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Soul Seeing

Scotch at midnight with the bishop of Paris


Paris, Kan., is one of the smallest dioceses in the U.S. You won't even find it on a map. My classmate Morrie (name changed) has been a bishop there since (can't say that either). But I can say that in the seminary Morrie was a nice guy who never hurt a soul or ever made waves or rocked the boat. While some of us survived the stormy seas of seminary life on leaky lifeboats or in subversive submarines dodging depth-charges, Morrie was like most guys, a dutiful passenger on the Ark of Peter who made it with little fanfare to the end. No one expected that one day he would be an admiral while the jet-ski guys who buzzed around with unexpected initiative and derring-do would someday be insurance agents.

How to take a soul picture


Several weeks ago I made a trip to Kansas to visit a friend who has lung cancer. We had little contact with one another for a number of years and I sensed our visit would be a special one. Little did I know how special. When I arrived in Topeka I learned that Ken's wife, Bibi, had taken him to the emergency room that morning because of severe chest pains. I hurriedly drove to the hospital, hoping we could have some quality time together. Indeed, we did. I found Ken to be as I remembered: gentle, optimistic, loving and faith-filled. Fortunately he had not lost his sly sense of humor either.

My days with the other old yoga ladies


Something unexpected is happening to me in this spring’s Senior Center yoga classes. Something over and above the shock of finding myself at 79 in the “old-old” category. There’s no denying it: I was born in 1933, the year Hitler took power, the banks closed and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Who could have imagined that someday we’d all be living so much longer?

What gays and lesbians are teaching us about marriage


“Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs. And what’s wrong with that?” -- Paul McCartney

Twenty years ago my colleague Frank and I were having a smoke on the fire escape of our Crossroad offices in midtown Manhattan. Frank was challenging the arguments of churchmen who were fuming at the new phenomenon of gay couples trying to adopt children. “What’s so bad about that?” he wanted to know. “Why can’t gays have families like everybody else?”

God rides the R train


On my last trip up north, I rode the New York subways a lot. My aunt was in a Brooklyn hospital and the easiest way to get there was by taking the train from New Jersey and then walking a few blocks from Penn Station to catch the R subway to Brooklyn. All in all, it took about an hour and a half to get from New Jersey to Brooklyn.

Love is the love of being loving


“Loretta, I love you. Not like they told you love is, and I didn’t know this either, but love don’t make things nice -- it ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess. We aren’t here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and die. ...


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November 21-December 5, 2014


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