• Willie James Jennings, with a really lovely description of theological education at the end of his After Whiteness:

    To be involved in theological education is to long for eternity and the end of death. It is to seek the blessed state where our words start to do new work by first joining the chorus of the words of those who live forever in the Lord and who sound the healing and redeeming voice of the living God. Then our words will heal. Then our words will build up. Then our words will help form life together. Then our words will give witness to a destiny only visible through love. Talking together then is a practice aimed at eternity, and it matters more than we often realize for bringing our hope into focus. This finally is the goal of this book and the task I want to leave you with—to bring hope into focus.

  • Willie James Jennings, After Whiteness:

    Theological education could mark a new path for Western education, one that builds a vision of education that cultivates the new belonging that this world longs to inhabit. But we cannot give witness to that newness if we imagine that our fundamental struggle is one of institutional survival, or the challenge of educational delivery systems, or the alignment of financial modeling with our desired outcomes, or the expansion of pedagogical models. All these matters are important, but they are not where the struggle meets us or from where the vision of our futures will come.

  • Willie James Jennings, After Whiteness:

    Theological education is also about resistance. It is the seed from which may grow beautiful habitation or from which may grow mind-bending captivity. Yet how do you design for intellectual resistance? This may be the most pressing question in theological education today, because we theological educators are failing miserably at precisely this—at imagining a form of resistance that builds community.

  • Yesterday I saw a tweet floating around asking for your “personal canon,” that is, which are the books that you have used to understand the world? Limiting myself only to written works (and not, say, music or film), here’s what I would say, roughly ordered according to when I encountered these books:

    I don’t have much reading from my childhood represented; I’m not sure that much reading from before college has stuck with me in this world-shaping way. My list also skews decidedly modern (only three premodern texts), which is a little embarassing for me as a medieval theologian.

    I might develop this into a fuller blog post, detailing why each of these books belong to my canon and how they inform my understanding of the world. I’m sure I’ll think of other books to add, too (and maybe, upon further refletion, remove some of these).

  • This timeline of the Uvalde shooting—a student calls at 12:03 and, over the next 45 minutes, pleads for police, all while officers stood outside—is horrifying and damning. Lord, have mercy.

  • Elizabeth Bruenig:

    Violence begets injury begets death, and any culture debased to vacillating between violent struggle and idle nihilism is shuddering toward its end as a culture of death. And a culture of death is like a prophecy, or a sickness: It bespeaks itself in worsening phases. Right now, we find ourselves foreclosing upon our own shared future both recklessly and deliberately—and perhaps, gradually, beginning to behave as if there is no future for us at all; soon, I sometimes worry, we may find ourselves faced with a darkening present, no faith in our future, and a doomed tendency to chase violence with violence.

  • Robert Zaretsky, on what a deeper appreciation of the word ‘tragedy’ reveals about tragedies like school shootings:

    Yet if we could wring out the word’s semantic saturation, we might glimpse an earlier and more useful use of the word. A usage, in effect, that reminds us that tragedy remains Greek to us. In his recent book, Tragedy, the Greeks and Us, the philosopher Simon Critchley explores how the ancient Greek tragedians understood their world. Tragedy is not simply something that happens to us, the way that, say, a meteor happened to dinosaurs 65 million years ago or, for that matter, an earthquake happened to the residents of Lisbon 250 years ago. Both events were out of the control of its victims.

    Not so with real tragedies, though. The works of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides reveal the human factor in the making of tragedy. As Critchley writes, “Tragedy requires some degree of complicity on our part in the disaster that destroys us.” It is not that the gods did this to us, but that we collaborated with the gods to do this to us. The upshot, as Critchley makes clear, is terrifying: “Tragedy requires our collusion with [our] fate. In other words, it requires no small measure of freedom.”

  • I’m thinking today of Bob Dylan’s incredible “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” today.

    Disillusioned words like bullets bark
    As human gods aim for their mark
    Make everything from toy guns that spark
    To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
    It’s easy to see without looking too far
    That not much is really sacred.

  • Gary Wills wrote of guns as our Moloch, one day after the Sandy Hook shooting on December 14, 2012. Nothing has changed.

    That horror cannot be blamed just on one unhinged person. It was the sacrifice we as a culture made, and continually make, to our demonic god. We guarantee that crazed man after crazed man will have a flood of killing power readily supplied him. We have to make that offering, out of devotion to our Moloch, our god. The gun is our Moloch. We sacrifice children to him daily—sometimes, as at Sandy Hook, by directly throwing them into the fire-hose of bullets from our protected private killing machines, sometimes by blighting our children’s lives by the death of a parent, a schoolmate, a teacher, a protector.

  • Maggie Nelson, on climate change:

    As a problem gets harder to solve, ignoring it becomes all the more tempting. Ignore it long enough, and eventually it becomes unsolvable. Giving up can then seem to deliver a measure of relief, in that it appears, at least for a moment, to liberate us from the agonies of our failing efforts. But such relief cannot last, as the unsolved problem will continue to create problems and cause suffering. This suffering rarely feels like freedom.

  • One of the things I miss most about Boston is living in the interreligious community that was the Barton House. On Good Friday 2020, we gathered to commemorate the way of the cross with a service my friend Laurel and I wrote together. As I review those words we wrote and prayed two years ago, I’m reminded of just how spiritually nourishing and edifying that community was for us all.

  • Abraham Heschel:

    To us a single act of injustice—cheating in business, exploitation of the poor—is slight; to the prophets, a disaster. To us injustice is injurious to the welfare of the people; to the prophets it is a deathblow to existence: to us, an episode; to them, a catastrophe, a threat to the world.

  • From David Graeber & David Wengrow’s The Dawn of Everything:

    American citizens have the right to travel wherever they like – provided, of course, they have the money for transport and accommodation. They are free from ever having to obey the arbitrary orders of superiors – unless, of course, they have to get a job. In this sense, it is almost possible to say the Wendat had play chiefs and real freedoms, while most of us today have to make do with real chiefs and play freedoms. Or to put the matter more technically: what the Hadza, Wendat or ‘egalitarian’ people such as the Nuer seem to have been concerned with were not so much formal freedoms as substantive ones. They were less interested in the right to travel than in the possibility of actually doing so (hence, the matter was typically framed as an obligation to provide hospitality to strangers). Mutual aid – what contemporary European observers often referred to as ‘communism’ – was seen as the necessary condition for individual autonomy.

    I’m not sure if Graeber & Wengrow invent this distinction—I assume not—but distinguishing ‘formal’ freedoms from ‘substantive’ freedoms is helpful. My sense is that the political left in the United States has largely ceded talk of “freedom” to the right; you don’t often (or, at least, I don’t often) encounter arguments for leftist politics on the basis of freedom. But in fact, I think, the left does want “freedom” for people and their proposals can help facilitate such freedom. The difference is the left is less concerned with formal freedom (the concern of the right) than it is with substantive freedom.

    This is one piece of Graeber & Wengrow’s work that I really appreciate. They repeatedly stress that American indigenous peoples had a worldview closer to the contemporary US than European Enlightenment thinkers, because American indigenous peoples were concerned with (substantive) freedom. It’s a clever rhetorical move: both the original inhabitants of the American continents and the present inhabitants of the American continents are interested in freedom; the difference is, in what that freedom consists.

  • David Bentley Hart, on one’s just deserts before God:

    I remain convinced that no one, logically speaking, could merit eternal punishment; but I also accept the obverse claim that no one could merit grace. This does not mean, however, that grace must be rare in order to be truly gracious, as so many in the infernalist party so casually assume it must. Grace universally given is still grace. A gift made to everyone is no less a gift, and a gift that is intrinsically precious need not be rare to be an act of the highest generosity. Conversely, that gift becomes no more precious—indeed, it becomes much less so—if it is certified in its value by being distributed only parsimoniously.

  • Fantasies of theology’s haloed past too easily become policies for church police in the present.

    Mark Jordan, in Transforming Fire: Imagining Christian Teaching

  • Pope Francis in Fratelli tutti on forgiveness and accountability:

    Nor does this mean calling for forgiveness when it involves renouncing our own rights, confronting corrupt officials, criminals or those who would debase our dignity. We are called to love everyone, without exception; at the same time, loving an oppressor does not mean allowing him to keep oppressing us, or letting him think that what he does is acceptable. On the contrary, true love for an oppressor means seeking ways to make him cease his oppression; it means stripping him of a power that he does not know how to use, and that diminishes his own humanity and that of others. Forgiveness does not entail allowing oppressors to keep trampling on their own dignity and that of others, or letting criminals continue their wrongdoing. Those who suffer injustice have to defend strenuously their own rights and those of their family, precisely because they must preserve the dignity they have received as a loving gift from God. If a criminal has harmed me or a loved one, no one can forbid me from demanding justice and ensuring that this person – or anyone else – will not harm me, or others, again. This is entirely just; forgiveness does not forbid it but actually demands it.

  • Phil Christman, “Misfortune Is Not a Communicable Disease”:

    No, what mystifies me is the insistence on acting like having to see or talk to the homeless is in itself a social problem, not because they’re homeless but because you had to see it. I think I’m a pretty sinful person, but that feeling I simply don’t relate to. If the person is screaming at you or following you or physically attacking you, you’re within your rights to get mad, obviously, as you would at anyone who does those things, but if the person is simply standing there and asking you for a tenner, you say “I’m sorry, man, I don’t have it, but good luck” and you keep walking. To feel anger at that person (rather than at, say, the mayor, or the governor, or the President, or God, or yourself) just makes no sense to me, except as the expression of a deep, atavistic human instinct that tells us that misery is a contagious disease.

  • Something that’s long irritiated me is when people excuse their own rudeness or cruelty by claiming to be “blunt” or “brutally honest.” That may be, but more often than not, I find that such people actually just can’t be bothered to put in the effort to be polite to other people by filtering out whatever happens to pop into their head. Phil Christman’s comments on that recent terrible NYT piece about hating one’s spouse offer further insight on a similar phenomenon:

    I feel like I run into this assumption all the time, that the meanest take or harshest thought you might have about someone else, the most reductive, one-datum-reflected-in-a-funhouse-mirror-so-it’s-all-you-see sort of vision, is held up as some truth that we’re normally too weak to face. A person who is casually cruel always defends themselves by saying “Well at least I’m honest.” Honesty about what is running through your head right this second isn’t the same as honesty in the sense of actually making the effort to get other people and things right. The second thing takes forever, which is one reason why a marriage does.

  • Frodo, of Gollum: It’s a pity Bilbo didn’t kill him when he had the chance.

    Gandalf: Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo’s hand. Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends. My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play yet, for good or ill before this is over. The pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many.

    I’ve always liked this line from Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings—very similar to the original in Tolkien’s novel, but slightly more economical. I’m not sure I would agree now that “many that live deserve death”—that seems overharsh—and I’m not sure that the reason we should be slow to deal out death is because of a certain near-sightedness; as if someone with farther and keener vision might be so entitled to deal out death.

    Indeed, I would probably want to switch the two quantities Gandalf uses here: perhaps it is the case that some that live deserve death; it is certainly the case that many that die deserve life. That alone—that a great many people are dealt death rather than life when they are born into poverty, when they are denied necessary medical care, when they are incarcerated at rates disproportionate to their crime, when they are killed by the state, when they are victims of violence, etc., etc.—that alone should give us pause before further perpetuating death. Death, once dealt, cannot be withdrawn; not by us.

    I like, too, how Gandalf recommends pity as a sort of default disposition toward those we encounter; not pity in a patronizing or paternalistic sense, but rather pity as a fellow-feeling of compassion for the sufferings or distresses of others.

  • Phil Christman:

    I don’t know whether my species will survive climate change, or whether, if it does so, it will learn anything. If we do survive, I hope one of the things “we” learn is our own limitations, and to love what we cannot identify with; to love what isn’t “we.”

  • Phil Christman, on why cops are cops:

    Not every cop is Eric Adams, still less Darren Wilson or Derek Chauvin, but how likely is it that even the nicest one isn’t held in place, socially, and held in power, socially, by colleagues who think exactly what Eric Adams does? By people whose highest loyalty is not to you, and not, pace Chesterton, to some abstract idea symbolized by a badge, but to force?

    He’s talking about Eric Adams reinstating solitary confinement in New York City jails. Though the function of police is purportedly “to serve and protect,” the reality of policing in the United States suggests a different motivation than service or protection (or, at least, it is not the whole of a community whom cops are serving and protecting): perhaps cops, even good cops, are cops because (as Christman elsewhere puts it) “they actually kinda do like force as such.”

  • A quotation commonly attributed to Archbishop Desmond Tutu (r.i.p.):

    If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.

    I cannot locate an original source verifying the attribution, but it sounds like something he’d say, anyway.

  • Johann Baptist Metz:

    Toward the end of the Second World War, when I was sixteen years old, I was taken out of school and forced into the army. […] One evening the company commander sent me with a message to battalion headquarters. I wandered all night long through destroyed, burning villages and farms, and when in the morning I returned to my company I found only the dead, nothing but the dead, overrun by a combined bomber and tank assault. I could see only dead and empty faces […] I remember nothing but a wordless cry.[…] A fissure had opened in my powerful Bavarian-Catholic socialization, with its impregnable confidence. What would happen if one took this sort of remembrance not to the psychologist but into the Church?

  • Martin Luther King, Jr., in “Pilgrimage to Nonviolence”:

    Any religion that professes to be concerned about the souls of men and is not concerned about the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them and the social conditions that cripple them is a spiritually moribund religion awaiting burial.

  • El víacrucis

    Holy Week of any year—that week of prayer and fasting ordered to the cross and, eventually, the empty tomb—always has a nearness to the first Holy Week, as the drama of the liturgy moves modern-day Christians through the drama of the passion. Holy Week 2020, however, seemed especially near. The reality of coronavirus was setting in, along with the bitter realization it would be a long time before we could safely gather with family, friends, and religious communities. People all around the world were (and still are) dying, and the coronavirus crisis exacerbated existing injustices in our world: poverty, lack of access to healthcare, racism. It was not hard to imagine the disciples' despair, their feeling that the world crumbled before them.

    I was (and am) fortunate to live in an intentional community, committed to shared living in an interreligious space. It was around this time last year that we began celebrating liturgy together regularly—weekly prayer services, a Passover Seder, and the Easter Triduum.

    Laurel Marshall Potter—colleague, friend, housemate—and I composed the following prayer service for our community. Our community—Jews and Christians, Salvadorans and Americans and Koreans, students and young professionals—gathered on Good Friday 2020 to reflect on the movement of the passion and what it revealed of the suffering of our world. I am grateful to Laurel for permitting me to share this service on this site; I am grateful, too, to our community for affording us a space for prayer and reflection.

    opening prayer

    The way of the cross is an apocalyptic event in that it is a revelatory event. The cross reveals the injustices of our world, the manner in which those in power gain and keep power, the complicity each of us has in communal sin. Yet it reveals too the depths of God’s love. It is not God’s will that this injustice persist; it is not God’s will that the powerful remain so; it is not God’s will that the guilt of sin stains us forever. Jesus’s long walk to Golgotha makes manifest to us who God is: the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of the prophets, the God of the living, the God of mercy and justice. This God walks the way of death in solidarity with all who suffer, as one who suffers, that they might suffer no more. The way ends on the cross in death—and by that very death, so ends death itself.

    V. El sacrificio verdadero es un corazón penitente.
    ℟. Dios, tú no despreciarás un corazón penitente y roto.

    the first station. Jesus is condemned to death

    Coronavirus has exposed what the poorest and most vulnerable among us have long known—ours is a culture of death. Eager for profits, for consumer goods, for power, our culture readily sacrifices its poor, its elderly, its vulnerable to the market. Jesus, like many today, is a victim of this culture: as religious authorities and the crowd looked on, he was condemned to death lest empire lose its grip on its colonial possession. Pilate thought he could exempt himself from this culture of death; he thought he could wash his hands of the violence. Little did he know his complicity in death is his responsibility for death.

    V. El sacrificio verdadero es un corazón penitente.
    ℟. Dios, tú no despreciarás un corazón penitente y roto.

    the second station. Jesus carries his cross.

    The poor and marginalized disproportionately carry the burden of the culture of death. Black and brown bodies, women, queer people, people who are immunocompromised, ill and disabled, prisoners, the elderly, and the abused all bear the weight of structures that uphold kingdoms of death.

    V. El sacrificio verdadero es un corazón penitente.
    ℟. Dios, tú no despreciarás un corazón penitente y roto.

    the third station. Jesus falls for the first time.

    Under the weight of the cross, that symbol of death’s reign, Jesus stumbles. His stumble is that of the economic poor, then and now—those who subsist on inadequate wages, who do not have access to affordable healthcare or housing or proper nourishment. The weight is unbearable; he is brought to his knees, and not for the last time. His journey is only just beginning—how, under the weight of poverty and homelessness and material instability, can it be borne?

    V. El sacrificio verdadero es un corazón penitente.
    ℟. Dios, tú no despreciarás un corazón penitente y roto.

    the fourth station. Jesus meets his mother, Mary.

    How acute Mary’s own pain when she sees the suffering of her child! When we love our family, chosen and given, we open ourselves up the pain of their suffering. Our relationships make us vulnerable, and they also make us human. Mary is not absent from Jesus’s crucifixion, even though it is painful, hopeless, maddening.

    V. El sacrificio verdadero es un corazón penitente.
    ℟. Dios, tú no despreciarás un corazón penitente y roto.

    the fifth station. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry his cross

    Cuando el pobre crea en la pobre
    Ya podremos cantar libertad
    Cuando la/el pobre crea en el/la pobre,
    Construiremos la fraternidad

    Cuando el pobre busca al pobre
    y nace la organización
    es que empieza nuestra liberación.
    Cuando el pobre anuncia al pobre
    la esperanza que Él nos dio,
    Ya su Reino entre nosotros nació.

    Coro

    V. El sacrificio verdadero es un corazón penitente.
    ℟. Dios, tú no despreciarás un corazón penitente y roto.

    the sixth station. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.

    Kind gestures are not worthless. Though much more is needed to interrupt the crucifixions that surround us, we cannot deem small kindnesses unimportant. Veronica knows she cannot stop the parade of death, but she risks drawing near to Jesus to offer a fleeting moment of relief. Immediate, compassionate relief must be part of our response to the culture of death.

    V. El sacrificio verdadero es un corazón penitente.
    ℟. Dios, tú no despreciarás un corazón penitente y roto.

    the seventh station. Jesus falls for the second time.

    Again, death’s weight is too much—Jesus falls. He fears for himself, certainly, but he fears for his family, his disciples, his people. Jesus is not free of the anxiety of death; neither are we. Especially in times of uncertainty as our physical health is at risk, so too is our mental health. Worry, anxiety, fear, depression—these and other demons torment us. When we are responsible for the well-being of others, our mental health is only further strained. We feel we can hardly bear it.

    V. El sacrificio verdadero es un corazón penitente.
    ℟. Dios, tú no despreciarás un corazón penitente y roto.

    the eighth station. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem.

    Jerusalem was weak compared to Rome, but strong compared to Nazareth. These privileged women, residents of a politically strategic city, express culturally sanctioned horror and pity for the poor radical from backwater Galilee. They play their role in the drama of Roman crucifixions. Jesus says to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.” Their sense of security is an illusion, and their false pity is damning. We are all both complicit and dehumanized by the culture of death.

    V. El sacrificio verdadero es un corazón penitente.
    ℟. Dios, tú no despreciarás un corazón penitente y roto.

    the ninth station. Jesus falls for the third time.

    Even in moments of physical and mental strength, we are not immune to social isolation and spiritual desolation. Jesus’s third fall is perhaps the most crushing: it is in this moment that he realizes how alone he is. He has found small comforts along the way—the tears of his mother, the strength of Simon, the cloth of Veronica—but from here on out he is desperately alone. Our culture of death is a culture of isolation, for everyone dies alone. In that isolation is a spiritual desolation; apart from the fabric of our society, what meaning can our lives have? The isolation of coronavirus is a symptom of a deeper sickness: a culture that does not allow us community and solidarity.

    V. El sacrificio verdadero es un corazón penitente.
    ℟. Dios, tú no despreciarás un corazón penitente y roto.

    the tenth station. Jesus is stripped of his clothes.

    “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a socialist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a trade unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me—
    and there was no one left to speak for me.”

    Having robbed us of our solidarity, the culture of death, when it comes for us, strips us of all pretense of security, of control, and of belonging. We fear the day that our illusion of invincibility is stripped from us.

    V. El sacrificio verdadero es un corazón penitente.
    ℟. Dios, tú no despreciarás un corazón penitente y roto.

    the eleventh station. Jesus is nailed to the cross.

    The nails by which Jesus is fixed to the cross is the physical pain and torture by which empire keeps its power. Jesus was a discontent, a threat, a rabble rouser—he was a problem that required a “just” solution. Crucifixion—state-sanctioned violence—is that “justice,” a demonic perversion of God’s true justice. Jesus cries out as the nails pierce his flesh, but the soldiers care not; he gasps for breath as the cross is lifted up, but the crowd jeers still. Empire has power; empire keeps power. It is the way of the world.

    V. El sacrificio verdadero es un corazón penitente.
    ℟. Dios, tú no despreciarás un corazón penitente y roto.

    the twelfth station. Jesus dies on the cross.

    “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?” The Gospel writers cite the psalmist in the moment of Jesus’s death on the cross, and claim that Jesus really does die—he goes to the place of the dead. He dies torn between belief in a God who has promised life and the reality of his own death.

    V. El sacrificio verdadero es un corazón penitente.
    ℟. Dios, tú no despreciarás un corazón penitente y roto.

    the thirteenth station. Jesus is taken down from the cross.

    After all this, the long walk from Pilate’s court to Golgotha, the end is almost anticlimactic. Jesus dies, not without a shout, but he dies nonetheless. What remains verges on mundane—he must be removed from the cross, arrangements must be made, a funeral must be planned. There will be time enough to grieve later; for now, there are things to be done. There is a numbness; someone who was once a fixture of our lives is now gone.

    V. El sacrificio verdadero es un corazón penitente.
    ℟. Dios, tú no despreciarás un corazón penitente y roto.

    the fourteenth station. Jesus is placed in the tomb.

    I remember one time at a funeral in Santa Tecla: a family stood around their grandmother’s grave as the gravediggers began to shovel dirt on top of her lowered coffin. As the dirt fell and hit the bottom, the thud was the only sound we could hear. The finality of the dirt on the coffin was the only real thing in the world. It was a final goodbye. The disciples must have felt this same kind of grief at the finality of Jesus’s death and the end of what they thought was the call of their lives.1

    V. El sacrificio verdadero es un corazón penitente.
    ℟. Dios, tú no despreciarás un corazón penitente y roto.

    closing prayer

    The disciples were sure it was over. Even if Jesus’s voice echoed in their heads, it was just that—an echo. There was little else they could do but return to their fishing nets and try to carry on with some semblance of a normal life. Even though Jesus defied their expectations in life, still they could not imagine a reality beyond death. That’s what death meant. It was over.

    As the disciples could not imagine a future for Jesus beyond his death, neither can we imagine a future beyond the cultures of death that constrain our lives.

    Walking this way of the cross with Jesus, we see the pervasiveness of this death culture. We have seen the seemingly insurmountable power of injustice, and we have witnessed our own complicity in that injustice. It seems foolish to hope that it could be otherwise, that we could be freed of the structures of sin that constrain our freedom and flourishing, that the systems of injustice could be dismantled. Who will beat the guns into plowshares when there are wars to be fought?

    Yet this is our hope. This is what God has promised, again and again in the Law and in the Prophets and in the Gospels. We know not when or how, but we do know this—God always finds the unlooked-for solution. God always creates new realities and paradigms beyond our imaginative capacities to be in relationship with us. This is our hope, foolish though it may seem, that God will do good on God’s promise. On this darkest of days, out of the very depths of despair, we can but cry our foolish hope: “Hosanna, hosanna in the highest.”

    ℟. Glory be to God, now and forever. Amen.


    1. This story is Laurel’s. ↩︎

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