I try not to regret much in life. God knows I have no cause for regret. I’ve been abundantly blessed from birth. Just about any white male born in the developed world starts life on at least second, if not third, base in the baseball game of life compared to the rest of humanity. So regret is nothing but self-indulgence. And yet…
Last Thursday afternoon, just before heading home to New York, I stood on Mount Nebo in Jordan and looked west to the Promised Land. Mount Nebo is where Moses stood at the end of his life, having led the Israelites in the desert for forty years, and died.
Today there is a modern Catholic church built over the remains of an ancient Byzantine church on Mount Nebo. The mosaics from the Byzantine church have been beautifully restored and are displayed as part of the modern church’s design.
A good pilgrimage leaves one with more questions than answers and this one has not disappointed. Several evenings we were blessed to have guests come and talk with us about the current situation here in the Holy Land. It’s hard not to be discouraged. How does one get to a just peace? What does that even mean?
But I did see God moving in the lives of those most heartbroken by the conflict. It was in their brokenness that I found hope.
Today I find myself in the Holy Land—on a pilgrimage. This is not my first pilgrimage, nor, do I suspect, will it be my last. Moreover, this is my 5th or 6th time visiting many of the sites on this trip. Yet, each visit is a little different. Each visit challenges and rewards me in unexpected ways.
This time I have the luxury and challenge of not being the group leader. I can enter into the visit as a true pilgrim.
What does it mean to be a pilgrim? Continue reading ““Do not be afraid…””
I’m a planner. Some of that is by necessity. But, I confess, a good bit of it is by nature. And what does God do when you make plans? God laughs. Continue reading “God Laughs”
In 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”
This 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”
Every year it feels as if I come screeching into Thanksgiving. This year that feeling is particularly acute. Continue reading “Giving Thanks”
On 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”
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”