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Daring to Do the Good: The Knight and the Theologian

By Kathleen L. Housley Essay

WRITING FROM HIS SMALL CELL in a German prison, the theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer advised his family and friends to read the lengthy novel Witiko by Adalbert Stifter—the book that gave him great comfort from the time of his arrest in 1943 until his execution in 1945 for his involvement in the plot to kill Hitler.…

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Christ in São Paulo

By Lêdo Ivo Poetry

On Christmas Eve while the bells were ringing, I saw Christ walking on a street in São Paulo. He was already a man when he was born, swaddled in his manger with solitude and death. The white cold wind whispered a secret: —Life was brief for men and gods, a sigh of Christ breathed in…

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The Promised Land

By Elizabeth Altomonte Short Story

THIS IS WHAT THINGS ARE LIKE HERE. The Palestinian fedayeen raids continue without mercy. Hardly a week goes by without a civilian being shot or ambushed in the Israeli Sector. Aubrey visits now and then, the young man’s face unalterably severe. He says there is a sense of foreboding in the air, a quiet dread,…

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Finding Our Names

By Leslie Leyland Fields Essay

Fathers and teachers, I ponder, “What is hell?” I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love. —Dostoyevsky How did I get so lucky to have my heart awakened to others and their suffering? —Pema Chödrön WHEN MY FATHER DIES, I may not know about it for days. The people at his…

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The Ritz

By Michael Ryan Poetry

No you’re not a saint because you spare the maid a stubborn skid mark by swiping the bowl clean with an oven-mitt- sized toilet-paper wad during the one mid-flush moment between water’s vanishing and return before you step under the turbo multi-jet gleaming steaming solid-brass showerhead so brilliantly designed to make you feel exactly as…

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Tongue Is the Pen

By Brett Foster Poetry

Isaiah 43 I am making all things new! Or am trying to, being so surprised to be one of those guys who may be dying early. This is yet one more earthen declaration, uttered through a better prophet’s more durable mouth, with heart astir. It’s not oath-taking that I’m concerned with here, for what that’s…

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Question for My Father

By William Wenthe Poetry

When I look up, into the needles of the cypress tree, brown in November, I see cinnamon—I see wood of violins, breast feathers of the sedge wren, a setter’s fur, toasted grain…. I see the cypress glowing within a cloudless noon, pale blue at horizon as background of a Botticelli annunciation, that turns unpaintably, achingly…

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On Lazarus, Weeks before Her Death

By Bronwen Butter Newcott Poetry

She wants to believe he clung to death, that the sweetness of the light that took him soaked him until he was fat with gladness, that bringing him back to the dark cave, making him breathe through oil-soaked cloth, pushing life back into his stiffened fingers and toes, that calling him with a siren’s voice…

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Canticle of Want

By Marjorie Stelmach Poetry

Lord of worn stone cliffs and the guileless trill          of the canyon wren; Lord of stunted hemlocks, imperiled mussels, seeds that fall on shallow soil;          Lord of boreal forests, of the fragile nitrogen cycle, of vanishing aquifers, spreading          deserts; Lord of neglect and…

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The Breaking Strain of Grace

By Marjorie Stelmach Poetry

Holy Week again:             unleavened sky, all tensions held past hold. Mostly, what I feel is the unlikelihood. These days, pick a miracle,             there’s science to explain it. Say it’s nighttime in the Garden, Jesus praying in a bloody sweat: Hematidrosis—rare; not unknown—            …

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