Tag Archives: Lent

We Feel Closest to God in the Desert

André Gide takes the story of the Prodigal Son and sees it a parable of unconventional exploring and spiritual hunger. Returning home, as Gide sees it, is a defeat, yet the message is Christian nonetheless.

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During Lent, Don’t Avoid the Knife

To use a horticultural analogy, Lent is a time to nurture the insights, to prune the tree, that come with Epiphany. This wonderful Rumi poem captures what is at stake.

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From the Dark, Cold Grime a Flower Comes

Mary Ann Bernard shows spring coming only with difficulty–but being all the more meaningful because of that.

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O’Connor’s Christianity and Racism

“Artificial Nigger” can be read two ways–either as a story of sin and redemption or as a story of Whites finding unity by scapegoating Blacks. A definitive interpretation may depend on readers’ reactions.

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A Good Faith Is Hard To Find

Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” is a profound meditation on doubt and faith.

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Tracking Eliot’s Spiritual Journey for Lent

My Lenten discipline is to better understand T. S. Eliot’s religious poetry.

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Learning to Love the Desert

In “Ash Wednesday,” T. S. Eliot turns the despair of “Hollow Men” on its head, seeing it not as the end of hope but as the beginning of faith.

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the dance of Jesus music holds the air

These Lucille Clifton poems usher us from Lent into Easter.

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“Jane Eyre” as Lenten Meditation

In Jane’s battle with St. John Rivers, we have material that helps us understand the true meaning of Lent.

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How to Keep a True Lent

For Robert Herrick, Lent is not about fasting but about starving sin.

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The Cleanness of Sweet Abstinence

Herbert paradoxically describes Lent as a “dear Feast” in which we can revel.

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Mix and Match: Mysticism American Style

There was an interesting Lenten column in the New York Times Monday. Ross Douthat, a conservative in the best sense, draws on a Commonweal article by theologian Luke Timothy Johnson criticizing contemporary spiritual practice in this country. From the way Douthat quotes him, it sounds as though Johnson might take exception with my criticism of harsh […]

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On Lent, Faustus, and the 7 Deadly Sins

Dr. Faustus, Rembrandt etching       Here we are in the midst of Lent with less than a month to go until Easter.  Sir Gawain and the Green Knight describes the season as follows: After Christmas there came the cold cheer of Lent, When with fish and plainer fare our flesh we reprove . . . The […]

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