Reflection

A timeless love

I recall reading somewhere that something we take totally for granted about the human mind is in fact one of its most remarkable accomplishments. It …

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The story and the glory – a Christmas bouquet

William Blake once wrote that it would be wonderful “to hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.” Many years …

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Hard hat country

The excavation site is huge. Someday, a towering structure will emerge to — we fervently hope — grace the city. At the moment, this area …

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Small boys, golden doors and great cathedrals

When I was a small boy, I was a member of a Bible study group led by Mr. Turner, someone who was wise enough to …

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The first day

It is early September 1933 and it has been decreed that I, on the cusp of five years old, should go to school. The great …

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The prie-dieu

The antique shop was large. I found myself in it only because my family was in a nearby store, and, since I’m not much of …

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A silencing of doubt

Sometimes when I wonder at the scriptures of the resurrection, asking the questions and experiencing the doubts that people have voiced since the extraordinary events …

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The Friday we dare to call Good

Those who wrote the four gospels did so because they were convinced that the three fleeting years of the public ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, …

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‘Love is a many-splendored thing’

You may remember this as the title song in a long-ago movie of the same name. The stars, as we used to say, were William …

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A costly discipleship

Convention Hall, Philadelphia, May 1984 The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania celebrated its bicentennial in 1984. About 10,000 people gathered in Convention Hall in Philadelphia. I …

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The epiphanies of life

Piano tuners have to hit single notes again and again. However, now and again they play a chord and you realize how infinitely richer a …

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The night the stars sang

Hollywood loves the word “apocalypse.” To them it means “dollars.” It means a big-screen disaster movie, complete with toppling high-rises, mile-high tsunamis engulfing cities and terrified humans running in all …

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Nahr el-Kalb

The pity of war

In  1697 Henry Maundrell, academic of Exeter College in Oxford and Church of England priest, was acting as chaplain to the new Levant Company based …

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The gift of a story

One of the joys of ordained ministry is that you can find yourself baptizing your two great-grandchildren. For me those joyful occasions were a few …

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A time for harvesting

Donaguile, Castlecomer, 1940 In the 1920s, the world of Irish farming was simple and modest. Some large estates were exceptions, but they were diminishing in …

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