October 23, 2018

Baptism of Our Lord

By Chaplain Mike Today’s Gospel: Matthew 3:13-17 with each step through jordan the water parted wide priests and ark stood on dry ground where once was swelling tide safe through its torrents we all passed in canaan to abide shamed and naked, in disgrace our captors led us away to settle us by exile streams […]

Circumcision of the Christ-Child

By Chaplain Mike After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. (Luke 2:21, NRSV) eighth day and the baby cries hard tool cuts his flesh fulfilling all demands bleeding flesh by human hands […]

A Thought for a New Year (Wendell Berry)

Suppose we did our work like the snow, quietly, quietly, leaving nothing out. From Leavings: Poems, by Wendell Berry

My Christmas Poet

By Chaplain Mike For years now, a favorite book in my library has been an old worn copy of The Poetical Works of Christina Georgina Rossetti, published in 1904. A brief note in fountain pen ink inside the cover says that it was given as a Christmas gift in 1908, and a sticker in the […]

Story Songs

Ok, iMonks: time for your publisher to make his confession. Ready? I cry when I hear really good stories in songs. They don’t even have to be sad stories, just real. And sung with a gut-wrenching passion. Done right, you can wring a cupful of tears from me. This week I was perusing the CD […]

Done with Wings

By Chaplain Mike The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait […]

IM Book Review: The Complete Psalms

So the first question we must ask is: Do we really need another new translation of the Psalms? If you are a scholar looking for word-for-word accuracy or you are going into philology, then Pamela Greenberg’s The Complete Psalms: The Book of Prayer Songs in a New Translation is definitely not for you. But if you […]

The Family, Part Three

A trilogy of poems by Chaplain Mike. III. The Elder Duty, that’s the word– Nothing less. Best effort at all times, no matter what. Keep at it, never give up. First to the task And last to lay it down. Don’t let anyone outwork you. Also: expect maximum effort From those under your charge. Don’t […]

The Family, Part Two

A trilogy of poems by Chaplain Mike. II. The Father A hundred years have passed, or so it seems, Since news was brought to me–oh father’s joy! A son, our first, the image of his kin. How strong he rose! How righteous, true! Serious child with scrupulous eye, Steadfast he stands, surveys the family stock. […]

The Family, Part One

A trilogy of poems by Chaplain Mike. I. The Younger Here I am, father, at the eleventh hour once more, Reaper’s scythe poised to harvest fruit of seeds I’ve sown. Shamefaced, knowing full well the paucity of yield, I slump low with downcast eyes, near resigned to table bare. And perhaps this is that Hand– […]