Sunshine and Shadow

Lent encourages us to take time apart from the everyday demands to listen to what God might be asking of us. Even people who don’t seem overtly religious understand some level of Lent’s demands. The transfiguration reminds us that Lent is a time of purification, a time of going beyond our limitations. We...

Putting Up with Pretend Crosses

I played the victim on Ash Wednesday. Early that morning I discovered I couldn’t get online, and I spent a frustrating hour fixing it, before devoting the rest of the morning to working on a new book I’m writing. I figured I’d have lunch and then put everything I’ve written so far in...

God’s Powerful Word

This year’s snowfall set a new record for Cincinnati and some other places in the Midwest. Snow increases the cost of keeping highways safe and drivable. Crews must plow and treat the roads if they are to be kept reasonably passable. The cost of the ice melt and the cost of spreading it strain budgets....

One Lenten Question

Jesus said, “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly” (Jn 10:10). Here we are at the beginning of Lent, which deep down is always about abundant life. For some of us, this season immediately evokes the question, “What are you giving up for Lent?” Candy, soft drinks, or movies...

Judge Not

We’re nearing the end of winter on Ash Wednesday. It has been a tough one for much of this country. Here in Cincinnati, we’ve seen the most snow and ice since the winter of 1978. Needless to say, people have been miserable. One of the worst storms was a few weeks ago. First came a layer of ice,...

Computers, Candy, and Distractions

Some friendships seem timeless, even a little eternal. After all, don’t we all reconnect with some people we haven’t seen in years, and after 10 minutes or so, it’s as if the intervening years never happened? This happened to me recently when I drove to rural Iowa to see a Trappist monk and a...

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