Under the cross I knew your providence

Six years, my God, almost to the day since you pulled me from the world and to yourself. Two and a half since that hot afternoon I first drove my pastoral sedan— firstborn-brother, first of many, wincing at my every sudden stop and wobbly turn— one hundred fifty miles from our birth-town to the TaborContinue reading “Under the cross I knew your providence”

Colloquy on a Hawk

A hawk has—I am told—six feet of wings. From tip to tip they span the length of me, this emperor of the air, surveying from his tower (made by men of steel and iron) glittering temples, ziggurats of commerce, busy insignificance! A lone figure among saplings, solitary tree on a bare hilltop— blacktop, black dog,Continue reading “Colloquy on a Hawk”

Math for Theology Majors

An equation: “x” is a gift. (Substitute, for x, a heartbeat, a hug at the doorway, a measure of silence after a song.) Now the value of x is y, that is, the love of the giver. And if by x we mean a chill wind, or a sudden steady rain which dampens my dutiful prayers, a moment repeated out ofContinue reading “Math for Theology Majors”

A Fault, A Furrow

Omnis vallis exaltabitur, et omnis mons et collis humiliabitur, et erunt prava in directa, et aspera in vias planas: et revelabitur gloria Domini, et videbit omnis caro pariter quod os Domini locutum est.” (Isaiah 40:4) A fault is a lacking, a failing, a … “me falta, yo me falta, un yo no sé qué.” A furrowContinue reading “A Fault, A Furrow”

The State of a Soul in Sin

A house looks fine from the other side of the street. Maybe a little paint peeling round the window panes. On the sunlit side of curtains drawn you cannot see the squalor: rooms in disarray, doors left ajar by robbers come and gone, black mold advancing up the baseboards, dim, damp air heavy with remorse. NobodyContinue reading “The State of a Soul in Sin”

Monday of Holy Week

Time, seasoned with love, melts away the circling days in one standing now: “Anima Christi,” I write in a notebook on a secret page near the heart, “sanctifica me,” I pray—without knowing in the least what I have asked. We hold burning candles. A white-robed friar prays. Flickering light from the living flames and headlightsContinue reading “Monday of Holy Week”