November 29, 2020

Archives for 2015

iMonk Classic: The monk who wouldn’t go away

Note from CM: Yesterday marked the 47th anniversary of Thomas Merton’s death. On December 10, 1968, he died in an accidental electrocution in Bangkok, Thailand. His body was returned to the U.S. in a military transport plane that carried the bodies of soldiers killed in Vietnam, a war he had condemned forcefully. He was laid in the earth […]


“So, would you like to meet Nathaniel?” she asked. “Of course, I’d be honored.” We left the living room, where the hospice nurse was talking with the woman’s husband and doing her assessment. She led me down a narrow hall to a back bedroom. “Please excuse the mess,” she apologized, “I’ve been using his room […]

You don’t have to “do grief right”

Note from CM: I will closely moderate this post. Please be respectful and serious and stick to the subject today. If things get out of hand, I will not hesitate to shut down discussion. • • • Talk to me about the truth of religion and I’ll listen gladly. Talk to me about the duty […]

Jonathan Aigner: Ten reasons to follow the liturgical calendar

Note from CM: For this Jubilee Year of Mercy (which begins officially today), the Catholic Church has produced some excellent handbooks to help ministers and congregants focus on the theme of mercy. I found it interesting that the very first chapter of book one (called Celebrating Mercy), emphasized that the place to start was with a fresh […]

Mondays with Michael Spencer: December 7, 2015

What do I love about liturgical worship? I love the Christian year. When I was working on church staff, we were told to organize the church year around the various offerings and denominational emphases from the Southern Baptist Convention. Other than Christmas or Easter, there was no vestige of the Christian year. It was the […]

Advent II: Mercy takes the risk of birth

Advent II Mercy takes the risk of birth. I thought of this poem last week, when each day seemed to bring more news of violence, death, and fear. It gave me words when I had none. It portrays the world in realistic terms and speaks of God’s response to the world at all times: overcome […]

Saturday Ramblings, December 5, 2015

Hello, friends, and welcome to the weekend. I offered to write a couple Saturday columns to give our over-worked Chaplain a break. Shall we Ramble? Not much in the way of politics this week. Though the Republican Presidential hopefuls did raise some funds and eyebrows at the Republican Jewish Forum, held in a phone booth […]

Putting a Krampus in your Christmas

In the benign stories of “Santa” most of us were told, the jolly old elf knew who was “naughty or nice.” He checked his list (twice) and gave gifts to the good children, and, tradition says, a lump of coal in the stockings of children who had been bad. Bummer on Christmas morning, but hey, […]

Why isn’t Rachel weeping today?

Why are large segments of the Church in the U.S., made up of people who claim to be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, the Giver of Life, and the Overcomer of Death, so unmoved by this? I simply want to ask the Church in the U.S. — why are we so […]

For Advent — Fr. Thomas Hopko: 55 Maxims

Father Thomas Hopko (1939–2015) was a prominent teacher, speaker, and theologian in the Orthodox Church of America. Recently, I came across his list of “55 Maxims” and found them interesting and instructive. I think simple lists like this can be useful in penitential seasons like Advent. They help me focus and reflect on my life before God. […]