“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9) Lately I’ve been thinking about the Beatitudes, as well as…read more
A defining Gospel passage during Advent is the genealogy text from Matthew’s Gospel (1:1-17). At first glance, these verses simply appear to be a collection…read more
I accepted an internship with the hopes that it would turn into a full-time job. In March, I discovered it wouldn’t, so I started the…read more
I started taking personal retreats at Benedictine monasteries when I was a student at a Protestant seminary in Portland, Oregon. I was curious about…read more
My relatives are an eclectic bunch, pretty evenly split — to use crude and somewhat useless political labels — between Left and Right; our religious diversity includes Catholics, Mormons, evangelicals, United Church of Christ members and a few who are unaffiliated. Throw in my surrogate family (that’s a story for another time) and you add Presbyterians, Jews and Buddhists. As we gather around our family table and share letters and cards this holiday season, I will be looking for opportunities to be a healing force.
My family is like millions of others in the United States who come together this time of year for the holidays and struggle to put their passionate differences aside for a few hours. Of course, these divides always existed, but recent years have been different for two reasons. First, major shifts — generationally and ideologically — have left many feeling left out of the party, so to speak. Second, politics is the ugliest it’s been in modern history. There are plenty of hurt feelings all around. A lot of fear gets stirred up.
In couples counseling, it’s an axiom that the most toxic thing to a relationship is not when the partners disagree, or even fight, but when they stop respecting each other. For several generations now, there has been little trust and respect in the political sphere. Both sides have demonized the other, have assumed ill motives on their opponents’ parts.
But of all relationships, the deepest and oldest, next to our relationship with God, is family. So, how sad when distrust and lack of respect attacks relationships with literal brothers and sisters.read more
In the back pew of the adoration chapel, I folded my arms and slouched before the God who wouldn’t talk to me. It was Advent,…read more