Tag Archives: faith

The Paradox of a Good Friday

Christ in Hades

“Keep your mind in hell, and despair not.” This admonition from St. Silouan is appropriate for Good Friday, when most of Christendom commemorates Christ’s descent into hell, where he shatters its captives’ chains. Many modern Western theologians have abandoned this teaching, but even if you reject it you are still, if you are a Christian, …

Legos in the Deep

Like many, I passed this spring through Lent. It felt longer than in past years, because there has been a kind of Lenten work being done within me, it seems, since last fall. Nothing terrible, nothing traumatic, just a gradual scraping away of the soul’s fat, like miserable Eustace when Aslan sinks his claws into …

Childlike

Back when I thought I knew something about God, I sought arguments. God is this, and God is not that, and those scriptures you think say one thing actually mean something else, don’t you know. I thought her simple and silly, though good-hearted. Hers was the Sunday School God, the “Jesus Loves Me” God, a …

Thin thread

Some of you may like my latest essay at the Image Good Letters blog. Here’s an excerpt: “Telling a story along that thin thread, however, means abandoning the notion that the world pierces us more deeply, that our hearts sing more loudly. What if the opposite were true? What if the reason there are television …

Listing

If you were to write down the names of everyone you trust — truly trust — what size paper would you need? I needed the back of a receipt. There are ten names on this scrap of paper. Ten people I know would never share any of my confidences, never twist the personal things of …

A boy grows

Yesterday was Stephen Caleb’s birthday. He’s twelve, and there are now only 364 days between him and the onset of teenagerism, which I associate — at least among American kids — with sloth and self-indulgence, ignorance and idiocy and all-around brain malfunction, the latter now being scientifically proven at last. We are all of us …

Good men

Someone told me recently, “You’re a good man, Tony.” This made me think of a James Taylor concert I heard about once. In the hush between sets, someone in the audience shouted, “I love you, James!” Taylor stepped to the microphone and replied, “That’s because you don’t know me.” Do you ever feel some days that …

Two Anthonys

I’ve been thinking on the incongruity of sharing a name with the saint who went into the desert to wrestle demons and aloneness and thereby work out salvation. I sat at an oval window this morning and looked on the sunfired clouds below and wondered into what wilderness I am once again hurtling, and whether …