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Barry Casey

Burn for the Infinite

“But a thinker who has no desire to think cannot think . . . And one who desires but cannot imagine what it is he wants is not getting very far with his desire, which, if it were real, would attempt to achieve an intelligible form.” — Northrop Frye, Fearful Symmetry, 27

All the Gods

When I was teaching a world religions class from semester to semester I would sometimes ask my students a question: Are God and Allah the same entity?

It was a complex question, but it would invariably provoke a simple response. At first there would be a momentary silence, with faces looking back at me in shock or puzzlement, as if they were waiting for me to say, “Just kidding!” But I wasn’t, and then the hands would go up and we were off, with questions and assertions ricocheting around the room for the next few minutes.

Consider the Lilies

Listen to this story:

“Consider the lilies,” says Jesus.

Is it a demand, like, “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice?’” Or is it an invitation like that extended to Matthew who, as a taxman, was sitting in his booth collecting the blood-money from his people to be handed over to the occupying Roman force?

Being with Thomas

Listen to this story:

I would have been with Thomas in that upper room. Never an early adopter nor a joiner, I would have held back to watch others, see their reactions, imagine myself in their place, until the resistance I felt toward the new had reduced its charge.

Marching to a Different Drummer

Listen to this story:

“Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.” —Albert Camus, The Rebel

Lane Walkers

Listen to this story:

“The greatest gains and values are farthest from being appreciated. We easily come to doubt if they exist. We soon forget them. They are the highest reality.” —Walden, Henry David Thoreau

The Dali State

Listen to this story:

Practicing the Grace We Have Received

Listen to this story:

Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? —Matthew 25:37 (NRSV)

Welcoming the Child

Listen to this story:

“Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’” — Mark 9:36, 37

On the Boundary

When people of faith look at the world, they see multiple images. There is the natural world that is given, not produced by us. There is the cultural world, the objects and ideas of which are imagined, thought, built, and produced by us. And there is the supernatural world of powers, spirits, angels, and God.

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