Find both Adams in me

Things look dark for the poet John Donne. The year is 1623, and he's on his deathbed with a fever. Like a good poet, he uses the opportunity of his own demise as material for his writing – writers are strange people – in a poem called, "Hymn to God, my God, in my sickness."…

The problem with being a “pretty good person”

During Lent, the Church strips away all the extras. The organ plays a little bit less. The chant is more simple. The flowers in the sanctuary disappear. Even our Gospel reading this morning is lean and spare – three sentences. Each sentence is propelled forward by active verbs – The Spirit drove Our Lord to…

Go to the limits of your longing

In 1905, the poet Rainer Maria Rilke publishes The Book of Hours: Love Poems to God. He's a young man in his mid-20s and has recently visited Russia, where he met Leo Tolstoy and learned about monasticism, how it is that monks live and pray. Their prayers come from the ancient Book of Hours, also…