23 Mar 2016

Clean Week

For Orthodox Christians, Great Lent began just a little over a week ago. We begin Lent with a service called Forgiveness Vespers, during which we go around and ask each individual for forgiveness for all of our offenses. After this joyful and cathartic service, we call the next week Clean Week. The poems below for Clean Week were inspired by the Lenten Triodion readings for each day, which can be found here: http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/prayers/triodion/triodion.html Forgiveness Sunday

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
19 Mar 2016

Worthy Reads of the Week {March 19}

Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest. Assist us mercifully with your help, O Lord God of our salvation, that we may enter with joy upon the contemplation of those mighty acts, whereby you have given us life and immortality; through Jesus Christ our Lord. —Book of Common Prayer Greetings to our faithful and new readers. We invite you to look over the essays from

Conciliar Post Weekly Reads 0
11 Mar 2016

Waiting to Rejoice

Laetare: O Rejoice! {Lent Week Four} Here I am— Waiting for God, Not quite ready For rejoicing yet; The shadows flicker, Darkening my soul, Still waiting for The rising sun This dark night —Not wholly black— Sprinkled with stars Streaming on me Diffused silver light, Promises coming Hope, As I wait Here for God I am awaiting With great expectation The rising Son —Myth made real— The glimmering sky Bursting fully alive With glory’s Hope…

Johanna Byrkett 2
08 Mar 2016

By the Waters of Babylon

The waters of Babylon drip from hanging gardens where All that is beautiful in the world grows down from Heaven The headwaters of the garden river from which life flowed And we sit beside them inspired to refrain from singing Hanging our harps like ripened tears on the weeping trees And cry out for the war-ravaged fatherland we so love We stroke the sweeping willow branches with a rustle Sounding like the spirit of God

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
23 Feb 2016

Zacchaeus Zacchaeus

Zacchaeus Zacchaeus Put your money down Zacchaeus Zacchaeus Jesus has come to town Zacchaeus Zacchaeus You hope that I’ll see you Zacchaeus Zacchaeus Your old life will be through And though you’re a wee little man Who likes to grasp things in your hand When Jesus goes with you to sup You give all your life up Zacchaeus Zacchaeus Climb up in that tree Zacchaeus Zacchaeus The Lord you’re going to see Zacchaeus Zacchaeus You

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
12 Feb 2016

Introit: Entrance

(Lent: Week One) Chill and dank Is my soul —Emotions, mind, will— Closed, under ground; I’m hiding here In my sin Frustrated, and unsure How to escape Holy Doors barred, Soul windows shuttered In many here Sitting on pews Or kneeling down Before the altar In rote movements Receiving the Eucharist Ancient doors: Open! Fling wide all The heart gates And enter in! King of Glory, Illumine what in Me is dark— Be my Liberty

Johanna Byrkett 0
11 Feb 2016

Religious Reasons in Public Debate: A Conversation with Karl Barth

Christianity and Democratic Dialogue: Part One Need we suspend our faith for the sake of conversation? Western Democracy has given Christians religious liberties that few throughout history have enjoyed, while also saving the Church from the shame of statecraft. Foundational to these democratic systems of government is a form of civil dialogue that seeks to include all reasonable voices in the conversation. However, secularization in the Western world has lead many, both atheistic and theistic,

Creighton Coleman 4
09 Feb 2016

Fasting

Fasting is easier as a virtue of omission than commission It’s easier to give up meat than to take the meat of the Word It’s easier to lament our sins than to confess them It’s easier to quit wine and whining than to be a blessing   We can save a lot by fasting, including our own souls But it’s much harder to spend ourselves for others I don’t mean alms – giving alms is

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
26 Jan 2016

Windows

We’re designed to worship through windows Through windows we feel like we’re there Like the one we’re worshiping truly knows And sees us bowing through the glare Every window a window to Heaven Every scene is of God above Every vision that we have been given Is all about falling in love   Our windows are rarely transparent Things float on the surface between What we see is always more apparent Than what the things

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
09 Jan 2016

Weekly Reads {January 9}

Happy weekend, Dear Readers! Below is a selection of theology, religion, and current events articles from this week. Our goal in providing this list  is to start conversations about our faith an how it applies to the world around us. Part of that conversation includes sharing sources which others might have overlooked. If you read a thought-provoking or well-written article that did not make this list, we would love to hear about it! In the meantime,

Conciliar Post Weekly Reads 0
29 Dec 2015

Birth Pangs

Oh sure there’s the baby shower But after that there just the waiting Well, and the nursery decorating And the putting things in order And the bag for the sudden flight And all the fears for the future And all the perhapses of the past And all the pushing pushing push And the breathe I know it hurts When all you need to decorate Is fresh straw and a star window Your hospital births lambs

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
19 Dec 2015

Weekly Reads {19 December}

The people who walked in darkness     have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,     on them has light shone. You have multiplied the nation;     you have increased its joy… {Isaiah 9:2-3a} Hello faithful CP readers, a blesséd third week of Advent to you all! This week is “Joy” week in the celebration of Advent… Some of the posts below reflect that in very different ways; some are related to current events

Johanna Byrkett 0
15 Dec 2015

Mother and Child

Do the best things only happen when we pray? If so, from your lips to God’s ear; only you hear me. For every Rachael there’s a Leah For every Lot a wife and daughters For every Shunamite woman a Shunamite woman So we sit in the darkest place at the darkest time Rendering to Caesar our inheritance Marrying and giving in marriage Watching sheep and stars by night And Christ comes when nobody is looking

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 2
01 Dec 2015

Remember Lot’s Wife?

Remember Lot’s wife? She used to go to the market on the corner And on Tuesdays she played bridge With the girls in her play-date group – If wine glasses are playing cards, anyway Or sometimes they’d have margaritas With a nice thick salt rim Remember Lot’s wife? Three days a week she drove the carpool Took a minivan of kids to school And even, in summers, to the pool Dance classes on odd days

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 1
17 Nov 2015

Fruitcake

A dying Christmas tree in the living room In the front window so passersby can watch it die Has a pile of disguised boxes beneath it Each with another reminder of my mortality Here is a box that reminds me I stink to high Heaven Here a box so I can drink my troubles away Here a box to keep dung from dungarees There are boxes of distraction Gift cards for my lack of openness

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
03 Nov 2015

Will It Pray?

I feel some kind of spirit move me, There’s something I have got to say. Could be complaint or comedy; I’ll blurt it out either way. I’ll make sure the kids don’t hear me, Wait until the prudes go away- Then inspiration strikes me And I ask, Will it pray? Can I take these silly sentences, Can I make them talk to God? Do I think he’d laugh along with me And give me a

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 1
20 Oct 2015

Authorial Intent

I had the Bible down to a science: Six days exactly to create Seven years enough to destroy Three days and nights to recreate The Reed Sea or the Red Sea The Brazen Sea and the Dead Sea The sun stood still up in the sky The waters flowed while crested high Water to wine, crumbs to bread Sight to the blind, life to the dead From age unto apparent age From miracle to explanation

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 3
06 Oct 2015

I’m a Lot Like Peter

Ladder of Divine Ascent 3.5 In going into exile, beware of the demon of wandering and of sensual desire; because exile gives him his opportunity. I’m a lot like Peter: Firm in my conviction and my denial And weeping bitterly about both. But that’s not the Peter I’m most like. My spirit animal is Peter Rabbit, Hippity-hopping down the bunny trail, Enticed by all the carrot-tops… I blame it on Farmer McGregor. If he hadn’t

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
22 Sep 2015

She and the Man

Christ in the House of Simon Dieric Bouts the Elder 1440s Oil on wood, 40,5 x 61 cm Staatliche Museen, Berlin She didn’t know she had faith. She didn’t wonder how much she believed. She didn’t come looking for forgiveness. She didn’t think about her sin. She knew there was a man at Simon’s house. She knew this man really, truly loved, was love. She knew what she got and gave with men was not.

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
08 Sep 2015

Praise God from Whom All Curses Flow

Praise God from whom all curses flow Praise him who made the thorns to grow Praise him below infernal host Praise Father Son and Holy Ghost The sword that guards the Garden’s gate The sweat and death that are our fate The pain through which all life goes on For these we thank the Lord in song The night so short, the day all gone Serve to make us cry out, “How long?” Until the

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0