love

The Soft Animal of Your Body

“Let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.” –Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese” “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh.” –This guy Paul, formerly Saul, in a letter to people a long time ago   What are we going […]

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An Offering Instead of a Gift

Most people consider themselves unworthy. They may not admit this to themselves. They may never say it out loud, or even know they feel this way. But when it comes to the opportunity to receive, they put up their hands, they turn away, they back out. Because for so long, we’ve only been taught what it’s like to take. Doesn’t the Catholic mass, in preparation for breaking bread and joining […]

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The Bible Is Confusing

“O, be some other name! What’s in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet.” –Juliet, Romeo and JulietĀ  I have fallen in love with Scripture. Fallen deeply, deeply in love. It is as though nothing else will do. (Other things do do, however. I love poetry, and anything by Rilke. I just bought a book on Native American medicine and […]

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FirstDay Sermon: Love Is Not a Numbers Game. Life Is Not a Matter of Numbers.

“For if we think of this existence of the individual as a larger or smaller room, it appears evident that most people learn to know only a corner of their room.” –Rainer Maria Rilke This past week, I was preparing to teach one of my college classes in which students read academic articles about culture and then respond by writing analytical essays. (Wow, that sounds boring.) Our particular focus is […]

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FirstDay Sermon: Unconditional Love

“For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation…. Love is at first not anything that means merging, giving over, and uniting with another (for what would a union be of something unclarified and unfinished, still subordinate—?), it is a high inducement to the individual […]

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