Learning to Live… Through Jesus, Our Neighbours and Each Other

MARKINGS (15)

Note:  For the next several weeks I will feature reflections by Blaise Pascal from the PENSEES, his vigorous investigation and defense of Christian belief. “Humanity’s sensitivity to trivia, and our insensitivity to matters of major importance, reveal we have a strange disorder.”  (Pensee 9)  

MARKINGS (14)

Your holiness makes you as conspicuous as the sun in the sky. You cannot hide your Christian character. Love cannot be hidden any more than can light. Least of all, it cannot be hidden when it shines forth in action. When you exercise yourself in a labor of love, in any kind of good work,…

LETTER FROM CELL 92

Not long after his engagement to Maria von Wedemeyer in 1943, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was arrested by the Nazis.  While in prison, he wrote many letters to Maria, including the following one growing from reflection on Jeremiah’s words in 32.1-15.  The fact that Jeremiah wrote, while also in prison, meant these words had deep significance for…

SIMPLY PRAY

When he was a young man, Vincent Van Gogh served as a missionary among coal miners in Belgium.  The experience left him with a deep admiration for the working poor.  Even though they were mostly theologically illiterate, and did not practice religion as the church thought they should, Van Gogh saw in them a simple,…

MARKINGS (13)

JUSTICE “The sort of crimes and even the amount of delinquency that fill the prophets of Israel with dismay do not go beyond that which we regard as normal, as typical of our society.  To us a single act of injustice— cheating in business, exploitation of the poor—is slight; to the prophets, a disaster. To…

JEAN VANIER

Jean Vanier: Founder of L’Arche dies aged 90 By Martin BashirReligion editor Image copyrightAFP The son of a Canadian diplomat, Jean Vanier embarked upon a naval career that saw him serve during World War Two. But in 1950 he resigned his commission saying that he wanted “to follow Jesus”. He studied theology and philosophy, completing…

MARKINGS (12)

BUSYNESS I know from experience that when I allow busy little doings to fill the precious time of early morning, when contemplation might flourish, I open the doors to the demon of acedia. Noon becomes a blur – no time, no time – the wolfing down of a sandwich as I listen to the morning’s…

MARKINGS (11)

HONEST SPIRITUALITY “…what is an honest spiritual life?  Perhaps we should say that it is one in which the taste for truth (rather than sincerity) has become inescapable.  We don’t know what we shall be, what face God will show to us in the mirror he holds up for us on the last day, but…

THE GREEN BIBLE

April 22 was EARTH DAY and April 26 is ARBOR DAY.  This Sunday we will observe our annual Blessing of the Seeds service.  As I have been preparing for this service I have learned or been reminded of the following truths: Terry LeBlanc who directs the North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies says that…

MARKINGS (10)

  “WE ARE FOOLS FOR Christ’s sake,” Paul says, faith says—the faith that ultimately the foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of men, the lunacy of Jesus saner than the grim sanity of the world. Through the eyes of faith too, the Last Supper, though on one level a tragic farewell and failure…is…