Saturday, November 28, 2015

Idée d’jour

Let one not deceive another nor despise any person whatever.... In anger or ill will let one not wish any harm to another.
– Buddha

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Idée d’jour

We haven't yet learned how to stay human when assembled in masses.
– Lewis Thomas, physician and author (25 Nov 1913-1993)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

My First Advent

My first Advent was in 1965. I was ten years old.

I was introduced to the Episcopal Church via Vacation Bible School at St. Phillip's, Ardmore. My dad had remarried that summer; his wife, Wanda, had been introduced to the Episcopal church through my Aunt Nelle, who had been introduced by her second husband, Jewel, a cradle Episcopalian.

I immediately fell in love with the music. Once dad and Wanda settled down, we sought a church, and soon chose St. John’s, on Brooklyn Avenue in Oklahoma City. St. John’s was high church by the standards of the day, but I felt right at home kneeling, genuflecting, and making the sign of the cross. I somehow intuitively knew that prayer was meant to be a full-body experience.

I had grown up in the Methodist church, which did not observe Advent at that time. All I knew of Christmas was a small tree in the corner with brightly wrapped packages beneath.

My dad bought an Advent calendar, which was hung near the side kitchen door. Being the youngest, I was given the task of opening the small doors each day. The mystery of what lay hidden behind each numbered door made the weeks prior to Christmas something more than a guessing game centered on assorted packages.

I didn’t know the word liturgy then, but this simple discipline of folding open a little paper door and revealing a small picture gave the days a shape and meaning. The anticipation of that revelation became tied to the anticipation for Christmas. One small mystery became a larger mystery.

I don’t remember any of the presents I received that year, nor any of the gifts I gave. But the gift of mystery, mystery given form in a simple calendar, is a gift I have carried for a lifetime.

Written by request, for inclusion in a church booklet

Friday, November 20, 2015

Idée d’jour

If you want a symbolic gesture, don't burn the flag, wash it.
– Norman Thomas, socialist and social reformer (20 Nov 1884-1968)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Jeb! Kills Hitler!

Hell, yeah, I'd kill Hitler!” says Jeb! Although he admits this thought experiment could have unintentional consequences, he's sure it's the right thing to do. I wonder if this nominally Roman Catholic anti-abortion activist has really thought it through.

The obvious implication is you're willing to kill any baby who might grow up to be a notorious mass murderer. Why stop with Adolf? How 'bout Charlie Manson? Or Ted Bundy? Or Jeb's! brother? His brother's notorious VP?

Maybe we could kill all babies born to impoverished mothers who have divorced and remarried a brute.

Who gets to choose?

One last thought: Why is it no one considers killing Mussolini as a baby?