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Showing posts from October, 2019

Two People at Prayer

According to the Pew Research Center, 55% of Americans say they pray every day, while 21% say they pray weekly or monthly and 23% say they seldom or never pray. Even among those who are religiously unaffiliated, 20% say they pray daily. Women (64%) are more likely than men (46%) to pray every day. And Americans ages 65 and older are far more likely than adults under 30 to say they pray daily (65% vs. 41%). 45% of Americans – and a majority of Christians (55%) – say they rely a lot on prayer and personal religious reflection when making major life decisions. The same survey found that 63% of Christians in the U.S. say praying regularly is an essential part of their Christian identity. [1] I wonder: what is prayer like for you and how does it figure in your life? In our Gospel reading for today, Jesus tells a story about two people at prayer. Listen for God’s word to you from Luke 18:9-14… He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that the

Lessons from Lepers

Did you know that it was Abraham Lincoln who, in the midst of the War Between the States, in 1863, established the annual celebration of Thanksgiving? Lincoln had learned how important it is to stop and thank God in the midst of great difficulties. When Lincoln was 7 years of age, his family was forced out of their home, and Abe went to work. When he was 9, his mother died. He lost his job as a store clerk when he was 20. He wanted to go to law school, but he didn’t have the prior education necessary. At age 23 he went into debt to be a partner in a small store. Three years later the business partner died, and the resulting debt took years to repay. When Lincoln was 28, after courting a girl for four years, he asked her to marry him, and she turned him down. On his third try he was elected to Congress, at age 37, but then failed to be re-elected. His son died at 4 years of age. When Lincoln was 45, he ran for the senate and lost. At age 47 he ran for the vice-presidency an

Van & Davy

In his book, A Severe Mercy , Sheldon Vanauken writes of how he and his beloved Jean Palmer Davis (Davy) came to be married... In September as the new term began, we were secretly married — secretly because of my father’s forbidding views on early marriage, especially of people still in statu pupillari. Why, then, marry? Not, certainly, as a sanction for sex: we had known each other in the spring without guilt. There was no great reason: there might be in some emergency a legal value in our being wed. And I thought Davy would be pleased—which she was. It was not, assuredly, a desire to feel ‘married’, for we thought of marital attitudes and jokes as destructive of love; and we never did overcome   our distaste for the words ‘husband’ and ‘wife’: we said we were ‘comrade-lovers’. Perhaps we had a sense that there ought to be a confirmation by ritual of our deep vows. At all events, one Saturday morning, license in hand, we set forth to find a clergyman in some village far from ou