We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'October 2002'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.
In an autobiographical novel entitled, My First Loves, Ivan Klima, a Czech writer, talks about a pain he endured as a young man. Growing up without religious training and living amidst a group of young men and women not inclined towards sexual and other restraints, he sometimes found himself alone and isolated in terms of his feelings. For reasons he couldn't explain, he, unlike his friends, simply couldn't give himself over to certain forms of youthful revelry. His conscience was reticent and he was haunted by a feeling that solitude should be carried at some high level.
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A few years ago, Brenda Peterson wrote a book of essays entitled, Nature and Other Mothers. Her first entry is wonderfully named, In Praise of Skin. In it, she tells how at one point in her life painful skin rashes afflicted her. Like the woman with the hemorrhage in the Gospels, she tried every possible doctor but found no cure. Medication after medication proved ineffective, and eventually the doctors ran out of things to try. The rash always came back.
There are times when we can only live by hope, when what confronts us is so overwhelming, so huge, so utterly beyond our strength, that it's simply hopeless, or a joke, to try to muster any resources against it. Sometimes we need a magic wand, something supernatural and beyond us, to come and defeat what cannot be defeated. But that's child's fantasy! Or is it?
Kathleen Norris' recent book, Amazing Grace, is subtitled, A Vocabulary of Faith. What's implied here is that Christian faith, timeless in content, needs to struggle to articulate itself meaningfully today. Eternal truths must still find a vocabulary so that they can be spoken and heard within a particular time and culture.