hope – Fragments Against Ruin http://tonywoodlief.com Sat, 07 Apr 2018 17:41:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 The Paradox of a Good Friday http://tonywoodlief.com/2017/04/14/paradox-good-friday/ Fri, 14 Apr 2017 16:04:32 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=5429 “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, …

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A Word for Those Who Would Draw Near to Grief http://tonywoodlief.com/2016/02/17/a-word-for-those-who-would-draw-near-to-grief/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2016/02/17/a-word-for-those-who-would-draw-near-to-grief/#comments Wed, 17 Feb 2016 23:15:20 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=4662 An electric wire runs through her, scalp to sole, and this grief has stripped it bare. His despair inhabits him, and inside he is falling down a dark shaft, falling into himself, into the shadows there. And here you stand, and you would offer words. Why? Because this is what decent people do. Because I …

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The poor fisherman http://tonywoodlief.com/2015/06/11/the-poor-fisherman/ Thu, 11 Jun 2015 16:46:06 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=4615 From my latest essay at the Image Good Letters site: I am a tense and irritable man with occasional bouts of cheerfulness tempered by fatalism. I am a hard man with whom to live. I spent yesterday griping at my kids not to drown in the river, not to pick up snakes, not to fall …

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Lament http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/04/17/lament/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/04/17/lament/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 19:01:34 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=4499 When we tucked what remained of that little girl into the earth, I was relieved it was over. I was filled with something that felt like transcendence. We had weathered the storm, we had kept the faith, we had given her back to God, and now we would await patiently the life of the world …

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Crafted http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/12/09/crafted/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/12/09/crafted/#comments Tue, 10 Dec 2013 04:17:34 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3738 My mother died while I was at the beach and so while my children spent their days on the shore, I spoke by phone with the many professionals who position themselves between the living and the dead. My thirteen year-old wanted to build a sandcastle. He has so many preoccupations these days, perhaps chief among …

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Benediction from a bad man http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/04/01/benediction-from-a-bad-man/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/04/01/benediction-from-a-bad-man/#comments Mon, 01 Apr 2013 15:45:21 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3664 I guess I stopped writing about personal things here because I didn’t like the person I had become. I felt stupid, the faith and family writer who gets divorced. This was compounded by coming to DC and finding myself—though alongside very decent and honorable people—exposed as well to a few ugly people for whom gossip …

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Valley’s Light http://tonywoodlief.com/2011/10/19/valleys-light/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2011/10/19/valleys-light/#comments Wed, 19 Oct 2011 14:56:08 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3314 This morning I drove past the house where she died. The light today is the way it was then, a light that doesn’t warn you how peace comes at a cost this day, how once she’s sleeping she won’t wake again, no matter that she is stronger than little girls are supposed to be, no …

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Sanctuary http://tonywoodlief.com/2011/02/24/sanctuary/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2011/02/24/sanctuary/#comments Fri, 25 Feb 2011 04:01:53 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3245 Sometimes I am overwhelmed, as I stand with my sons in the cathedral, by the feeling of safety. It’s not something I ever felt in church as a child. In those days I felt out of place. I thought I was pitied or judged because my parents weren’t there. I felt condemned by an angry …

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Two Anthonys http://tonywoodlief.com/2010/10/05/two-anthonys/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2010/10/05/two-anthonys/#comments Tue, 05 Oct 2010 03:47:36 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=2674 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 …

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Awaiting hope http://tonywoodlief.com/2010/07/27/awaiting-hope/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2010/07/27/awaiting-hope/#comments Tue, 27 Jul 2010 02:55:46 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=2534 Somewhere between a speed too slow to get killed and too fast to get away, a grasshopper found himself clinging to my windshield wiper. He wrapped his thin wire legs around black metal and held on with that baleful, narrow-headed look grasshoppers have. I kept waiting for him to let go, to tumble and topple …

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