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Those People

From the June/July 2024 Print Edition

Sometimes I will exclaim, when dealing with irritating and difficult people on the phone, “What’s wrong with these people?” Actually I do this a lot, not just on the other end of the phone, but in the face of this or that author, car driver, or person standing ahead of me in the cashier’s . . . . Continue Reading »

Coming and Going

From the May 2024 Print Edition

Disappearance is usually felt as something bad. When things disappear, we sense the pull of death, the call of the dust, the loss of the palpable good. I have recently been moving house after many years in one place, with all its accumulations. Things, often intimate things, are left behind, given . . . . Continue Reading »

Boundless Prayer

From the April 2024 Print Edition

A colleague of mine is extraordinarily productive: reams of articles, books, editing duties, institute-leading, fundraising. It’s the kind of performance his peers envy, all the more because lurking behind his energies and accomplishments are the realities of a troubled family: spousal . . . . Continue Reading »

Standing in the Cold

From the February 2024 Print Edition

Winter is a bad time. Whether for a season or for a life, it dampens the self. Or so a recent writer claimed. “Mankind endured a long winter of the Dark Ages” for a thousand years, “repressing” the human spirit in a barren season that lasted centuries. The human individual, as fate would . . . . Continue Reading »

The Fullness of Time

From the January 2024 Print Edition

How long, O Lord? The question is posed repeatedly by the Psalmist. It continues to be posed across the ages, uttered even by our lips in the shadows of a dark season. How long must I suffer this illness? Drag through this labor? Bear with evil men? Did not our Lord himself wonder this . . . . Continue Reading »

Christian Urbanism

From the December 2023 Print Edition

Cities have figured prominently in the Christian imagination: City of God, City of Jerusalem, the Heavenly City. The single English word “city” has varied referents that easily blur our vision. But the image has lodged itself firmly into our religious politics. The “secular city” (a phrase . . . . Continue Reading »

A Terrible Grace

From the November 2023 Print Edition

Music is a divine balm in the midst of the world’s sorrows. Music is also a sorrow in search of a balm. It offers a sui generis grace, one that we may wish to approach carefully. Most of us understand the two sides of music’s power intuitively. Balm in the midst of sorrow is what we love. . . . . Continue Reading »

Voice of the Voiceless

From the October 2023 Print Edition

We all seem to be desperately searching for roots. From the fussy private pastime of, to the loud public toppling of statues and debunking of old pedigrees of valor, we thirst for a history that will justify our passions. Frantic as this archaeology of desire’s genesis may be, it . . . . Continue Reading »