All Your Life

You’ll earn less than you feel you’re worth, Retire in debt; Old faces framed above the hearth     Your name forget. And, friends forget your failings soon, But not your wife, Who carries them like an old tune—     Or sharpened knife. You dreamed of politics and fame But that soon faded, As no one liked you,…

A Vision of Christian Platonism

I saw a writer I admire recently claim that book reviews only serve two purposes: they either provide the reviewer with an opportunity to preen, or else they are the occasion for the reviewer to protect his territory. The upshot: do not trust a review, just read the book. Good common sense, I’m sure, but…

Tract VIII: Anglican Spirituality Diagram

In Tract 7, I outlined both a skeleton of Anglican spirituality (that the Prayer Book is the Anglican Rule of Life) and enfleshed this skeleton (by providing a list of characteristics of Anglican Prayer Book spirituality). In Tract 8, I will provide both a diagram for how all the parts of Anglican spirituality fit together…

Bodybuilding in Exile

When I first began writing this column, we were in the midst of quarantine. The “14 days to flatten the curve” gradually crept into month one or two and I began wondering how to sanctify the time during days spent between Zoom calls and homeschooling. However, each week and frankly each month, I managed to…

The Back Porch

1. Garden Here, he said, we cut a crease In which to set the seed. Tend the roots and I will bless Whatever fruit is made, Whether fig or olive grow To sanctify the air, Magnolia or willow, The leaves of common prayer. Treat them with a touch as mild As children would demand. Earth…

Book Review: Guide to the Mass from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer

Jackie Jamison and the Rev. Sean McDermott. Guide to the Mass from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer: For Anglican Youth and Newcomers. Charlottesville, VA: Earth and Altar Publishing, 2020. 76 pp. Paperback $12.49. Guide to the Mass from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer: For Anglican Youth and Newcomers is the inaugural work published…

An Homily Concerning Prayer Part III

The Third Part of the Homily of Prayer Ye were taught in the other part of this Sermon, unto whom ye ought to direct your prayers in time of need and necessity, that is to wit, not unto angels or saints, but unto the eternal and everliving God: who, because he is merciful, is always…

A Thanksgiving for the Things We Have Always Done

I grew up in a church that prized its ability to change. We regularly tried new music styles. We tried new fellowship formats and formation methods. We tried new service formats. Change was good. And as I saw other congregations of our denomination shrinking and dying in the 90s while clinging to the same songs…

Every Angel Is Terrifying: A Review of The Elegy Beta by Mischa Willet

The Elegy Beta by Mischa Willet Mockingbird Press, 98 pages, $12 paperback No one, apart from a few oddball formalists, wants to write light verse. James Tate maybe but he is dead.[1] Simon Armitage, sometimes, but the English are a different matter. On the whole American poetry is very serious business indeed—a business that is…

John the Baptist’s Brain Scan

Clinical History:Fetal synaesthesia and involuntary ecstasy; sudden adult-onset soteriological hydrophilia. Findings:There is pervasiverubicund pigmentationof the frontal lobe andluxury perfusionof the mid-cortical gyrisuggesting locust-ingestion ketogenesis.Patient’s sulciare focally engorgedwith desert flower honey.Hypertrophic changesto the circle of Willisreveal vaticination. Impression:MRI findings suggest Nazarite syndrome. Further testing with sandal thongs is indicated to assess digital non-compliance. The patient should…

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