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Category: The Magazine

Transitions

We, in the West, do not like to let go of things.  This is proven by the storage industry. Last year alone, Americans spent $38 billion on self-storage – to store things they wanted to keep, but did not want to see, use or touch. Hmm. What could $38 billion, used differently do?

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Lord Have Mercy

The process of repentance draws us back

            against our will,

            wanting cheer, not sadness –

But like the cartoon spectre,

            it waits and knows

            surrender to memory will come.

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Advocating for Advocacy: Deacon Jason Burns

The causes of mental illness range from biological to environmental and everything in between. My own anxiety issues are biological, it is literally a part of my DNA and because of the wonders of modern medicine my illness is in check, at least most of the time. There was a time when I refused to acknowledge that I was struggling, but with time accepted it and asked for help.

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How do we observe Lent when the whole year has been Lent?

 

Someone once said that the best way to predict the future is to be the future, to live in such a way that you are being the very future you want. The same is true about Easter, and Resurrection, and New Life: the best way to experience Easter is to act as if Easter is already here. That’s what Lent can be about; it can be about living into Easter, acting in ways that bring new life to ourselves and to the world, whatever our present hindrances may be.

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Fragments on Fragments #36: Being Human in a Pandemic

It feels at the moment as if we have partial maps, each showing something of the terrain and the way ahead. To add to the challenge, some of the maps are fake, showing ways that don’t exist or removing features from the landscape. Interpreting all that partial information, in order to plot a way ahead, can only be a shared task.

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Fragments on Fragments #35: Being Human in a Pandemic

The problem comes when there’s no process: when it’s impossible to get beyond denial. The death of a loved one is too obvious a loss to be denied forever. When a threat is more diffuse, less graspable, it’s possible just to keep on denying it’s there, especially when the consequences of doing otherwise just feel too great to deal with.

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Fragments on Fragments #34: Being Human in a Pandemic

President Obama often used a phrase of Martin Luther King, Jr.: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice”. But it appears that King was paraphrasing a portion of a sermon delivered in 1853 by the abolitionist minister Theodore Parker. Parker said: “I do not pretend to understand the moral universe. The arc is a long one. My eye reaches but little ways. I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by experience of sight. I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends toward justice.”

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Fragments on Fragments #33: Being Human in a Pandemic

‘Sophronein’, ‘thinking well’, comes up a lot in Heraclitus. It’s that Greek word which sums up what it means to live a good, balanced life. It’s not just about ‘thinking’ as we might define it; it’s about a way of living. This saying pushes the point a bit further, and makes it clear that this sort of thinking is not just something inside our heads. 

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