Category: State of the World

On falling asleep and putting to sleep.

My neighbor just put his dog to sleep. I’ve met the dog – a vivacious, playful lab, unquestionably happy and full of spirit. I went on a walk once with this neighbor and his two dogs. What the man did, he did obviously out of care and compassion, and now he mourns. This is common. …

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On the Name of God. Part II.

Continued from On the Name of God. Part I. This is where we left off: The Hebrew Bible, the patchwork of myth and the ages and folktale and hindsight and inspiration and gut feeling and politics that it is, refuses to name God. I like that. But that is where I encounter a problem. Two problems, …

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On obligation to love.

This essay started with a random glance at the next year’s possible retreat topic. I think that’s what it was. The topic was “Love as an Obligation.” And my first response was to turn to a sister next to me and to ask, feeling everything slow down as it does when something in my head …

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On prophethood, predation, and the difference between nice and good.

There are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places. Wendell Berry I am on retreat this week, and our preacher, Catherine Hilkert, OP, read this line from “How to Be a Poet” during Monday night’s sharing. In the morning she reminded us that St. Francis had called sun and moon and …

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On the least of His.

Toward the end of the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 25, Jesus follows a series of behavior-guiding parables with something that suddenly and uncomfortably no longer sounds like a parable. He shifts into the future tense and into the time of the end-world. Judgment Day. When the King – the Son of Man – will see …

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On home-ful-ness in Boston.

This essay was written for and is available on the OPPeace website (www.oppeace.org) — the cyber home of the Dominican Sisters of Peace. Sr. Blaise is threading our car through the narrow streets of Mission Hill like an embroidery needle through canvas, and inside the car her story weaves just as smoothly. Sr. Pat is …

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On the “except” in my heart.

This will not be a very long post. I live just outside of Boston. This has been an awful week. But then, we’ve had awful weeks. We keep having them, awful news reaching us again and again from places far and near — nearer and nearer it seems every time. Sandy Hook. Pakistan. Virginia. India. …

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On gratitude in safety, or “There but for the Grace of God!”

I snapped at my best friend three days ago. I came pretty close to yelling at him and essentially accused him of being selfish, unfeeling, and disconnected from fellow creatures – unfairly, mind you. My best friend is none of those things. In fact, he is one of the nicest, kindest people I know and …

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On the waving and burning of flags.

My family is not really much for flag-waving. It’s a sweet thing to do – and we do still on occasion – but I suppose the bitterness of the dust kicked up by our collapsing civilization, flags and all, twenty some years ago spoiled our taste for it. I see all around me houses, balconies, …

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On letting go and holding on.

“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” Henry Ellis Christmas has just happened, leaving behind the traditional American month-long mad dash for presents. Christmas has happened, but we are still counting its days, on our way to the Epiphany, to tell the story of the Magi …

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