Faithful responses to work, family and everyday life
As we unpack the same ornaments, read the same stories and entertain the same deep thoughts our ancestors did, we have every reason to be gloriously unoriginal.
I recently went to parents' night at my stepsons' school. Since then, I've been thinking about the parishioners I've served over the years.
Captain Phillips emphasizes the larger story: long before they meet, the lives of the pirates and the captain are already bound together.
I have conversations with a wide variety of clergy colleagues. But they're all the same conversation: "Is it well with your soul?"
Sometimes it feels like a thick mist has descended on us, distorting communication. But then a face shines through the mist and dispels it.
The request hadn't even made the committee chair's checklist. It never does; it's just reflexive. And I've never known exactly what it means.
When a man with an AK-47 entered her school, Antoinette Tuff prayed—and convinced the man to lay his weapon down.
I asked Michael's mother what it was like to say goodbye. "Oh, it wasn't much fun," she said. Then she told me what she put in the coffin.
We don’t know which experiences specify our humanity. But the Abrahamic faiths agree that we are made of dust and ashes, a bit of clay or a mere clot.
Benedict instructed that a novice's street clothes should be kept. Every morning for the rest of his life, the monk confronted two habits.
Religious communities have long helped cultivate humanistic practices. We don't often think of ourselves in this way—but what if we did?
I asked an older English woman who left the church long ago why she now wants to come back. Her response made the color drain from my face.
Stephanie Paulsell teaches at Harvard Divinity School.
Carol Zaleski is professor of world religions at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Samuel Wells is the vicar of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London and author, most recently, of Learning to Dream Again: Rediscovering the Heart of God (Eerdmans).
M. Craig Barnes is president of Princeton Theological Seminary and author of The Pastor as Minor Poet (Eerdmans).
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