Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tension and Release

The strong pull of her body, the freedom of confession
The knowledge of the goodness, of the longing for the nights
When both sides of my bed, will cushion giddy hearts
Where once one lay, the lonely, weeping in the dark

I'm baffled by her maker, who formed her with delight
He did a damn good job, then placed her in the light
There will be a marriage, greater than two breaths 
The groom has overcome the world, the bride with him will rest.

Baby, come with me, to this wedding feast
They say the crippled walk, they say the blind can see
Baby drop your stones or all you'll be is bones
That place is full of grace, it's stained on every face.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Reading Well

"Surely, you cannot fail to know how much a man of education is helped toward understanding the written word by repeated reading. No difficulty in understanding occurs (or, if any, very little) where there is facility in reading, and this gains in scope with successive repetitions. Constant application [brings to fruition] what [through inattention] would have remained immature." Augustine of Hippo

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


"we ought to have the humility to admit we do not know all about ourselves, that we are not experts at running our own lives. We ought to stop taking our conscious decisions with such infinite seriousness. It may well be that we are not the martyrs or the mystics or the apostles or the leaders or the lovers of God that we imagine ourselves to be. Our subconscious mind may be trying to tell us this in many ways-and we have trained ourselves, with the most egregious self-righteousness to turn a deaf ear." Thomas Merton

A few pages later:

"Prayer is inspired by God in the depth of our own nothingness. It is the movement of trust, of gratitude, of adoration, or of sorrow that places us before God, seeing both Him and ourselves in the light of His infinite truth..." Merton

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Time to be Thankful

"...the 'memorial' of the Last Supper has several dimensions: through it, in the present, the past becomes a new reality, but the future becomes a reality that is already...a foretaste of the kingdom to come..." Zizioulas

When I went to Israel last summer, my first significant memory after the daze of over-seas travel began to subside, was riding in the bus from the airport in Tel Aviv toward or upward rather to the old city of Jerusalem. This bus ride is like a dream in my memory as it was in my experience of it. Bishop Lebhar explained to us the Jewish understanding of time in terms of the Passover meal: when Jews participate in the Passover now they are participating in the same meal the original Jews did in Moses' time. In the same way, when we eat and drink the Lord's Supper we are participating in the same meal that the twelve shared in the upper room that dark night. I think the future element may have been mentioned on the bus but it hit me this morning as I read John Z. In the Lord's Supper, we are also participating, in some sense, in the marraige supper of the lamb. Or are we not? There is a sense where there is a sure not-yet-ness to the marraige supper. Jesus says he will not drink wine again until the supper in the future. But still, there seems to be the already/not-yet tension to keep in mind. The idea that we are already participating in the supper is a great joy, breaking down the sad separation of this and the next life.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Keep Praying Naomi

My sister and brother-in-law have been teaching my niece Naomi to pray, especially before meals, and she has learned one prayer which I have come to appreciate very much: "Help Uhnote find wife." We are in this together Naomi, thank you for praying, after all you want to have some cousins don't you? I always thought I would get married around 22 or so and am now 27. I am enjoying life despite not having the companionship of a wife but probably need to be married before too long. Today was both dis- and en- couraging. I was studying at Lake Ella in Tallahassee this afternoon for my upcoming sermon. In the middle of thinking about the nature and awesomeness of Jesus' parable of the sower I looked up to see this absolutely gorgeous, "marry-me", beautiful, etcetera woman walking toward me. Ashley is a news reporter for a local station here in Tallahassee and was working on a story and wanted the opinion of locals concerning the possibility of Starbucks, Burger King, and Sonic selling alcohol. She taped my thoughts and then we began to talk for a bit and found out that we had both lived in Jacksonville and both studied at UNF and both graduated at the same time from the same College (Arts and Sciences) and had both been in Tallahassee for only a month. When I got home I called the news station and asked if there was reporter named Ashley there and the operator sent me to her voice-mail because she was "out in the field" so I left a message. I asked what time the story would be on TV and asked if she would like to go to lunch or for coffee some day. She called back while I was leaving the message and I asked her the same things. She said to let her think about it and (because) she has a boyfriend. Sigh... The encouraging part about today is that those kind of meetings happen. Keeping me chin up.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Eucharist Categories and Mystery

I want to explore this more: the idea that when we consider the sacraments, specifically the Eucharist, we are not just thinking in terms of the spiritual and/or the physical but in terms of a third category which includes both in a way that may be indescribable.