News & Articles

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A Leaf Falls 

When we moved to central Indiana forty-four years ago, one of my wife’s cousins, a graduate of Indiana University, told us that we’d love the long fall season in our new home.  My wife’s cousin was certainly right.  Just when it seems that autumn colors are at their peak, the colors become even more vibrant. …

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Glaciers

One of the most familiar Zen koans, or puzzles, is the question “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”    In an unexpected way, science has discovered an answer to the question.  And the scientific answer to the ancient koan is “yes, a…

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Homecomings

Coming home.  Homecoming.  This is a tradition centuries old and even older for species such as birds who migrate thousands of miles to return to nesting sites.  I was thinking about the attraction of human homecomings last weekend when I attended Franklin College’s annual fall celebration by the same name–Homecoming.  A past student of mine…

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The Beauty of a Slow Read

There are some books that can be read quickly.  There are other books that should come with a note stamped on the cover: “Best read slowly.”   One of the books that deserve a slow read is When the Music Stopped: Willy Rosen’s Holocaust, a work by a friend and colleague, Dr. Casey Hayes.  Is the…

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Seeing the Whole Picture

History has always fascinated me.  Some of my school friends hated memorizing dates, battles, and presidents, but I loved all of that.  But I also found history to sometimes be confusing.   From my Sunday school experience, I knew that the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt was the most important…

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What is a Saint?

One of my favorite spiritual writers, Thomas Merton, offered an important insight about saints.  He wisely observed that saints are not perfectionists.  That is, we shouldn’t expect a saint to be someone who has lived a perfect life or has even aspired to live such a life.  Saints are human beings; people who have struggled,…