I tentatively pushed opened the heavy wooden door of Tuštanj Castle and peeked inside. An open air courtyard lay in front of me, enclosed by a gra...
Being a child of God -- for Jesus and for the rest of us -- is a poetic way of describing our direct, personal engagement with ultimate reality. It is an artful expression of ourselves as physically integrated with the divine essence of the cosmos.
Lent, which I have described as Spring Training for Christians, is about preparation, about getting into spiritual shape. It is a time of turning inward, looking under the hood and doing a gut check. Where have I been? Do I like what I am doing? Do I like what I have become?
Perhaps we need to undertake a Greenhouse Gas Fast during this holy season. How about giving up carbon emissions for Passover and Lent? This sacrifice would ritualize our intention to abstain from wanton waste by pursuing a more sustainable way of life.
Was it courage that led him to speak truth to power in his denomination, or was he just worn out by trying so hard and long to maintain pretenses? If it was just weariness, I still admire Ryan Bell for succumbing to it, because he paid a stiff price for doing what he did.
As columnist E.J. Dionne also points out, Opening Day always comes, and I believe not accidentally, during the end of the holy season of Lent (marked by waiting in disciplined reflection, sacrifice, and even suffering), and always close to Easter and Passover -- when hope comes alive again.
In Fairhope, Alabama, I grew up in a family of six where giving up something for Lent was an expectation, not a choice. A few days before Ash Wednesday, the dinner conversation revolved around one question: 'What you are giving up for Lent?'
Remember that the cross is more than a necklace, a pretty ornate object that we bow to in church, or a means of propaganda. The cross is a reminder of the darkness of human ignorance but more importantly the glory of God's victory over death.
Placing our future in someone else's hands, even God's, is not easy. But it is an adventure -- an adventure easier to embark on if we hold to the fundamental Christian idea that God is love.
Yes, be more connected. Although social media promises to strengthen connections, its technology has limitations. Clicking a Facebook like or becoming a Twitter follower creates a bond, but not a strong one.
Give up thinking for Lent? How could that be possible? Don't we need our thoughts to help move us through life? No, what Andrea was talking about was obsessive thinking. You know, the kind of thinking that gives you no rest.
I live in Washington, D.C., a city in which mistakes are messaged and shortcomings are spun. True confession and true repentance do not occur -- unless it is politically advantageous. Naturally, cynicism runs rampant. In this environment, though we all know our own weaknesses, grace is rarely offered for failures.
I actually attempted this year, for Lent, to give up "weather grumbling" and lasted for a mere nine days before another mini polar vortex broke me down.
Life is one big roller coaster ride of personal choices from exhilarating joy to frightening turns and can ultimately be the main distraction for dealing with the Self.
Our social location, our education, our knowledge, our religious convictions, everything about us that we can point to and say: That is me. The ego is exactly equal to our self-concept.
Privilege is a powerful drug. It lets us ignore the harm we cause to others by our indifference, and wants to multiply with our desire to self-preserve.