Good & Bad Ignorance

Zen Buddhists and the Dao de Ching speak of a good kind of ignorance–the kind that is comfortable having a beginner”s mind, approaching each situation as one in which we have something new to learn, and being comfortable with this fact. In biblical terms, good ignorance is part of the virtue of humility.

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Pentecost Sunday

By Sr. Catherine Cleary, OSB

How can you go away and yet stay? But this is exactly what happened to Jesus at Pentecost. Jesus’ going to God in his death is not a going away from the disciples but a coming and staying with us in a new way. The new way is symbolized by how Jesus encounters the disciples. After his death even though the doors are locked, Jesus appears in their midst. His new presence is not bound by physical limitation and as Thomas finds out, not properly known by physical inspection. Continue Reading

A Psalmic Response to Psalm 68

Sing praise to the Rider of the Clouds,
the divine warrior
who comes and lets the women
pillage their enemies’ houses?

Like Gandhi with the Gita,
I can spiritualize all the wars in the psalms:
think of pillaging for gems among the ruins
of my slain obsessions, my clung-to causes (now defeated).

But it’s the vision of the warrior God
with which I most want to do battle,
if psalmic honesty is to come to the fore.

And I’m no less keen on those pep rallies in the sanctuary,
the tribes gathering to display themselves to one another,
parading in their designer finery.

Even if I can be moved by a gathering of pilgrims from far and near,
attentive to beauty, bonding in melody,
Psalmist 68 clearly prefers a more metallic sound.

You can tell she’d like to win the lottery
by the way she details the gold wings of a dove
in a silver sheath–the kind of spoils got
by even a homeless woman, after God kicks butt.
Could David be the pseudonym for a fashion-conscious woman of God?
A God who’s blown out her enemies like smoke fading away in the sky?
When I think of how I like to play street hockey,
I have a longing to go at a match with this cocky divine warrior,
and check hard.


O God,
may we put up no buffers between ourselves and the truth
of what is in us–the truth of our responses to others, the world, the words of
those who go before us, singing in their own key.

May we begin with confession,
with melting like wax before the heat of your blazing,
–no warding off the encounter.

Then we can bear witness, with presence, without looking away,
to whatever is revealed in the heart of another.

There we bear your Presence.