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Grace in Practice

The Pity Party Is Canceled (At Least for Now)

The Pity Party Is Canceled (At Least for Now)

I am really good—dangerously good—at throwing pity parties. I can wallow with the best of them. And the past couple weeks have been the party to end all parties, mostly because God just refuses to go along with my plans. I’m not getting my way, and life isn’t going exactly as I think it should, […]

What Is Love?

What Is Love?

What is love? Love has no ego. Love and ego are antithetical. Diametrically opposed to one another. Foreign languages one to another. Ego equally has no love but is all pretense and self-preservation. This quote from Law and Gospel: A Theology for Sinners (and Saints) summarizes this well: We have a whole secondary self we put […]

The Peril of Good Things (from <i>Milkman</i>, Pt 2)

The Peril of Good Things (from Milkman, Pt 2)

I tried to…unravel the distortions, have her right mind restored to her. She said it was impossible, that it was perilous to focus on good things when there were bad things, all these bad things, she said, that could not be forgot. She said old dark things as well as new dark things had to […]

Grace Knows the Back Story

Grace Knows the Back Story

Big Ellis, a young farmer in Wendell Berry’s short story, “Down in the Valley Where the Green Grass Grows,” literally struggles to keep his pants up, due to his awkwardly proportioned body. His social graces are a little off as well, and this complicates his romantic exploits in the town of Port William. He did […]

A Place Called Family

A Place Called Family

This morning’s post was written by Andreas Thiel. The session began as it usually does: a group of residents in a long-term care facility had gathered in the chapel, for the weekly one-hour session, “Coffee with the Chaplain.” The room was comfortably full (which doesn’t take much, given the numbers of walkers and wheelchairs in […]

PZ's Podcast: Tip for a Happy Marriage & Surprise, Surprise

PZ’s Podcast: Tip for a Happy Marriage & Surprise, Surprise

EPISODE 264: Tip for a Happy Marriage Justin Hayward is a sort of archivist for romantic relationships. He is 72 and still going strong. Two ‘Live’ performances book-end this cast, which is intended as fresh therapy towards a happy marriage. Appeals to grace, forgiveness, and empathy in relating to this impossibly different person with whom […]

I Am Giving Up Boundaries in 2019

I Am Giving Up Boundaries in 2019

Typically, I abstain from any New Year’s resolutions. I hate diets and everything they stand for. I loathe the notion that December 31st is distinctly different from January 1st.  And “self betterment” always seems to end in a profound feeling of “self worse-er-ment” for me. But not this year. This year I have decided to […]

My First Encounter

My First Encounter

This reflection comes to us from Stacie Tchividjian. Whether you are a parent or a child, you know there is something special about celebrating the many milestones of children. Maybe you’ve planned birthdays, graduations, or a wedding. Maybe you have parents that celebrated your big and small days and attended every event you participated in, cheering […]

The Loss of Control

The Loss of Control

Grateful for this powerful reflection by Faith Perry. I wasn’t going to write about this—the scariest part of mental illness. But here it is: an ode to loss of control and how “the system” can contribute to a person’s newfound overwhelming helplessness. I am a nurse in an emergency room. Nighttime falls, and on cue, […]

My Wife Doesn’t Trust Me: How Impossible Law Keeps Two Sinners Together

My Wife Doesn’t Trust Me: How Impossible Law Keeps Two Sinners Together

This reflection was written by S.M. White. My wife doesn’t trust me. At least that’s what she’s told me about half a dozen times over our 27-year marriage. What’s the lack of trust about? She can’t trust that I won’t hurt her again by whatever sin it happens to be next. Over time, as we’ve […]

Not Yet: Serena Williams and Delayed Forgiveness

Not Yet: Serena Williams and Delayed Forgiveness

“I’m sorry.” “I forgive you.” These are two sentences that I find myself constantly demanding of my children…and I find that whether or not they mean them is immaterial. It’s like that great line in Liar Liar when Jim Carrey’s asking his son to recant his wish that his father would be unable to lie. […]

PZ's Podcast: Transgressive Enough 4 U?, Mountain of Love, Magic, and Too Weak to Fight

PZ’s Podcast: Transgressive Enough 4 U?, Mountain of Love, Magic, and Too Weak to Fight

EPISODE 260: Transgressive Enough 4 U? Experiencing a massive re-think just now concerning world cinema! This has been occasioned in part by watching every disc one can get one’s hands on of the recently released catalogue of British “Vintage Classics”. Have you ever heard of “Mandy” (1951)? Or “The Captive Heart” (1946)? Or “The Sound Barrier” […]