September 26, 2018

Growing Old

Fourteen years ago, when I was forty, I happened to glance into a mirror.  It was a winter evening, and the room was lit by only a bare bulb.  In the poor light my face for the first time looked old.  “I’m a severe old lady!” I thought, and thus began my mourning. Mourning is […]

Christian Traditions 101: The Seven Cardinal Virtues, continued

In my last post I talked about the human virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance.  I pointed out that these are considered human virtues because all decent people recognize them as good things and in some way educate their children and design their laws to encourage them.  We can’t stop there, though.  We have […]

Christian Traditions 101: The Seven Cardinal Virtues

Quick – name the Seven Cardinal Virtues.  Can’t do it, can you? It’s funny (or maybe not) that many of us can name the Seven Deadly Sins but have no clue what the Seven Cardinal Virtues are.  It seems sins are still objective, nameable things, especially the deadly ones; post-modern people can still find some […]


The room is still; the hearth is cold and dark. A rancid smell of ashes fills the air. The candles stand neglected.  Windows stare Like blinded eyes unlit by any spark. How dead this place – no life has left its mark Upon the icy floor, the table bare; No breeze, no breath, no sound, […]

A Brief Allegory Of The Communion Of Saints

From time to time on Internet Monk a commenter will express discomfort with the Orthodox and Catholic tradition of acknowledging the communion of saints.  Someone will object to “praying to Mary” or “worshipping saints.”  Let me offer a parable in response. Imagine a young woman who meets and falls in love with a man – […]

The Three Desires of Julian of Norwich

When Julian was a young girl, she expressed to God three desires: The first was minde of his passion; The second was bodily sickness in youth; The third was to have of God’s gift three wounds. In other words, she wanted to understand and always remember Christ’s passion.  She wanted to come close to the […]

The Constant Seeker: Julian of Norwich

Julian of Norwich was an English contemplative Christian who lived during what Barbara Tuchman has called “the calamitous fourteenth century.”  A small child when the Black Death first devastated her home city of Norwich in eastern England, she experienced several recurrences of the epidemic during her lifetime.  This was the time of the Hundred Years’ […]

Abraham in the Wilderness

Lent 2012: A Journey Through the Wilderness Abraham in the Wilderness The story of Abraham and Isaac was on the lectionary this past Sunday.  It’s an appalling story.  We aren’t told how Abraham felt when he was commanded to sacrifice his hope in God’s promise.  But we can assume that he entered the wilderness not […]

Dealing with the Wayward

Dealing with the Wayward Damaris Zehner Recently on iMonk we discussed how a church responded to a young man who confessed to a sin.  We tossed comments back and forth referring to Matthew 18 and both the Gospel and the letters of John.  Most of us seemed to be in agreement that the church’s handling […]

The Blessings of Boredom

NOTE FROM CM: Though Damaris’ post is not about sports, it does address our culture of entertainment and “hyperstimulation” in which sports plays a part. As an example, having spent hours in the Super Bowl Village over the weekend, I can safely say it was a sensory extravaganza — all stimulation all the time. What’s […]