1All those sermons about the seductionsof the flesh. Spiritual life, the elders said.But who could hear it without the intricatecochlea and hammer, or the wondrousmuscles of lips and face to form the words?I sat supported by a spine balancingmy head, heart muscle pulsing—homefor the mind, according to the Hebrews,nest of bowels cradling my emotions.2In the Book of Kells the IncarnationInitial swells with bodies, elaborateswirls around humans and animals—cats, rats, moths, and angels sharingequal space. See the harmony, and howthe borders are pressed by fecundity,how nothing is fixed, the top curveof the Initial having burst open, fragranceof lilies announcing the outpour.3Body as temple, the apostle declares.All around, the courtyards of clamor,our appetites and aches crowding the doorswhile inside, the table shimmers.I saw it first in my parents' facesand in the glare of sunlit snow.Beyond the striving and failures, the quietcenter waiting, curtains parted for entry,our body's hunger to be known.
New series on ministry in the 21st century, Andrew Bacevich and Greg Metzger on the war on terrorism, Tom Long on grief.
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