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Posts tagged "Lent"


“Have a Token Lent” and Other Seasonal Suggestions from a Weary Jesuit

John L’Heureux was a Jesuit for 17 years before he quit in ’71 and got married. He’s also written an insane amount of fiction and poetry which I am slowly working through, and loving. I first encountered his work with The Rise and Rise of Annie Clark from a New Yorker issue last autumn and am […]

Lent Doesn’t Make Sense When Incarnation > Salvation

Instinct and revelation do not typically occupy the same space. For a revelation reveals truth that we otherwise would miss. In this regard, religion is most interesting when it offers ideas that are distinct and/or counterintuitive, when it brings something new to bear upon the old. In particular, the idea that God cares for the […]

The Death of Control

My wife has one unrelenting addiction: “Jeopardy!” If there is time, she will watch, and if I am there, I will sit through it. In his 35 years on the syndicated nightly show, Alex Trebek has become an icon. His hushed superiority, muffled humor, and obvious judgments of the players and the game are, now, […]

The Boy Who Lived: A Tribute to My First Reading of the Harry Potter Series

Spoilers! (But I might be last person who would have needed that warning.) I closed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and sat frozen in place. The weight in my chest slowly subsided as tears continued to stream down my face. I couldn’t quite figure out what to do next. The reality sunk in that […]

The Ash Wednesday Immortality Bus

From our archives, the following piece by Ethan Richardson was originally published in 2017 — but the Immortality Bus is ageless. Buckle up… There was a dark horse in the 2016 presidential campaign that you missed. And what a shame! This gentleman really promised to turn things around, in ways no one else was talking about. […]

On AirPods and Ashes

This past Christmas, Santa gave me a pair of AirPods, the unmistakable wireless headphones from Apple. I was very excited to walk around in my new Silicon-Valley chic, but it turned out that I was not alone. Upon returning to school, it seemed that almost every other pair of anxious college student ears was adorned […]

Liturgical Folk, vol. 4: LENT (Out Now!)

Liturgical Folk’s new album, Lent, is out today, and it’s beautiful. Quiet, contemplative, comforting, these songs are devotional works of art. The album offers ten songs and hymns for the upcoming season, from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday. Based on collects from the Book of Common Prayer, these songs are extended prayers, with all the […]

Lessons from the Mid-Lent Slump

This year for Lent, I decided not to get crazy. In the past, especially as a kid, I’d sometimes give up three things at once, candy, my Gameboy, and fun in general. In the absence of those worldly distractions, I’d take up the terribly sanctified tendency of comparing and contrasting my virtue against my brother’s: […]

Lenten Soup Supper in the Church Basement

A wonderful piece by Rebecca Florence Miller. More of her writing can be found here.  The Lenten soup supper in the church basement. A staple of the Lutheran tradition of which I am a part—and because we are Lutheran (grace!), rather than being meager, fast-like meals, we sustain ourselves for the hard truths of Lent […]

Another Week Ends: More Outrage, More Zoltan, More Tebow, More Busyness, Plus A Whole Lot of Death

1. A really surprising-but-not-so-surprising study from Reason about moral outrage, and its psychological background. Not necessarily new territory for us here, but nonetheless, the findings are not what our culture at-large would say is behind the anger du jour we know so well on our Facebook feeds. Generally speaking, psychologists have always thought that anger […]

From The Archives: A Lenten Reflection on the Isenheim Altarpiece

Matthias Grunewald’s Crucifixion, one of the panels of the Isenheim Altarpiece, was commissioned for the church hospital of St. Anthony in Colmar, France, which specialized in comforting those dying with skin diseases. Grunewald kept the background of this powerful piece of religious art intentionally dark to highlight the horrific scene: especially Christ’s smashed feet, his […]

Robert Capon on the Purpose of Confession

Some Lenten wisdom from the boss, via the Prodigal son chapter in Kingdom, Grace and Judgment:

“Confession has nothing to do with getting ourselves forgiven. Confession is not a transaction, not a negotiation in order to secure forgiveness; it is the after-the-last grasp of a corpse that finally can afford to admit it’s dead and accept resurrection. Forgiveness surrounds us, beats upon us all our lives; we confess only to wake ourselves up to what we already have… We are not forgiven, therefore, because we made ourselves forgivable or even because we had faith; we are forgiven solely because there is a Forgiver.”

RFC’s Between Noon and Three contains a pretty amazing zinger on the same subject: “Confession is not the first step on the road to recovery; it is the last step in the displaying of a corpse.”