Trinity Spiral

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My Life and the History of the World

Trinity spiral

sweet journey into the heart,  this inward path

living water flowing from chaos into order

since the first word of creation

an eternity that holds itself as more than a progression of days

days that are One Day days that flow back to the Day of Divine Rest

it is finished and is always creation creating

under the hand of the Maker

(This post is in response to a graphic provided by my partner in ministry, Fr. Larry Woodsmall of the YOKE – http://www.theyoke.org – as an exercise in new creative prayer.)

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Top Ten Books

My Life and the History of the World

My top ten most influential books, and why:

Gospel of Mark

1. The Gospel of Mark. The immediacy of Jesus’s mission, the uncertainty and hubris of the disciples, the world-shattering results…well, if I am going to call myself a faithful follower of Christ, I’d better know what He was about.

Hans Christian Andersen

2. The Stories of Hans Christian Andersen. If my parents had only known how subversive fairy tales are, I might never have been allowed them.

lord of the rings

3. The Lord of the Rings: It was a revelation to me to see that life does not have to be pleasant and fun to be good, and that there are higher goals than selfish pleasure. I was young, still in my hippie years when I read Tolkien. It shaped my Christianity, and gave me a sense of nobility.

mere christianity

4. Mere Christianity. C.S. Lewis’s great classic about living a Christ-like life in the midst of a secular society.

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Happiness

My Life and the History of the World

 

lake with ducks wikimedia

Happiness, gratitude, joy: Words that are bubbling through social media, in publications and in books currently on the best selling list. As Christians, how can we be concerned for these, while serving Christ fully?

There is no wrong in being happy, feeling grateful, or looking for joy. The real concern for Christians is that we displace our dependency on and faith in God while seeking these pleasures. While all measures of such positive emotions must be, in some way, a gift from God, we are concerned principally with receiving these graces directly from God, and not from our own selfish pursuits.

I could not avoid Victoria Osteen’s words on happiness and God. Many Christians were shocked, or at least troubled, by them. Here is a quote from the broadcast, purportedly Mrs. Osteen’s words:

“I just want to encourage everyone of us to realize when we obey God, we’re not…

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Men, Step Up

My Life and the History of the World

CTA_Run_-312

Step up to the plate, and don’t strike out.

I had a bad, disturbing incident on the train yesterday. I have to get to the airport, where I work in a bookstore, very early in the morning. While I like the work and the people at work, the journey in the dark hours is stressful. I get through it by preparing myself the night before, and otherwise not thinking about how difficult this part of my day is.

I was sitting peacefully in the train car, having walked a mile in the dark to the station, in rain and wind. I thought the worst part of the trip was over.

A man got on the car, carrying some grocery items in a plastic store bag. He sat next to me, which annoyed me  a bit, as there were plenty of seats elsewhere. But I was near the door, in the…

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It’s Not Me: Bread Failure

My Life and the History of the World

goodbreadrecipe2

All right, I had a sourdough crash. Maybe it wasn’t fed enough, or maybe it got too cold. The life went out of it and all my valiant efforts to restore its vitality failed. Add warm water and sugar: Fail. Add flour: Fail. Immerse the whole jar of starter in hot water and cover it: Fail. It was dead as a door nail.

But because I already had an autolyse started (flour and water combined), I went ahead and made the poolish (sponge thingy) with dry yeast. I had been reading about all these top drawer, high hat chefs experimenting with high ratio doughs, with about twice as much water as I usually use, and then a bare, gentle kneading. I have tried these twice before, and both times I was not satisfied with the end product.

And I wasn’t this time, either. I forced two risings in the oven…

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Lent and Ash Wednesday

Short view of fasting in season

My Life and the History of the World

After the Misdeed Jean Beraud

Ash Wednesday is this week; this means beginning the Lenten disciplines. In this world where there is a huge gap between those of us who HAVE and the many, many who HAVE-NOT, fasting is a necessary discipline. First, it teaches us to do without, because in every life there are seasons of having less than we need, whether it is food or love; second, it puts us in solidarity with the poor, who daily suffer a lack of necessities; third, by cutting back what we spend on food, we have more money to share with those whose income does not meet their need. Keep the fast: Vegan and vegetarian meals, substituting beans and legumes for protein, with rice and whole grains and simply prepared vegetables. If fruit is expensive, skip it. Make time to cook and bake for yourself, which means giving up other pursuits like television, computer games and shopping…

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