Month: March 2015


by whom?


In Holy Week we are reminded that we, who claim to follow Jesus, are capable of betrayal.  And that betrayals come in all shapes and sizes, all motivations and permutations. They can be very small but cut over and over like a thousand paper cuts just as easily as they...

white loin cloth


  Mark 14: 50-51 "All of them deserted him and fled. 51 A certain young man was following him, wearing nothing but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him, 52 but he left the linen cloth and ran off naked." Why did Jesus die, according to Mark? Because of...

the vision of hope


This is the icon of the suffering servant written for me while I was in seminary - when I was entering the church.  We will be using it on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week during which it has been the designated image of the church for many...

suffering and friendship


Ecdysis is a term used for the molting of the shell of a crab. Indeed this molting is what the western christian church is now undergoing as it emerges into a period of testing: will it stay locked into its shell and die of constriction or will it break its...

leaving the suffeeirng so that it opens us


We carry things into holy spaces. Two people carry the water and wine up and into the area around the altar to be given to the deacon as they set the table for the Eucharist.  The women carry the myrrh to the tomb. The friend carries the urn of ashes...

the calm before the storm


In a way, this week is harder than next week.  Next week, Holy Week, there will be plenty of liturgical anesthesia.  There will be so much to do.  Liturgies will abound and we will begin to fondle church-things, church clothes, church-words and church-ways.  Getting it right will be the addiction...

fire and suffering


Suffering, says my friend, John O'Donohue, burns up our illusions in the fires of their power to bring new life. This flower reminds me of the beauty of fire When I see images of a forest fire, I am aware of the charred remains of too many sweet, gentle animals...

do not be afraid


The art of the spiritual life is to be able to archive.  When I see my friend Nancy, who is an archivist for the cathedral, I am reminded of this from her beautiful smile, even as she experiences such deep physical pain every day, her prayer-life shines through it and...

Lion’s Head Soup


Lion’s Head Soup was never one of my favorites as a child. My mother made it in the Szechuan style with large meat balls the size of a softball. They make them that way in Szechuan Province because the large head of a lion represents strength and longevity. The cabbage...

the bee sting


As we make our way towards Holy Week, things are going to get a bit tougher.  As a priest and pastor I am always amazed by how much happens in people's lives in these last weeks of Lent and in Holy Week.  Marriages break, relationships strain, grievances grind, envy envelopes,...