Our Cracked Bell

Ring the bells that still can ring             Forget your perfect offering             There is a crack in everything             That’s how the light gets in Those lyrics from Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem” remind us that we are all flawed.  The cracked Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is a lasting symbol for our nation that we, too, […]

Spring Break & Spring Retreat

Many people have never been on a retreat but could benefit from one.  I want to suggest that a spring retreat might be as valuable for you as spring break. In the upcoming Lenten Season, March 4-9, our Saint Charles Retreat House is offering a retreat for persons who are very busy and who have […]

A New Year, A New Vision

Nineteenth Century British poet, William Blake, in his piece, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, wrote: “If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.” Similar words were spoken by Saint John Vianney, a French priest who lived around the same time: “The eyes of the world see […]

Auld Lang Syne

Somewhere in my education, I was taught that we should always be both satisfied and dissatisfied with ourselves, i.e., we should be grateful for all that we have experienced and accomplished but, at the same time, acknowledge that we can do better. As one year ends and another begins, we are provided a perfect opportunity […]

Christmas Characters

Among my favorite characters of the holiday season are George Bailey, Ebenezer Scrooge, and The Grinch of Whoville.  Each of their stories revolves around a spiritual encounter that led to a conversion experience which became a pivotal point in their earthly life. What our church calls conversion, ancient Greeks called metanoia: an about-face, a one-eighty, […]

Adoration & Imitation

Advent is a terrific time for Christians to reflect upon our relationship with Jesus and to ponder an important question: Should our relationship with Jesus be more about adoring Him or imitating Him? The Infancy Narratives and Christmas Carols of this season certainly put the emphasis on adoration.  And why not—every baby is worth adoring […]

Black Friday to White Christmas

Black Friday was originally labeled “black” in the 1960s because of the mayhem it caused in large cities with traffic jams and chaos in department stores, as well as minor crimes and accidents that resulted from them.  For retailers, the negative connotations were made positive because it marked the busiest shopping day of the year, […]