Until recently, The Feast of St. Michael and All Angels carried a hefty cultural weight. With its humble fifth-century beginnings and subsequent popularization across Northern Europe, September 29 has played a prominent role in the calendars of the English-speaking world: Michaelmas, as it is also known, marked the start of the fall term in academic circles and jurisprudence practice, a notable temporal horizon in the lives of ordinary people. But times have changed, and observing it today may strike some as a relic from a bygone era, a celebration a bit out of step with the Christological thrust and focus of the modern liturgical calendar. But let’s not place our attention there. Instead, let us look at how this festival allows us to take an autumnal look at God’s marvelous works of grace in the history of salvation. This year, September 29 falls on a Friday, which allows for the possibility of a transfer to those who would like to mark this special occasion and have the whole assembly take in how God has acted on our behalf (through God’s special envoys).Read More > >
The commemoration of John the Baptist falls, as it has since the fourth century, six months before Christmas Eve, on June 24. The annual remembrance, three days after the summer solstice, is a calendrical reflection of the relationship between the last Old Testament prophet and the Messiah, the Long-Awaited One.Read More > >
For the imaginatively inclined, the church calendar provides endless opportunities to delve into stories creatively. The upcoming Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord (February 2), falling precisely forty days after Christmas, is no exception. As a pedagogical strategy, projecting ourselves into the story gives us a chance to playfully engage with the material, increasing the likelihood of making unexpected connections. Moreover, full immersion in the biblical narratives seems to be the starting point for many of our hymns, making our hymnody fertile ground for meditation or personal devotion.Read More > >
If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is thank you, it will be enough.
— Meister Eckhart.
Gratitude, the condition of being thankful or the readiness to show appreciation, is both a feeling and a disposition. In the last few decades, science and popular culture have rediscovered what our hymns have long taught us: science has ascertained its health benefits, and self-help books remind us that it is one of the habits we need to develop to achieve peace of mind.Read More > >
A few months ago, I was struck by a bit of information: I learned trees in a forest are connected and “speak” to each other using the mycorrhizal network under the soil. The exchange of chemicals between mycelium and trees—as well as their symbiotic relationship—as it turned out, form a beautiful, vibrant, and interdependent community.Read More > >
“Anybody can write . . . that is easy, but to write with a specific audience in mind, using the right amount of amusement and persuasion, to address them in a manner that is relevant and insightful, while offering practical advice in a convivial manner—that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”
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“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children.” Deuteronomy 6:4-7Read More > >