Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Rising in the Morning

If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.

- E.B. White, in an interview with The New York Times in 1969

Joan Didion on marriage

John and I were married for forty years. During all but the first five months of our marriage, when John was still working at Time, we both worked at home. We were together twenty-four hours a day, a fact that remained a source of both merriment and foreboding to my mother and aunts. "For richer or poorer but never for lunch," one or another of them frequently said in the early years of our marriage. I could not count the times during the average day when something would come up that I needed to tell him. This impulse did not end with his death. What ended was the possibility of response.

Joan Didion
The Year of Magical Thinking

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sexual love

Sexual love is the force that in our bodily life connects us most intimately to the Creation.... It brings us into the dance that holds community together and joins it to its place.

Wendell Berry
Sex Economy, Freedom and Community

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Quality of relationships

We need to understand that our quality of life depends largely on the quality of our relationships and that our time is better invested in relationships than merely in the creation of material wealth. Doing so will mean foregoing a standard of living that requires unacceptable relational sacrifice.

Dale S. Kuehne
Sex and the iWorld

Prayer in the morning

The following is only a portion of Berryman's poem - which shifts between belief and non-belief. Nevertheless, it speaks truthfully, and isn't as cynical as some of Berryman's other work.

Master of beauty, craftsman of the snowflake ... endower of Earth so gorgeous & different from the boring Moon, thank you for such as it is my gift ... Unknowable, as I am unknown to my guinea pigs: How can I 'love' you? I only as far as gratitude & awe confidently & absolutely go.

- John Berryman, from his poem "Address to the Lord"

You can find a copy of the complete poem (and some discussion of it) here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sexual Sin

Sexual sin is sin not because it is sexual but because it is invariably covetous. It replaces the pleasure and sexual enjoyment of two people in a loving relationship with a self-centered gratification of sexual longings that can never be fulfilled apart from commitment. Such sin breaks the back of trust that is at the heart of community...

Brian Walsh & Sylvia Keesmaat
Colossians Remixed

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Justice. Peace.

Justice is not a goal to be acquired, but it is the gift of God, free and inexplicable, which exists in our life so that our means are not intended to "bring in" justice, but to "manifest" it. Likewise, we have not to force ourselves, with great effort and intelligence, to bring peace upon the earth--we have ourselves to be peaceful, for where there are peacemakers, peace reigns.

Jacques Ellul
The Presence of the Kingdom

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Giving up Hope?

If life doesn't turn out the way we would like, one understandable human reaction is to give up hope. But sometimes the miracle comes, or becomes visible, after our expectations of what should happen and how it should happen are lost.

Daniel deRoulet
Finding Your Plot in a Plotless World

Friday, April 09, 2010


Stop for one whole day every week, and you will remember what it means to be created in the image of God, who rested on the seventh day not from weariness but from complete freedom. The clear promise is that those who rest like God find themselves free like God, no longer slaves to the thousand compulsions that send others rushing toward their graves.

- Barbara Brown Taylor, from her book Leaving Church

To-do list

Plant seeds. Host potlucks. Make art. Greet warmly. And in so doing: practice resurrection. That's a to-do list I never hope to finish.

Kirstin Vander Giessen-Reitsma

"This is what we are about" in catapult magazine

Thursday, April 08, 2010

The resurrection in our lives

We have longed to taste the resurrection. We have longed to welcome its thunders and quakes, and to echo its great gifts. We want to test the resurrection in our bones. We want to see if we might live in hope instead of in the ... twilight thicket of cultural despair in which ... many are lost.

- Daniel Berrigan, Catholic priest and peace activist


Living without expectations is hard, but when you can do it, good. Living without hope is harder, and that is bad. You have got to have hope, and you mustn't shirk it. Love, after all, "hopeth all things." But maybe you must learn, and it is hard learning, not to hope out loud, especially for other people. You must not let your hope turn into expectations. But whatever you hope, you will find out that you can't bargain with your life on your own terms. It is always going to be proving itself worse or better than you hoped.

Hannah Coulter
Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


The resurrection is in part about the sheer toughness and persistence of God’s love. When we have done our worst, God remains God -- and remains committed to being our God. God was God even while God in human flesh was dying in anguish on the cross; God is God now in the new life of Jesus raised from death.

- Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, from his book Tokens of Trust

Learning Christianity

I want people to get past the idea that they understand Christianity because they went to Sunday school. You have to learn how to do it. You have to undergo an apprenticeship. Nobody really wants to love their neighbour as themselves. That's just not natural. So you have to see other people living it to find out what it means.

Stanley Hauerwas

"Do the Right Thing" from Killing the Buddha