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Writing down your thanks

November 15, 2019 In this season of Thanksgiving, you may find it helpful to keep a gratitude journal. more »»

'It’s our problem-free philosophy'

October 25, 2019 The headline above quotes a lyric from the Lion King’s song "Hakuna Matata." In the movie, the song represents a fun-loving approach to life. more »»

Sprucing up our image of prayer

September 27, 2019 Let’s talk about prayer. It means different things to different people. For some, it might be the recitation of prayers memorized in childhood. more »»

Kicking back in the lazy days of August

August 23, 2019 I dislike the hot, humid weather of August, more than any other kind of weather. I don’t like my clothes sticking to me. I don’t like getting all sweaty over routine chores. more »»

Teaching empathy with 'Paper Clips'

July 26, 2019 There is a wonderful documentary called “Paper Clips” that all of you would probably like. Linda and I rented it last weekend. It’s really engaging, moving and inspirational. more »»

Time for an authentic Fourth of July

June 28, 2019 The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate our freedoms and be glad we do not live in other places in the world, where freedom is a crime. As individuals, we desire to have positive self-esteem. more »»

Donald Trump . . . Jackson redux?

May 23, 2019 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied." (Matthew 5:6 New Living Translation). more »»

Arbor Day 2019: 'The Hidden Life of Trees'

April 26, 2019 Today is National Arbor Day, not to be confused with Earth Day, which was last Monday. Earth Day began in 1970. It was an effort by U.S. Sen. more »»

Self-love can lead to mystical opening

March 29, 2019 Across religious traditions, the metaphor of music is used to describe the mystical encounter. The most noted among Christian mystics is John of the Cross, a 16th century Spaniard. more »»

Reflecting on the president's state of emergency

February 21, 2019 This month I would like to share with you my own soul searching about my role as a citizen in a democracy that is now under real threat to its existenc. more »»

Modern contemplation on the 'Letter from Birmingham Jail'

January 25, 2019 Before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day completely fades from our awareness for another year, let’s pause to be challenged by his “Letter from Birmingham Jail. more »»

A look back at 2018

December 28, 2018 Let’s take a look back at 2018. more »»

Awakening love in the soul

November 30, 2018 Fourteenth century Persian Sufi Poet Hafiz said, in one of his many beautiful verses, "People say that on hearing the song the soul entered the body, but in reality the soul itself was the. more »»

Remembering our Ring Day

October 26, 2018 Yesterday was Ring Day at the O'Brien household. Oct. 25 is the anniversary of the day Linda and I bought our wedding rings down in Washington, D.C. back in 1997. more »»

We can benefit from stirring the bucket

September 28, 2018 According to Chuck Todd, moderator of "Meet the Press," a poll many years ago asked if it mattered to you if your son or daughter married someone of the other political party. more »»

What the "new religious person" will be like

August 24, 2018 Many thanks to my friend Ethel Hornbeck, director of spiritual formation at Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church, for sending me this quote from her former mentor, Franciscan nun and theologian Ilia... more »»

Continue to love everyone

August 3, 2018 Friday night I had a dream. I was at a meeting of some official governing body of an unidentified country. more »»

Why the coal miners voted for Trump instead of Clinton

June 22, 2018 The other day, a friend forwarded a link about the condition of Appalachia 50 years after Robert Kennedy visited there in 1968. The article compared that time with Trump time now. more »»

Recapturing the wonder of Earth

April 27, 2018 Last month, this column referred to Protestant theologian Walter Brueggemann’s expression, “the colonized imagination. more »»

Viewing the world through gospel

March 23, 2018 Not all readers of this column are Christians, I know, but the Christian solemnity of Holy Week approaches and I am offering some thoughts of relevance to everyone, Christian or not. more »»

Exploring the spiritual underpinnings of America’s gun culture

February 23, 2018 The Florida massacre of 17 students and faculty members at a high school last week has prompted much justifiable outrage. more »»



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