John the Baptist – Priestly Pondering, 6/18/17

John the Baptist’s ministry is remembered each year on June 24.  His feast day is a major feast of the church, calling for special remembrances of John the Baptist’s legacy to Christianity.  It might seem strange to remember such a disruptive person.  After all, he preached hard lessons and called people hypocrites.  He also experienced a terrifying and unjust death at the hand of Herod.  However, the primary ministry of John the Baptist was to prepare the way for the ministry of Jesus Christ – a ministry in which each of us shares.  What are we willing to risk, preparing... Read more →

Evelyn Underhill – Priestly Pondering, 6/11/17

On June 15, the Anglican Communion remembers Evelyn Underhill.  A layperson living in England during the first half of the 20th century, Underhill wrote extensively about the historical roots and continuing power of Christian mysticism.  She is best known for two books: “Mysticism” and “Worship.”  Underhill challenged the historical understanding that mystics were people removed from the culture, never engaging with real-world problems.  Instead, she argued that all of life was holy and should be dedicated to an ever-deepening relationship with God.  Evelyn Underhill is honored for the many ways she made a life of deep spirituality accessible to all... Read more →

Boniface – Priestly Pondering, 6/4/17

The Christian Church remembers the legacy of Boniface on June 5.  The conversion to Christianity of many people in Germany is attributed to Boniface.  He first tried to spread the Christian message in Holland but experienced much resistance.  In Germany, Boniface’s message of salvation was well-received by the citizens.  Failure in Holland remained a lifelong regret for Boniface.  He left the safety of a now mostly-Christian Germany and returned to Holland.  Unfortunately, Boniface experienced the ultimate rejection of the Christian message when he was killed in Holland.  The example of Boniface shows the power of devotion to one’s calling and... Read more →

New Life – Priestly Pondering, 5/28/17

The Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated on May 31.  It is on this date that we remember and celebrate when Mary visited her cousin, Elizabeth.  In the course of their time together, Elizabeth experienced a “quickening” when her baby, who would become John the Baptist, leaped in the womb.  It is also during their meeting that Mary spoke the words of the Magnificat, celebrating the many ways God was active – not only in her life but in the life of the entire world.  What a blessing these two women were to each other! ... Read more →

Martyrdom – Priestly Pondering, 5/14/17

Martyrdom is not merely an ancient practice reserved for members of the early Christian Church.  Indeed, Christians continue to face persecution in many countries around the world, particularly during times of war.  During the Second Sudanese Civil War, many Christian villages were destroyed and in 1992, many Christian priests were martyred for refusing to abandon their faith.  While not all people are called to become martyrs, each person is called to give up something in order that his or her faith may flourish.  What are you willing to give up so that you can live a fuller, more faithful life?... Read more →