Waiting for Vizzini

In one of my favorite scenes from The Princess Bride, Inigo Montoya is outside a pub, falling-down drunk, and he has this exchange with the soldier sent to remove him: Inigo: I am waiting for you, Vizzini. You told me to go back to the beginning. So I have. This is where I am, and this is where I’ll stay....

Excess Baggage

I’m back from Scotland. By the time I got to the ferry terminal in Aberdeen, even my carry-on backpack and smaller daypack felt too heavy and awkward to carry for any distance. This didn’t stop me from buying a 1.5 kg Shetland fleece on the first day of Wool Week. An undisclosed number of skeins...

Take Nothing for the Journey

As I write this, I’m finishing my packing for a 15-day trip to Shetland and the Highlands. I’ve been planning it for months and the day has finally arrived. It’s going to involve a series of plane, ferry, train, and bus trips, so I made up my mind that I was going to do my best to pack only...

Fasting and Praying for Peace

When Pope Francis issued his call for people to set aside September 7 to fast and pray for peace in Syria, I found myself tempted to dismiss it as a predictable and idealistic response to a disturbingly complex situation. I had to knock down a few cynical arguments in my head (“Right, because God...

To Live as Francis Lived

I’ve started my official period of formation as a secular Franciscan. It always seems a bit complicated to explain this to people. I’m learning not to say, “Well, it’s like a religious order but you don’t live in community.” In fact it is a religious order, and it does...

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