Other Writings

 

We draw near to him by following him even on clumsy and reluctant feet and without knowing more than two cents’ worth at first about what is involved in following him — into the seventy-five-mile-an-hour, neon-lit pain of our world.

Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons, “The Sign by the Highway”

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I think…there is…hope that, if not tomorrow or the next day, then some fine day, somehow, life will finally give us the present that, when we open it, will turn out to be the one we have waited for so long, the one that will fill the empty place, which is the peace that passeth all understanding, which is the truth, salvation, whatever we want to call it. But one by one, as we open the presents, no matter how rich and wondrous they are, we discover that not one of them by itself, nor even all of them taken together, is the one of our deepest desiring — that ultimately, although her face is beautiful and draws us to her, life by herself does not have that final present to give.

Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons, “The Sign by the Highway”

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I recently finished reading the complete short stories of Flannery O’Connor. Her stories have always been a mystery to me, but I love her writing. Today I’m sharing an extended quote from one of my favorites, Revelation.

I’m also sharing some music I posted some time ago on my other site, dwpianomusic.com. The piece is called The Strongest Prayer I Know. The third “movement” of that piece is, in my mind, firmly tied to and inspired by this passage from O’Connor. It is the victory recessional, a cortege for all whose shortcomings and sufferings in this life are finally burned away as they climb through the “field of living fire…upward into the starry field…shouting hallelujah.” In my imagination, included (maybe at the very front) are the “little ones” I refer to in that post. Read Full Article

 

Those who believe in God can never in a way be sure of him again. Once they have seen him in a stable, they can never be sure where he will appear or to what lengths he will go or to what ludicrous depths of self-humiliation he will descend in his wild pursuit of humankind…this means that we are never safe, that there is no place where we can hide from God, no place where we are safe from his power to break in two and recreate the human heart.

Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons, “The Face in the Sky”


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I am not a Roman Catholic; reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church is not something that would have ever occurred to me to do. But I kept running into Catholic writers, one after another, who wrote about faith and life with a richness I hadn’t seen before: Walker Percy, Flannery O’Connor, Thomas Merton, James Martin, and Jean Vanier to name a few.  So I spent several years looking into Roman Catholicism in depth, which included reading through the Catechism…twice.

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