My Accidental Day with Super Power

[Note: In preparation for our Thanksgiving get-together this year, my mother-in-law asked all of the extended family members (of a capable age) to write a short story describing one day with a superpower of their choice. I did not entirely follow the directions, but this is what came to me. It’s a foolish and wordyContinue reading “My Accidental Day with Super Power”

our bodies think and know in ways that precede cognition

In Landmarks, Robert Macfarlane gives a gripping account of knowing with our bodies (in comparing the writings of French philosopher Merleau-Ponty and Scottish writer Nan Shepherd). [Merleau-Ponty] argued that knowledge is ‘felt’: that our bodies think and know in ways that precede cognition. Consciousness, the human body and the phenomenal world are therefore inextricably intertwined.Continue reading “our bodies think and know in ways that precede cognition”

Let us not mock God with metaphor

“Seven Stanzas at Easter” by John Updike (from Telephone Poles and Other Poems): Make no mistake: if He rose at all it was as His body; if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse, the molecules reknit, the amino acids rekindle, the Church will fall. It was not as the flowers, each soft Spring recurrent; itContinue reading “Let us not mock God with metaphor”

the direction in which their unmarred fulfillment must lie

J.R.R.Tolkien in his notes on “Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth.” Finrod, however, sees now that, as things were, no created thing or being in Arda, or in all Eä, was powerful enough to counteract or heal Evil: that is to subdue Melkor (in his present person, reduced though that was) and the Evil that he hadContinue reading “the direction in which their unmarred fulfillment must lie”

I knew one who made his pilgrimage to springs

The Springs by Wendell Berry In a country without saints or shrines I knew one who made his pilgrimage to springs, where in his life’s dry years his mind held on. Everlasting, people called them, and gave them names. The water broke into sounds and shinings at the vein mouth, bearing the taste of theContinue reading “I knew one who made his pilgrimage to springs”

to heal and to teach suffering men

Saint Athanasius is remembered today. Excerpts from On the Incarnation: The Lord did not come to make a display. He came to heal and to teach suffering men. For one who wanted to make a display, the thing would have been just to appear and dazzle the beholders. But for Him Who came to healContinue reading “to heal and to teach suffering men”

the continual sacralization of space

Alasdair John Milbank (born 23 October 1952) is a distinguished contemporary Anglican theologian. In a recent interview, he shared these thoughts about the church and incarnation: The Church is at once very very spiritual and very very concrete. The Church continues that sense of the Incarnation, and I mean that quite literally, that the churchContinue reading “the continual sacralization of space”

words so terrible you heard them with your whole body

And there was a voice above the firmament that was over their heads; when they stood, they let down their wings. She didn’t want to know what the verse meant, what the creatures were. She knew there were words so terrible you heard them with your whole body. Guilty. And there were voices to sayContinue reading “words so terrible you heard them with your whole body”

the future is eating us alive

That’s the most interesting question in the world. How big is big enough? The Amish pretty much have solved it. Industrialism doesn’t propose a limit. David Kline, my friend, went to a Mennonite meeting. They were asking what community meant. And he said, “When my son and I are plowing in the spring, we restContinue reading “the future is eating us alive”

the natural elements of bread and wine are so affirmed that they acquire personal qualities — the Body and Blood of Christ

By the Metropolitan John Zizioulas (shortened version of a lecture given at the European Orthodox Congress given in October, 1993 that was reprinted here): Theology and Church life involve a certain conception of the human being: personhood. This term, sanctified through its use in connection with the very being of God and of Christ, isContinue reading “the natural elements of bread and wine are so affirmed that they acquire personal qualities — the Body and Blood of Christ”