Friday, February 24, 2012

Colleagues List, February 25th, 2012

Vol. VII. No. 28


Wayne A. Holst, Editor


Colleagues List Blog:

My E-Mail Address:

New "Quicklinks" are now included 
with many items. Otherwise, scroll
down to find your selection in the 
body of the blog, as in the past.


Special Item in this Issue -

Book Notice:

"Pulpit and Politics -
Competing Religious Ideologies
in Canadian Public Life"

by Dennis Gruending


Feedback from my personal reflection
on Gregorio Allegri's "Miserere"
published in Colleagues List last week:


Colleague Contributions:

Martin Marty (Chicago, IL)

Jim Taylor (Okanagan, BC)

Net Notes:

The Muslim Luther and Reformation

Giving Up Self-Discipline for Lent

Mormons Allegedly Baptize Anne Frank

Dawkins Vs. Williams was no Knockout

Earliest Mark's Gospel Fragments Found

Vatican Scandals Unappreciated in India

Bishop Sacks Priest for Improvised Prayers

Santorum: "No Such Thing as a Liberal Christian"

Court Ruling Against Religious Freedom in Canada

Modern Church Needs Theologically Literate Laity

Vatican "Leaker" Contributes Newspaper Interview

Qu'ran Burning: Christians Fear More Muslim Unrest

Global Faith Potpourri:
Twelve ENI Geneva stories.

Wisdom of the Week:

John Muir
Gayle Brandeis
Emily Vizzo
Kahlil Gibran
C.S. Lewis

On This Day:

Malcolm X shot and killed by Black Muslims before 
he addresses a rally in New York City (1965)

First mass inoculation of children against polio
with the Salk vaccine began in Pittsburgh (1954)

Closing Thought - Ernesto Cardenal


Dear Friends:

I am pleased to introduce a book written
by a new colleague, Dennis Gruending of 
Ottawa, and a native of Saskatchewan.

Dennis offers his overview of the current
religious and political situation in Canada 
from his perspective as a journalist and 
former MP. He held a seat for the New 
Democratic Party of Canada. 

For those who are unfamiliar with our 
Canadian political system, the NDP is a 
distinctly socialist party. Some of its 
early heroes helped Canada to establish
our national health care system fifty
years ago. Canadians of all political 
stripes are happy beneficiaries of this 
important component of our national 

His book is entitled:

"Pulpit and Politics - Competing Religious 
 Ideologies in Canadian Public Life"

It informs us of the changing ways that 
religion and politics co-relate in our 
nation today and expresses his hopes and

Thanks for writing this, Dennis and
welcome to Colleagues List!


Colleague Contributions:

This week, they come to us from -

Martin Marty (Chicago, IL) - who
assesses a book that suggests atheists
are organizing in patterns not unlike 
their religious rivals.

Jim Taylor (Okanagan, BC) - who
writes intriguingly about our
obsessions and what they do to us.

Net Notes:

"The Muslim Luther and Reformation" -
here is an interesting article on a
reformer in the religion of Islam

"Giving Up Self-Discipline for Lent" -
a humorous and not irreverent look
at self-denial (Christianity Today)

"Mormons Allegedly Baptize Anne Frank" -
those who know a bit about Mormonism
will not be surprised at this, but the
fact that Anne Frank was a Jew who never
converted will upset some (National Post)

"Dawkins Vs. Williams was no Knockout" -
the religion and faith debates continue.
Last year it was Hitchens and Blair.
This year, it seems, Dawkins and the
Archbishop of Canterbury (Guardian, UK)

"Earliest Mark's Gospel Fragments Found" 
- we rejoice at continuing archeological
discoveries of biblical material long lost
(Anglican Journal)

"Vatican Scandals Unappreciated in India"
- last week, the news from the Vatican
was mixed. Fall-out from distant parts
of the world is predictable (Uca News)

"Bishop Sacks Priest for Improvised Prayers" 
- some Catholic bishops take their jobs
as defenders of the official liturgy very 
seriously as this story from Illinois 
suggests (Religious New Service3)

"Santorum: 'No Such Thing as a Liberal Christian'"
- the young, Republican primaries candidate
must, like all of us, live with our misstatements
from the past (Huffington Report Canada)

"Court Ruling Against Religious Freedom in Canada"
- the decision of the Supreme Court of Quebec puts
this foreign commentator in a rather critical mood
(The Tablet, UK)

"Modern Church Needs Theologically Literate Laity"
- those who are dedicated to Adult spiritual and 
theological development in the local congregation
are pleased to know others believe similarly
(Anglican Journal)

"Vatican "Leaker" Contributes Newspaper Interview"
- it would appear that a man who claims to have
provided the world with Vatican 'insider' information
last week has now spoken, anonymously, to the press
(The Telegraph, UK)

"Qu'ran Burning: Christians Fear More Muslim Unrest"
- whenever this foolishness occurs there are always
Christians who pay the price. This story comes to
us from Pakistan (Uca News)

Global Faith Potpourri:

This week, we have access to twelve religious
news stories from around the world provided by
Ecumenical News International, Geneva.

Wisdom of the Week:

John Muir, Gayle Brandeis, Emily Vizzo,
Kahlil Gibran and C.S. Lewis share their
insights with us.

On This Day:

Provided from the archives of the New York Times,
we read the following historical accounts as 
they unfolded:

Malcolm X was shot and killed by Black Muslims 
before addressing a rally in New York City (1965)

First mass inoculation of children against polio
with the Salk vaccine began in Pittsburgh (1954)

Closing Thought - 

This week Ernesto Cardenal provides our closing.
Cardenal is a Nicaraguan poet, priest and
activist. He served as minister of culture in
Nicaragua's Sandinista government and is the
author of many books of poetry.


Blessings of the Lenten Season to you!



Introducing the Full Program


"The Other Face of God:
When the Stranger Calls Us Home"

by Mary Jo Leddy

Ten Monday Nights - 
January 16th - March 26th, 2012
(except February Family Weekend Monday)

See the study schedule:

Information about the book from

Visit Romero House, Toronto on the web:

NOTE: Mary Jo Leddy is coming to St. David's
the weekend of April 20th-22nd. Watch for new
information as it becomes available.



Welcome to our -


Noon Hour Book Discussions for Faculty, 
Staff and Students Winter Series for 2012:

"An Altar in the World" by Barbara Brown Taylor

Discovering God in the ordinary experiences of life
March 2nd - March 30th - five Friday noon sessions

Time and Location for all sessions:
12:00 to 1:00PM in the Native Centre Board Room
Located above the Dairy Queen, Mac Hall Student's 

Led by: Wayne Holst, 
Coordinator of the ACTS Ministry, St. David's United
and a Faith and Spirituality Centre Liaison.

Cost of the book: $15.00 each

Join us this year for stiumlating campus discussions!

For more information: Adriana Tulissi 403-220-5451
Co-ordinator, Faith and Spirituality Centre, U. of 
C. - artuliss@ucalgary,ca



This week we announce our planned tour for 2013
following our highly successful pilgrimage to 
the Celtic lands of Scotland, Ireland, Wales
and England in 2011.

On St. David's Day, March 1st, we celebrate with
the people of St. David's Cathedral, Wales who
dedicate a restored shrine to St. David. This
shrine was destroyed during the Reformation and
is now returned to a special place in cathedral
life. St. David's Celtic Tour folk contributed
to this restoration project.

More announcements to come on these matters.



Contact us at: (or)
St. David's Web Address -

Listen to audio recordings of Sunday services -



An accumulation of thirty-five books studied
since 2000 can quickly be found at:

This collection of study resources represents 
more than a decade of Monday Night Studies at 
St. David's, plus extra courses too!

You are welcome to use our course outlines,
class notes and resource pages in your personal
and group reflections.



Book Notice -

Competing Religious Ideologies
in Canadian Public Life,
by Dennis Gruending. 2011
Kingsley Publishing, Calgary
237 pages. $23.00 CAD.
ISBN #978-192-683-2074

Publisher's Promo:

Based in Ottawa, Gruending has watched this 
drama unfold and has participated in it: as 
a journalist, a director of information for 
the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, 
and later as a Member of Parliament. Earlier 
in his career, he worked as a print and 
television journalist and as a radio host. 
He is the author of six books, including the 
best selling Great Canadian Speeches. He has 
written biographies of Emmett Hall, whose 
Royal Commission recommended medicare for 
Canada, and of former Saskatchewan premier 
Allan Blakeney. Gruending writes a blog, 
also called Pulpit and Politics, which has 
won several national awards. Find it at: 

In Pulpit and Politics, author and former 
MP, Dennis Gruending examines the competition 
between religious progressives and 
conservatives for power and influence 
in Canadian public life. Gruending looks 
closely at the political ideology and 
tactics employed by religious conservatives 
in the public arena, and he also documents 
the efforts by religious progressives 
struggling to have their voices heard on 
issues of equality, environment, human 
rights, justice, and peace. Ever with an 
eye on history and world events, Gruending 
follows this contest between progressives 
and conservatives from Parliament Hill to 
the church basements, synagogues, temples, 
and universities of the nation and abroad.


"Dennis Gruending brings both insight and 
hands-on experience to that fraught 
crossroads where faith and politics 
intersect, helping to trace not only 
the rise of a Canadian religious right 
but also the first stirrings of a reawakened 
religious left. His collected contemplations 
in Pulpit and Politics are a must-read for 
anyone who wishes to grasp the spiritual 
tensions at play behind Stephen Harper's 
majority government." 

- Marci McDonald, journalist and author 
of "The Armageddon Factor"

Author's Words:

There is a fine body of research and writing 
in the United States and elsewhere about the 
importance of understanding the motivation
and tactics of religious groups involved in
public life. Far less attention has been
devoted to the topic in Canada. I am determined
the "Pulpit and Politics" will fill that gap.

- from the Preface


.. in twentieth century Canada, the old
religious divisions have largely given way
to new polarizations that fall along a
conservative to liberal spectrum rather
than among denominations. The competition
now is increasingly found between religious
conservatives and progressives.

For example, conservative Catholics and
evangelical Protestants make common cause
on issues like same sex marriage and
publicly funded childcare. In fact, they
often feel more at home with one another
than they do with the liberal members in
their own congregations. There is an
enduring contest between religious
conservatives over who should wield the
greatest influence in Canadian public life...

The 1970's and 80's saw the emergence of a
growing network that supported a religiously
and socially conservative worldview. The
Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (for example)
began to lobby governments on issues like
abortion, Sunday shopping and gay rights...

These trends have been building for years -
the decline of mainline Protestantism, the
emergence of evangelicals, the Catholic
hierarchy's move to the right and its
growing co-operation with evangelical
groups - but until recently, they have
gone largely unnoticed...

Churches and religious organizations are
not monolithic in their thinking and action.
Many evangelicals, for example, are
considering whether their agenda should
remain narrowly focused on the personal
sphere, or if they should place more
emphasis on issues like climate change and

Add to these factors Canada's increasing
ethnic and religious diversity. The
country attracts about 250,000 immigrants
every year. They are drawn from many races
and creeds, and most politicians recognize
that religion generally plays a more
prominent role in the lives of many 
immigrants than it does in the lives of
native-born Canadians. There is a lively
competition among the political parties
for what is known as the "ethnic vote."

Religion appears poised to play a larger
role on Canada's public stage in the
foreseeable future than has been the
case for many years, but there is no
way to predict with any certainty which
faction will exert the greater political

Progressives and moderates within every
religious tradition have a role to play.
They do not have a monopoly on wisdom
and truth, but they can work together
with people of good will - religious
and secular - in a spirit of solidarity
and understanding. The alternative is
not pleasant to contemplate.

- from the Introduction and the Epilogue

My Thoughts:

Dennis Gruending was in Calgary recently
to give a number of talks on peace, and
we were privileged to have him speak at
St. David's United Church as part of his
visit to our city.

Gruending brings both an experienced progressive
stance and journalistic/communication skills
to his presentations. His prairie roots make
him ever mindful that he is part of a larger
social network than simply his own 'kind'
and, while his thinking is always on the
cutting edge of social thought, he knows he
has to bring his audience with him if he wants
to make any real political progress.

In this book, he holds out hope for religious
progressives and conservatives alike. To the
former he suggests that their cherished
tradition in Canada is not dead. To the latter,
he offers the invitation to move beyond the
confined thinking that has sometimes characterized

I view this book as having more substance and
realism than one I introduced here almost two 
years ago - "The Armageddon Factor" - by journalist
Marci McDonald.


While both writers have good communicative
skills, Greunding has the advantage - to my
estimation - of being a grass-roots politician
and communicator in small-group settings where
he must constantly deal "on the ground" with
the questions and criticisms of real people.


I was pleased to discover that, even though
Greunding is a practicing Roman Catholic who
has maintained good ties with his roots, his
thought on many subjects seems similar to my
own. While his politics is NDP and mine is
Liberal, we share similar perspectives.

His lay status, but keen interest in matters
religious is a nice complement (when I read him)
to my own background in ordained ministry as
well as my life in the secular academy.


I agree with what he sees as danger in various
forms of political and religious conservatism,
vying for greater influence in Canada today. But
I appreciate the fact that he does not write in an
overly dramatic way when has notes this influence.
The greater danger to a "right-wing takeover," it 
seems to me, is a divisive extremism from both 
ends of the spectrum, such as we too frequently 
detect in political drama coming from south of 
our border.

Extremists on both sides rarely speak or listen
to each other.

Greunding writes in a way that maintains the
attention of thoughtful Canadian evangelical
Protestants and conservative Catholics alike
as well as the more progressive folk in both 
denominational groups.

We know where he stands on matters, but his
style is always one of openness to dialogue.

For example - while he sees that the pressure
is on mainline, progressive Protestants and
Vatican II Catholics at this time in our 
history - he does not write off the continuing
influence of both groups. Neither does he
see their opposites (conservative Catholics
and Protestants) as solid blocks of people
who cannot be influenced by patient, reasonable

In other words, I believe that many evangelicals
with whom I might differ on certain issues like
same-sex marriage are still open-minded people
who have not shut themselves off to other
influences than that which guides their current
thinking. I could also add that I am aware of
some positive conservative perspectives that 
caution me against an unthinking liberal stance 
on such matters as abortion.

Baptist colleague Reginald Bibby has written much 
about the Canadian religious situation over the 
years. He writes from the perspective of a 

Catholic colleague Dennis Greunding writes as a 
journalist and politician. Both cover much of the 
same  material, but from different perspectives 
and with different critical skills and 

I am the richer for reading and continuing to
dialogue with both men, and I believe that you,
my readers, would discover the same.

Consider buying and carefully reading Greunding
as I have. It should be well worth your time
and effort.

And don't forget to consult his blog: 

Buy the book from


by Gregorio Allegri (1582-1652)

"Thoughts on a Choir Piece"
Posted February 17th, 2012

Last week I wrote about a troubling
encounter with the words of a very
famous piece of music "Miserere" 
by Gregorio Allegri (1582-1652).
If you missed it, please click:

I got helpful response from a number
of my fellow-choir members.

Let me summarize what I learned.

All expressed concern about the wording, 
based on Psalm 51. Singing the piece in 
Latin can protect us from direct contact 
with the words.

No doubt the true purpose of Lent is an 
appropriately humble admission of our 
failings and tendency to follow the evil 
rather than the good forces at work in 
all of us. 

However, most seemed to feel that the 
original wording and spiritual context of 
this beautiful music reflects times and 
places differing from our own (Hebrew Bible;
Counter-Reformation Roman Catholic Italy.)

The good to be taken from this reflection, 
is perhaps an even greater appreciation for 
the music itself. "We can sing what we cannot 
say" is how some have traditionally expressed 
it among us.

In the pure beauty of the music redemption can 
be found, it seems to me. This can speak to
believer and non-believer alike. 

Authentic expression is important. 

Judgment is not.



Chicago, IL

Sightings Website
February 20th, 2012

"Religion of Atheism"


Okanagan, BC

Personal Web Log
February 19th, 2012

"Slaves to our Obsessions"



- Mun’im Sirry

February 23rd, 2012


by Mark Gali

Christianity Today,
February 22nd, 2012



National Post
February 24th, 2012



The Guardian, UK
February 23rd, 2012



Anglican Journal
February 22nd, 2012



Indian Prelate Discouraged

Uca News
February 21st, 2012



Religious News Service
February 22nd, 2012



Conservative Catholic GOP Candidate
Rick Santorum takes on Obama

Huffington Report Canada
February 23rd, 2012



The Tablet, UK
February 25th, 2012



Anglican Journal
February 22nd, 2012



The Telegraph
February 24th, 2012



Uca News
February 23rd, 2012



Ecumenical News International
News Highlights
17 February 2012

Colombia to host international 
Lutheran meeting

Geneva (ENI news) - Under the theme 
"Together for a just, peaceful and 
reconciled world," the Lutheran World 
Federation's (LWF) governing Council 
will meet in Bogota, Colombia from 15 
to 20 June, 2012. The last meeting in 
Latin America of an LWF governing body 
was in 1990, when the eighth Assembly 
met in Curitiba, Brazil, according to 
a news release from Lutheran World 
Information. The Council, which meets 
annually, governs the Geneva-based 
federation between assemblies, which
are held every six years. 

Libyan Christian leaders 
stress reconciliation

(ENI news) - In Tripoli, fireworks were 
ignited, guns fired in the air and chants 
sounded on 17 February in celebrations 
marking the first anniversary of the Libyan 
uprising that ended Colonel Moammar Gadhafi's 
42-year rule. But amist the fanfare, Christian 
leaders emphasized the need for comprehensive 
reconciliation and sustained peace efforts to
end instability in the North African country. 
"The people seem much happier as from last 
October (when Gadhafi was captured) ... 
They are joyful, not withstanding the 
security situations they are facing, but 
we still have to keep praying and stressing 
peace and reconciliation," the Rev. Daniel 
Farrugia, the vicar general of the Vicariate 
of Tripoli, told ENInews in a telephone 

Vatican leaks scandal looms large 
at meeting to elevate new cardinals

Vatican City (ENI news) - It isn't anywhere 
on the official agenda, but as Roman Catholic 
leaders meet in Rome this weekend, looming 
in the background will be a recent string of 
Vatican leaks that reveal a bitter power 
struggle among the hierarchy. In recent weeks, 
several confidential memos and documents by 
senior Vatican officials have appeared in the 
Italian media. The leak is "unprecedented in 
recent history," said Massimo Faggioli, a 
church historian at the University of St. 
Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, Religion 
News Service reports. In a formal ceremony 
on 18 February, Benedict will elevate 22 
clergymen from 14 countries to the rank 
of cardinal. 


20 February 2012

Prison drama takes Ecumenical Jury prize 
at the Berlin International Film Festival

Berlin (ENI news) As the Berlin International 
Film Festival, or "Berlinale," reached its 
climax on 18 February, the Ecumenical Jury 
announced its choice of films to be commended 
for their artistic treatment of existential, 
spiritual, and social issues. This year the 
top prize went to "Caesar Must Die." 
Directors Paolo and Vittorio Taviani spent 
six months filming rehearsals for a production 
of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" performed by 
inmates of Rome's maximum security Rebibbia 
Prison. The resulting docudrama, in which 
the themes of the play echo the actor's own 
experiences, was a hit at this year's festival, 
picking up the coveted "Golden Bear" award from 
the main International Jury as well as the 
Ecumenical Jury's prize.


21 February 2012

Catholic group steps up 
campaign against arms

Paris (ENI news) - A leading French Catholic 
organization, the CCFD-Terre Solidaire, has 
joined forces with the human rights groups 
Amnesty International and Oxfam to campaign 
for a "bullet-proof" United Nations arms treaty. 
The CCFD (Comite Catholique Contre la Faim et 
pour le Developpement/Catholic Committee Against 
Hunger and for Development) says the absence of 
international rules in the trade of conventional 
arms contributes to the loss of thousands of 
lives every year and also strangles development 
in many countries. 

Lenten reflections focus on water as 
God's gift and a human right

(ENI news) - A series of weekly reflections 
are available during Lent focusing on the 
"economy of water," offering suggestions for 
how people can work toward water justice in 
their communities. The Seven Weeks for Water 
began 20 February, with additional resources 
produced for 22 March, which is World Water 
Day and Maundy Thursday.

Violent repression of church demonstration 
in Congo raises concerns

(ENI news) - After the Congolese Roman Catholic 
church challenged the credibility of election 
results in which President Joseph Kabila was 
declared the winner, the stabbing death of a 
nun and the arrest of three priests and two 
nuns in February are causing concern. The 
unease heightened after police on 16 February 
violently broke up a peaceful march the church 
had organized to demand truth about the November 
polls. Two weeks earlier, Sr. Mary Lilliane 
Mapalayi had been killed at a school in western 
Kasai province where she served as a treasurer.


22 February 2012

On Ash Wednesday, Episcopalians 
take it to the streets

(ENI news) - Five years ago, the Rev. Teresa K.M. 
Danieley had an epiphany of sorts. If people can 
grab breakfast on the go or pay a bill from their 
cell phone, she thought, why shouldn't they be 
able to get their ashes in a flash? That's why, 
on Ash Wednesday 2007, Danieley planted herself 
in full priestly regalia at a busy intersection 
in St. Louis, smudging the sign of the cross on 
the foreheads of bicyclists, drivers and bus 
passengers, reports Religion News Service. 

Fears grow Syrian conflict 
may slide into sectarian civil war

Geneva (ENI news) - The increase of sectarian 
violence among warring sides in the Syrian 
conflict has heightened fears the brutal 11-
month crackdown by the Assad regime on pro-
democracy forces could see the country slide 
into an all-out civil war fanned by religious 
animosity. "It is vital that all sides refrain 
from targeting people because of their ethnic 
or religious identity, and that every effort 
is made to avoid further civilian casualties," 
said Rupert Colville, spokesman for the United 
Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. 

Catholic Priest resigns 
over new Mass translation

(ENI news) - A pastor in Belleville, IL, 
has become the first Catholic priest to 
resign over the new translation of the Mass,
which was introduced throughout most of the 
English-speaking world last November. Bishop 
Edward Braxton wrote in a letter to 
parishioners last week: "Father William J. 
Rowe, 72, has resigned from his position as 
Pastor of St. Mary Parish in Mount Carmel…
because, as he has told me forthrightly on 
several occasions, he simply could not and 
would not pray the prayers of the Mass as 
they are translated in the new Roman Missal."


23 February 2012

New Zealand churches mark anniversary 
of devastating earthquake

(ENI news) - As Christians worldwide 
marked the beginning of Lent, New Zealand 
church leaders gathered with Christchurch 
residents to mark the first anniversary of 
the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that devastated 
the city one year ago. Some who attended 
commemorative church services on Ash 
Wednesday received ashes marked on the 
forehead in the form of a cross, 
symbolizing undying hope in the midst 
of loss and suffering. Others scattered 
ashes of loved ones. 

Indonesia may pass new law 
on religious identification

(ENI news) - Indonesians who do 
not identify with state-sanctioned 
religions may soon be permitted to 
leave the religion column on electronic 
identity cards blank under new government 
proposals that acknowledge religious
minorities while grouping them with 
unbelievers. The Indonesian constitution 
guarantees freedom of religion, but only
six faiths - Islam, Protestantism, 
Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and 
Confucianism - are officially recognized. 
Existing law requires followers of minority 
religions, such as adherents to the Baha'i 
faith and the 200,000 followers of the 
Ahmadiyah Islamic sect, as well as atheists, 
agnostics, and animists, to hold a card 
identifying them as a follower of one of 
these six religions.



Provided by Sojourners Online

February 20th, 2012

"In God's wildness lies the hope of the 
world — the great fresh unblighted, 
unredeemed wilderness. The galling harness 
of civilization drops off, and wounds heal 
ere we are aware."

- John Muir 


February 21st, 2012

"Come back to the heartbeat, the pulse, 
the rhythm we all walk to, regardless of 
nation or color. Come back to the breath 
– inhale, take the world deep into your 
lungs; exhale, give yourself back fully. 
This is what the body says: release the 
peace that lives within your skin."

- Gayle Brandeis from, 
  "The Body Politic of Peace"


February 22nd, 2012

"Carefully I crafted a loop with the string 
and tossed it into the river./

I never caught a fish with buttercups or a 
knotted string./ 

But I saw them swimming by in fleets of 
flashing silver/

And for me, that was enough."

- Emily Vizzo


February 23rd, 2012

"Work is love made visible. And if you cannot 
work with love but only with distaste, it is 
better that you should leave your work and sit 
at the gate of the temple and take alms of 
those who work with joy."

- Kahlil Gibran


February 24th, 2012

"If you look for truth, you may find comfort 
in the end; if you look for comfort, you will 
get neither comfort nor truth, only soft soap 
and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the 
end, despair."

- C.S Lewis



On Feb. 21, 1965 - former Black Muslim leader 
Malcolm X was shot and killed by assassins 
identified as Black Muslims as he was about 
to address a rally in New York City; he was 39.


On Feb. 23, 1954 -  the first mass inoculation 
of children against polio with the Salk vaccine 
began in Pittsburgh.



"Prayer is as natural to man as speaking,
sighing and seeing, as natural as the
palpitation of a loving heart; and actually,
that is what prayer is: a murmur, a sigh,
a glance, a heartbeat of love."

- Ernesto Cardenal

What is your definition of prayer? Would it
include "a murmur, a sigh, a glance, a
heartbeat of love"? Is prayer only set phrases
from a book, or listening to someone else
repeat those phrases on our behalf? Or it "as
natural as speaking, sighing and seeing?"

Cardenal is saying that any acknowledgement 
or expression of love is prayer. If prayer
has become a dull, rote exercise in devotion,
it may be necessary to return to the "loving
heart" and leave printed pages aside.

- Mattew Fox