Twenty characteristics that make a genius

Leonardo_da_Vinci_LUCAN_Hohenstatt_20_Uffizi_copyIn keeping with my desire to observe Advent by seeking out beauty (see my November 28th post) and my fascination with Salvator Mundi (see my November 14th post), I just finished reading Walter Isaacson’s masterful and insightful biography of Leonardo Da Vinci.  

Isaacson concludes his book by identifying twenty characteristics that make a genius.  Isaacson has given this list some thought, having written biographies of Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, and now Leonardo.

So what does it take? Continue reading “Twenty characteristics that make a genius”

Servants of God: St. Nicholas & Bishop Paul Jones

Sveti_NikolaOn Wednesday, December 6th, Episcopal Relief & Development, the organization I have the privilege of leading, marks the anniversary of its founding. It also happens to be St. Nicholas Day. That is a happy coincidence and provides an opportunity to reflect on the values that shaped St. Nicholas’ life and inform the work of Episcopal Relief & Development. Continue reading “Servants of God: St. Nicholas & Bishop Paul Jones”

Five Advent Lessons

IMG_3750This Sunday, the First Sunday in Advent, will mark a new liturgical year. We tend to gloss over that in our culture, focused as we are on the big event: Christmas Day. However, Advent is one of the places where one can feel God at work in the world. Here are five ways to make space for God during Advent. Continue reading “Five Advent Lessons”

Salvator Mundi

IMG_1870 2On Wednesday morning I met Christ on my way to work.  If you want to catch him, he is currently at Christie’s auction house in New York City until Wednesday, November 15th at noon.  After that no one knows where he will go.  Stop by if you have a chance. Continue reading “Salvator Mundi”

Poppy Day

Lest_we_forgetLate last Friday night, I landed at London’s Heathrow Airport and made my way to the Central Bus Terminal to catch a bus to Oxford. I was headed there to attend a weekend conference on Healthcare Inequality (perhaps the subject of another post someday).  

As I was standing at the bus ticket counter, I noticed that there was a basket of paper red poppies that one could pin to one’s coat or jacket.  I reached over and took one, putting two pounds in the jar placed on the counter to collect donations. Continue reading “Poppy Day”

Finding God on the other side of Halloween

PumpkinheadsHeaven1901

Let us stipulate that God seems very far from the commercial extravaganza that now surrounds Halloween.  I am much more likely to find God on the other side of Halloween, on November 1st, when we observe All Saints’ Day.   All Saints’ Day is a day to remember all of the saints who have passed through our lives into the next. Continue reading “Finding God on the other side of Halloween”

Binge Watching for God (Part Two)

Last week, I explored the role that God plays in the lives of four of the five 30-something Orthodox Jewish Jerusalemites in the Israeli television series Srugim.

AngelThis week, we learn what the angel that God sends to Amir has to say.

Continue reading “Binge Watching for God (Part Two)”

My 25,000 year-old friend

Earlier this year I visited the Peche Merle caves, known for their prehistoric drawings, in the south west of France.  Little is known about the purpose of the Peche Merle cave paintings.  There is some speculation that they were used in sacred rituals. 

PechMerleHorses

So, as I made my way down into the caves and along the paths, I was prepared to enter a thin place. Continue reading “My 25,000 year-old friend”