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On Petty Irritations

Monk Choir Singing (19th century art)

Thomas Merton (1915–1968) was a Trappist monk, well known for his contemplative writings. But his journals share not only his moments of spiritual insight, but his very relatable moments of petty irritability. This humourous excerpt is found in the second volume of his journals (“Entering the Silence“): In my interior life there is a small area of raw and inflamed and infected thought and emotion, and it concerns the choir and the head cantor. The pitch-pipe blows and the cantorRead more

Trusting in God’s Sovereignty

Sad girl - listen

“Sovereign Over Us” by Aaron Keyes, Bryan Brown, and Jack Mooring: There is strength within the sorrow, There is beauty in our tears. And You meet us in our mourning, With a love that casts out fear. You are working in our waiting. You’re sanctifying us, When beyond our understanding, You’re teaching us to trust. Your plans are still to prosper, You have not forgotten us. You’re with us in the fire and the flood. You’re faithful forever, Perfect inRead more

Henry Ossawa Tanner’s “Religious Realism”

"The Three Marys" by Henry Ossawa Tanner

A Remarkable Man: Born in 1859, Henry Tanner was “the first African-American painter to gain international acclaim” (Wikipedia). His father was a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and his mother had escaped slavery through the underground railroad. Tanner’s talent and heritage resulted in unique, insightful and evocative works, qualities that happily were recognized in his lifetime. To this day, however, I believe he is not as well-known as he deserves to be. Tanner’s road was not an easyRead more

Morning Thanksgiving

Morning light over barley field

A Sampling of Morning Prayers from The Book of Common Prayer: Thanksgiving for the gift of another day We give thee hearty thanks, O heavenly Father, for the rest of the past night, and for the gift of a new day. Grant that we may so pass its hours in the perfect freedom of thy service, that at eventide we may again give thanks unto thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (from Forms of Prayer to be Used inRead more