People who want to effect change in their life often complain about a lack of willpower. Conversely, people who meet their goals easily often judge those who don’t as being “weak willed”. But focusing on the will like this is misleading; it suggests that the key to making good choices in the moment is just … Continue reading Self-Regulation

Fear and Loathing in Jerusalem (A reflection on John 11.45-57)

Here we are at the end of Lent. Tomorrow is Palm Sunday, the day when the Church remembers Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem where he is hailed by the masses as their champion and king. In my liturgical tradition, the same day is also called Passion Sunday, and the story of Jesus’ betrayal, arrest, trials, … Continue reading Fear and Loathing in Jerusalem (A reflection on John 11.45-57)

The Unruly and Abnormal Holy Spirit

Soviet dissident writer Aleksandr Solzhenitysn famously said that the line between good and evil runs not between states, ideologies, or people, but right through the middle of them. It seems to be the way of life in our fallen world, where even humanity’s greatest and most beautiful aspirations are marred by our ugliest traits. Lust … Continue reading The Unruly and Abnormal Holy Spirit

When You Pray…

The Gospel assigned for today contains the most familiar words of the Christian faith, the Lord’s prayer. The passage continues Jesus’ discussion about performative spirituality on which I commented last week. Jesus has just taught the disciples to be avoid flashy displays of their fasting, almsgiving, and prayer. And now he pushes on, teaching them … Continue reading When You Pray…