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Okay…let me open with Jack London, who made the following remarks in describing “the Wild” in winter: Continue Reading »

To My Jewish Brethren

As a New York State resident, my head and heart hang low.  Many of you may have heard of an assault on a Rabbi outside his home near New York City a day or so ago, the thirteenth in a string of anti-Semitic attacks in just the last month.

If any of my elder brothers and sisters in faith are reading this right now, please accept my heartfelt condolences, love, and assurance of prayers.

I cannot help but look at the parallel histories of our respective peoples — viz., Jews and Christians.  Both have spread, like twin streams, throughout different societies, abiding as strangers and sojourners.  Both have endured hardship and isolation — one with the hope of their Messiah, the other with the hope of their Messiah’s Return.

Let us, then, not forget one another, but strive together for peace.  We’ve just passed through seasons characterized by the lighting of trees and candles, which draws to mind the immortal words of St. John the Apostle:

Now this is the message that we have heard from him and proclaim to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.

– 1 John 1:5

Peace, and God bless.

Acknowledgement

By ארכיון השומר הצעיר יד יערי – Hashomer Hatzair Archives Yad Yaari, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5840684

Within a lodge of broken bark
The tender Babe was found,
A ragged robe of rabbit skin
Enwrapp’d His beauty ‘round;
(…)
The chiefs from far before Him Continue Reading »

For part one, click here.

From the observations I made Continue Reading »

This is an updated version of an article I posted four years ago, in the midst of an El Niño December.  Mother Nature has decidedly “cooled off” this year, but I doubt whether the debate over Santa Claus has followed suit.

Let’s get right to it: Can Christians claim Santa as their own, as being Continue Reading »

“Idiot!”

”Bigot!”

”Liberal!”

”Narrow-minded jackass!”

”Can someone please pass the cranberry sauce?”

I don’t know how often Thanksgiving conversations take a turn like this.  Most often people just talk about the stuffing, or their cable provider.  And when not at the dinner table, more than likely Continue Reading »

When assaulted by any vice, we must embrace the practice of the contrary virtue, and refer all the others to it, by which means we shall overcome our enemy, and at the same time advance in all the virtues. (. . .) For as the wild boar, to sharpen his tusks, whets and polishes them with his other teeth, and by this means sharpens all at the same time, so a virtuous man, having undertaken to perfect himself in the virtue of which he stands most in need for his defence, files and polishes it by the exercise of the other virtues, which whilst they help to sharpen that one, make all of them become more excellent and better polished.

– St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life

Acknowledgement

By Francisco Bayeu y Subías – [3], Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50771068