree days, you could always spot the northerners because they would be working up a sweat and getting exhausted because they rushed from place to place. Continue Reading
What do you think the Rule says about finding closure when a relationship (of any significant sort) changes or ends? What do you think the rules of closure are in general–its dynamics?
I recall that the Rule speaks of the gradual steps to take towards excommunication–each time offering a chance to be restored to community. But even an excommunication is not permanent the first or second time around (how many times?). Continue Reading
Can a dog be a Benedictine? Probably not. But, as I observe my 9 ½ year old miniature schnauzer, Elway, I notice that he often displays behavior that reflects St. Benedict’s Rule. Continue Reading
Yesterday I came home from a local peace and justice meeting in which we decided to issue a press release urging an immediate ceasefire in Gaza (following the UN’s own urging–with the US abstaining). Present at our meeting for the first time were two Palestinians. One spoke at length about his sense that the only true Jews in Israel were the ones present before all the immigrations of Jews from Europe and Russia and Africa and the Middle East; these folks were often simply secular, he said, and most were Zionists. The Jews he defined as authentic were orthodox Jews who believed the Messiah must come before the state of Israel ought to be created–1200 such Jews in his West Bank community stood by the Palestinians and against Israel. No one directly challenged his definition of a proper Jew, though it’s clear that most everyone else present at the meeting supports the existence of both the state of Israel and a Palestinian state. Continue Reading
This week I’ve been writing a review of Flora Keshgegian’s God Reflected: Metaphors for Life. It’s an accessible survey of seven metaphors or images for God, from king to parent to divine energy. Each image is grounded in biblical examples, and its strengths and limitations are described (along with the kinds of prayer each image invites). Keshgegian is especially interested in what depiction of divine power is implied by each image–how each image depicts God as acting in the world. Continue Reading