My friend Tom has asked me several times to write on what I consider to be challenging and illusive topics – love and faith among them. After his latest invitation, I spent some time writing to discover what faith means to me and how it impacts my life. . I began with three reflections that emerged as a summary of my more detailed musings. I offer both to you in hopes it might inform your own reflections on why and how faith is important to the life we each live.
Editor’s Note: Guest contributor Tim Leadem begins 2023 with reflections on the lessons he has found as a practitioner and student of pilgrimages around the world. Spiritual writers often refer to life as a journey or pilgrimage. Tim’s writing has evolved from prose to poetry. Enjoy the compact power of each word in his reflections and their application as we begin another year of individual and community pilgrimage.
Year End Reflections on Critical Conversations
As 2022 comes to an end, I reflect with a grateful heart on this opportunity to connect with you and others through Critical Conversations. In this post, I’d like to share a little about how Critical Conversations came to be what it is, and to thank you – the readers, and the team of guest contributors, editors and technical supporters – who make this post possible. My life is enriched with love and joy by notes and comments from readers, from the courage and insights of guest contributors, and the generosity and talent of my friends who edit and assist in the weekly writing of Critical Conversations. Many blessings in 2023 to each of you!
Faith, Holidays and Holy Days
Inclusion and freedom mean we all get to decide what we believe. These are important ideas as this time of year is full of many different traditions, beliefs and customs. Today, I’d like to reflect on why faith and my Christian faith are important to me in approaching the year-end holidays and holy days.
Holiday Giving Revisited – What Organizations and Why?
A friend of mine, Joe Muth, is a Catholic priest in Baltimore. His ministry has included serving inner-city Black congregations and a parish that became home to immigrants and refugees from Africa and around the world.
Lessons in Racial Justice: Goals, Strategies and Training
Recently I was given a book, Waging a Good War: A Military History of the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1968. The author, Thomas E Ricks, is described as “the dean of military correspondents.” He has authored numerous books about military wars including First Principles, The Generals and Fiasco. My initial reaction was to pause and wonder if I could enjoy a book that used the lessons of war to describe the civil rights movement. That concern turned out to be ill-founded. I recommend this book because of its many lessons that seem quite relevant to our ongoing efforts to end racial injustice.
More about Love and Loving
The holiday season is a wonderful time to explore how we experience love. Families remind us of the presence of love and where our aspirations to love fall short. This post is a start at sharing some of my ideas and beliefs about love and loving.
Gratitude as a path to love
For me, gratitude is an acquired taste. For many years, my negative thinking blocked my feelings of gratitude; it actually took me years to pay attention to gratitude and its benefits. Thanksgiving is a good time to reflect on the journey to the benefits that can result from greater gratitude.
Married for Life: Exploring Love
Kathy died. I knew she was going to. I had known for almost a week. She had suffered a series of strokes over her last month. The last was a major brain bleed that killed her brain. Over the course of that week, she lost all brain function and eventually died. I knew she was going to die, and I surprised myself at how calm I was during that week. It wasn’t until she died that I came apart. Somehow, as long as she was alive I knew I would be as strong as I could.
Racial Justice and the Good/Bad Binary
As part of my engagement in a six-week discussion series on Noticing or Seeing Whiteness, I’m having an incredible opportunity to hone my knowledge and skills about our racial, political, and cultural divides. The experience is strengthening my humility,...