To Do Bible


LEARNING OF the death of my friend, Minka, via Facebook sent me on a used book quest to find her out-of-print works. Finally a copy of Praying from the Free Throw Line – For Now was procured from Thriftbooks. Reading it has not only triggered old memories (for I can hear her voice as I read it) but so many other realizations as well. We learn from our teachers and she was my teacher in so many ways. Even things she did not teach me, I see clearly, seem to have grown from seeds we planted together. All that follows is such. What is my process for working with Bible?

When readings the meditations in Praying From the Free Throw Line it’s easy to recognize the genesis of my own voice. But it’s also easy to recognize the fountainhead of my own theological errors. Minka’s knowledge of Biblical Languages (which she taught at two seminaries) does not mean that her final conclusions are safeguarded from error. I was only too happy at one time to hear her conclusions sine they justified my own actions. They were wrong, sinful. The process needs correction, not rejection.

The Christian texts of the Bible, of course, flow from the Jewish texts. This is not only a prophetic or historical claim but also a stylistic one. In its current form, the Jewish scripture is presented as three components: Torah, Prophets, and Writings. In Hebrew, תורה Torah, נביאים Nevi’im, and כתובים Khetuvim. These are abbreviated as תנ”ך Tanach. The Torah is the first five books. This is usually translated law, but law is only a part of the text (and the texts are only part of the law). The word also means instruction. Perhaps it’s best to read it as mainly meaning “instruction”? I don’t know. The guys at Bible Project take that to mean the entire text of the Bible is Meditation Literature – something to chew on, over and over. The Prophets include a few books that many Christians might not consider “prophetic” such as Judges, Samuel and the Kings. However, the Writings include some considered prophetic by Christians (Psalms, Song of Songs and Daniel) as well as some considered “only” history like the Chronicles. The New Testament is also parsed out this way: The Prophet scroll is the Apocalypse. The Writings are Acts and the Epistles. The Torah is the Gospels. This is all meditation literature. Some of it might be history or myth (as we understand those words today), but all of it is God-breathed meditation literature.

So, when we hear Jesus use the imperative and command his Father to “forgive” from the Cross, there’s as much there to meditate on as when Eve uses the Sacred Tetragrammaton to describe God, even though that name has not yet been revealed to Moses. How is that important? Well, the Rabbis who complied the scriptures in Babylon put the Name of God on the lips of our First Mother, so why? Yeshua probably spoke in Aramaic from the Cross. Why did the Greek Authors take the imperative?

For a Christian, a better way to ask is, “Why did the Holy Spirit inspire the authors to do this?”

And we might spend a whole week chewing on it in prayer.

And there begins my method for doing Bible or, in Hebrew, לעשות תנ׳ך l-asot tanach to do tanach: you read in the context of the whole thing – a unified story that leads to Jesus – and you meditate. If something catches your eye, you follow it. Where does it go? This is why the four Gospels are the Torah Scroll in the New Covenant: Jesus is the living word of God, the embodiment not of the Law but the very Giver of the Law himself, not “in human form” but incarnate as a human. Under the Law he himself gave. When he pulls wine out of the Mikveh jars or enters the debate between Hillel and Shammai, when he asks about the Divine Image on the Roman Coin or says “I AM” with enough force to scare people, we need to ask not only “What’s going on here?” but also, “What is the Divine Author saying to us here?” and also, “What is the human writer trying to tell us here?” and also, “How can we communicate this to others?” Each question is equally important for different reasons. When Paul works out his Daddy issues with Timothy, that’s one thing. When a preacher in the pulpit at Mass points out that’s what Paul is doing, that’s another thing. When a listener, working on the same things as Paul, hears the sermon and is moved to tears, that’s a third thing. Read. Mark. Learn. Inwardly Digest. And Proclaim. All of these are needed but at different places. This is how to do Bible.

Then it has to be read in the Church. Yes, there are other commentators that do not believe it leads to Jesus. But they are on another track now and God will guide them back as he needs to. A Christian must read the Bible in the Church. So we reference the Fathers and Church teaching not as a supplemental authority but as the final one. It’s possible for some random theologian (such as my teacher that started this post) to take her knowledge way out of the bounds of the Church, but if we draw back to the Fathers and the Magisterium, we can make sure that while we avoid the mistake of being 100% correct and entirely wrong.

Being a Chooser


WALKING TO WORK YESTERDAY I saw one of the multitudes of unhoused that roam our streets. He was hunched over, draped in his blanket, and wearing a large floppy hat. He looked, it struck me, exactly like so many ancient engravings (such as heads up this post). And as he passed me, he was engaged in a very adamant discussion with unseen partners. The craziness of the homeless is not legendary but real.

Two things came to me.

On the one hand, the thing that stands between him and me, that prevents my craziness from ending up in the street is no mystery.

I’ve only worked with the homeless for (nearly) two years, but I also worked in a rehab clinic in North Carolina for four years as well. The painful reality is I suffer from many of the same issues expressed in the lives of our guests: OCD, control issues, depression, addictive tendencies, PTSD, shattered families, financial risk, etc. Once, chatting with our guests, it felt as if I were looking into a mirror. It’s not the choices we make – this man had made many of the same ones as myself – rather there must be something else. But, again, it is no mystery: I have family and friends to call on who are not addicts, etc. I have a community of support in the Church and in my jobs. Even living thousands of miles from my parents, I have a strong enough relationship with them that I can ask for help. Before I fell too far, strong hands would lift me up. I took the job I currently have exactly because a predecessor told a friend of mine, “You’re a member of this parish. You will not be homeless.” That’s what love is all about: and many of our guests do not know love in their lives. Love stands between us and them.

And it’s our job to show them love even though they are so broken that they cannot now even see what we offer as love. We must love them even if it hurts us to do so. Over and over. For they are the abandoned icons of God, that need calling home.

And as these thoughts ripped through my brain the second thing arrived, as it were, from God.

As that man is in his addiction, I see all of you in your sins.

We are all that crazy man, wandering the streets wrapped in smelly blankets of our sins. Some of us decided on sexual sins, some on financial ones. We pick sins of infidelity or pride. We take up blankets of greed, gluttony, or sloth. Yet the deeper we fall into our sins the more – spiritually – we just become raving lunatics. We are all of us wrapped in the odor of our immorality and repellant to God and to each other.

And God chooses to show us love even though we are so broken that we cannot now even see what he offers us as love. He loves us to the point that it hurts him to do so. Over and over. He will not abandon his icons even as we scream against his voice and block our ears, preferring to talk to our imaginary friends which are – in fact – the demons instead of listening to our Divine Eternal Lover whispering our names: calling us home.

A New Project

WHEREIN I try blogging in another language. The tagline says “Now I can make typos in two languages.” It’s very simple sentences and I do use Google Translate to check myself – and for more complex constructions. I don’t promise much by way of exciting content. But I hope to be able to get better at it. Here’s a couple of unsolicited adverts.

I’m learning Hebrew using Citizen Cafe Tel Aviv and iTalki. My iTalki Tutor is Shmuel. He’s awesome.

Thomas Hopko’s 55 Maxims


ALONG WITH THE “Rule” of the Late Fr Alexander Schmemann, which he wrote in his Journal on Tuesday, January 20, 1981 (see my copy here) the 55 Maxims of the Late Fr Thomas Hopko are, for me, a sure guide to living a Christian life as a single man living in the world. I can keep neither perfectly, so don’t read any claim into this post! These two together – adapted to my situation – are my personal rule.

Fr Tom was Fr Alexander’s Son-in-Law. Both served as Dean of St Vladimir’s Seminary. The maxims were originally part of a podcast. The Episode is archived here, along with a full transcript. Below is a condensed version of the 55 points. Although they were written for an Eastern Orthodox context, both the Maxims and the Rule are applicable in any Christian Journey.

  1. Be always with Christ and trust God in everything.
  2. Pray as you can, not as you think you must.
  3. Have a keepable rule of prayer done by discipline.
  4. Say the Lord’s Prayer several times each day.
  5. Repeat a short prayer when your mind is not occupied.
  6. Make some prostrations when you pray.
  7. Eat good foods in moderation and fast on fasting days.
  8. Practice silence, inner and outer.
  9. Sit in silence 20 to 30 minutes each day.
  10. Do acts of mercy in secret.
  11. Go to liturgical services regularly.
  12. Go to confession and holy communion regularly.
  13. Do not engage intrusive thoughts and feelings.
  14. Reveal all your thoughts and feelings to a trusted person regularly.
  15. Read the scriptures regularly.
  16. Read good books, a little at a time.
  17. Cultivate communion with the saints.
  18. Be an ordinary person, one of the human race.
  19. Be polite with everyone, first of all family members.
  20. Maintain cleanliness and order in your home.
  21. Have a healthy, wholesome hobby.
  22. Exercise regularly.
  23. Live a day, even a part of a day, at a time.
  24. Be totally honest, first of all with yourself.
  25. Be faithful in little things.
  26. Do your work, then forget it.
  27. Do the most difficult and painful things first.
  28. Face reality.
  29. Be grateful.
  30. Be cheerful.
  31. Be simple, hidden, quiet and small.
  32. Never bring attention to yourself.
  33. Listen when people talk to you.
  34. Be awake and attentive, fully present where you are.
  35. Think and talk about things no more than necessary.
  36. Speak simply, clearly, firmly, directly.
  37. Flee imagination, fantasy, analysis, figuring things out.
  38. Flee carnal, sexual things at their first appearance.
  39. Don’t complain, grumble, murmur or whine.
  40. Don’t seek or expect pity or praise.
  41. Don’t compare yourself with anyone.
  42. Don’t judge anyone for anything.
  43. Don’t try to convince anyone of anything.
  44. Don’t defend or justify yourself.
  45. Be defined and bound by God, not people.
  46. Accept criticism gracefully and test it carefully.
  47. Give advice only when asked or when it is your duty.
  48. Do nothing for people that they can and should do for themselves.
  49. Have a daily schedule of activities, avoiding whim and caprice.
  50. Be merciful with yourself and others.
  51. Have no expectations except to be fiercely tempted to your last breath.
  52. Focus exclusively on God and light, and never on darkness, temptation and sin.
  53. Endure the trial of yourself and your faults serenely, under God’s mercy.
  54. When you fall, get up immediately and start over.
  55. Get help when you need it, without fear or shame.

Homeless Life in SF


Homo quidam erat dives…
There was a certain rich man…

WE HAVE A HUGE HOMELESS problem in San Francisco. 
The problem is we have a huge, wealthy population that’s scared of homeless people.
They are scared that property values might fall.
They are scared that job candidates might get turned off.
They are scared that poor people might cause crimes.
They are scared that someone might say something uncomfortable-making to them on the street.
They are scared that some people smell.
They are scared that some people are not on meds.
They are scared that living in tents make us look bad as a city.

We have a huge homeless problem in San Francisco.
The problem is that we don’t remember them.
We don’t remember that the second set of shoes we have belongs to the poor – not to the consignment store.
We don’t remember that the extra clothes we have belong to the naked – not to Goodwill.
We don’t remember that the extra food in our fridge belongs to the hungry – not to the dog or compost.
We don’t remember that the extra anything we have belongs to the poor – or else we are stealing it.

We have a huge homeless problem in San Francisco.
The problem is that we tend to trust gov’t blindly without calling it to account for failure.
If we manage to elect persons of all colors, genders, and sexual orientations we feel good about ourselves – even though they are as unjust to the poor as anyone else. 
If we manage to elect only one party (we really only have one party in SF) we feel good about ourselves – even if they are just as beholden to big corporations, property developers, and the wealthy as the party we don’t have. 
If we manage to elect people who actually try to do something we pass ballot measures that undo their good works.

We have a huge homeless problem in San Francisco.
The problem is we ask too many questions.
How did he get that way?
Did he do drugs?
Is she abusing the system?
If I give her money will she just buy drugs?
Is that even any of my business?
If I give money to that organization how much of it goes for wages?
Won’t the gov’t support them so  that if I give them money, it’s  just double.

We have a huge homeless problem in San Francisco.
The problem is that we nullify any moral teaching that might make us feel obligated.
We are obligated to charity in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism, Hindusm, and several others. We prefer instead an odd combo of Prosperity Gospel and Newage, Neognostic Victim Blaming that allows us to imagine no deity will hold us responsible as long as we feel good about things.
This coupled with an entitled NIMBYism means that no one is obligated to care if they don’t feel like it and those that do care can be called to the carpet for making the rest of us feel guilty.

We have a huge homeless problem in San Francisco.
It has nothing to do with homeless folks.
It has nothing to do with the govt.
It has everything to do with the rest of us.

And in the end, we will find ourselves beyond Abraham’s bosom on the wrong side of the great abyss. The Fathers are not kind here:

AMBROSE; From this we learn then, that we are not ourselves the masters, but rather the stewards of the property of others.
THEOPHYLACT. Next, that when we exercise not the management of our wealth according to our Lord’s pleasure, but abuse our trust to our own pleasures, we are guilty stewards. 
CYRIL. This discourse concerning the rich man and Lazarus was written after the manner of a comparison in a parable, to declare that they who abound in earthly riches, unless they will relieve the necessities of the poor, shall meet with a heavy condemnation.
AMBROSE. But the insolence and pride of the wealthy is manifested afterwards by the clearest tokens, for it follows, and no one gave to him. For so unmindful are they of the condition of mankind, that as if placed above nature they derive from the wretchedness of the poor an incitement to their own pleasure, they laugh at the destitute, they mock the needy, and rob those whom they ought to pity. 
AUGUSTINE. For the covetousness of the rich is insatiable, it neither fears God nor regards man, spares not a father, keeps not its fealty to a friend, oppresses the widow, attacks the property of a ward.
Pope GREGORY. Moreover the poor man saw the rich as he went forth surrounded by flatterers, while he himself lay in sickness and want, visited by no one. For that no one came to visit him, the dogs witness, who fearlessly licked his sores, for it follows, moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. By one thing Almighty God displayed two judgments. He permitted Lazarus to lie before the rich man’s gate, both that the wicked rich man might increase the vengeance of his condemnation, and the poor man by his trials enhance his reward; the one saw daily him on whom he should show mercy, the other that for which he might be approved.
 CHRYSOSTOM. He died then indeed in body, but his soul was dead before. For he did none of the works of the soul. All that warmth which issues from the love of our neighbor had fled, and he was more dead than his body. But not because he was rich was he tormented, but because he was not merciful.
Pope GREGORY. We may gather from this, with what torments he will be punished who robs another, if he is smitten with the condemnation to hell, who does not distribute what is his own. 

In San Francisco, each one of us has the nearly unique opportunity to be Dives to our own private Lazarus. I think, though, most of us would rather banquet in linen and purple robes. We’re doomed.

(Originally published in these pages on 1 March 2019)

Types and Shadows


The Readings for the 2nd Thursday, Tempus per Annum (C2)

They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly sanctuary; for when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.”

Hebrews 8:5

HEBREWS SPEAKS ABOUT THE Heavenly temple and about how what was then in Jerusalem was only a faint shadow – not only of what was before under Solomon, but also what was really present to Moses on the Mountain: God’s heavenly throne room. Yet was was present in Jerusalem at that time did not have the Ark of the Covenant or the Seat of Mercy, which had been carried away during the Babylonian siege and sack of Jerusalem – either by the Babylonians or else by the Prophet Jeremiah – and has yet to be found again. So the Temple present at the time of Jesus didn’t have all the working parts.

But Hebrews says that any earthly Temple is only a shadow of the real one in Heaven at this point because now Messiah has come. Types and shadows have their ending as Aquinas wrote. Because the newer rite is here. Yet one does not replace the other. One manifests the other fulfills the Truth.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

The unity of the Old and New Testaments

128 The Church, as early as apostolic times, and then constantly in her Tradition, has illuminated the unity of the divine plan in the two Testaments through typology, which discerns in God’s works of the Old Covenant prefigurations of what he accomplished in the fullness of time in the person of his incarnate Son.

129 Christians therefore read the Old Testament in the light of Christ crucified and risen. Such typological reading discloses the inexhaustible content of the Old Testament; but it must not make us forget that the Old Testament retains its own intrinsic value as Revelation reaffirmed by our Lord himself. Besides, the New Testament has to be read in the light of the Old. Early Christian catechesis made constant use of the Old Testament. As an old saying put it, the New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New.

130 Typology indicates the dynamic movement toward the fulfillment of the divine plan when “God [will] be everything to everyone.” Nor do the calling of the patriarchs and the exodus from Egypt, for example, lose their own value in God’s plan, from the mere fact that they were intermediate stages.

Or, as The Bible Project puts it succinctly: “We believe the Bible is a unified book that leads to Jesus.”

Today is the Feast of the Theophany in those Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic Churches that use the Julian Calendar. Last night at the 2.5 hour Vigil Service we read about 20 Bible passages, served the Liturgy of St Basil, and then blessed water. This water, Theophany or “Jordan Water”, we believe avails much for healing, remission of sins, blessings, and the repelling of both spiritual and physical foes. It is and interesting tradition because while, in aome churches it’s blessed in a basin, the blessing can also be done at the ocen or in a river. My former bishop does this blessing in the winter snows, on the Continental Divide. These blessings, absolutions, healings, and exorcisms are not only for believers but for all God’s world. In his Son God claims us all for himself.

Types and shadows have their ending. God is Manifest. Baptized in the Jordan he begins to set all things aright. We can enter the water with him and rise as Sons and Daughters of God

Reading the Signs of Ordinary Times

The cover of The Silver Chair from the boxed set I received in High School (c. 1980)


The Readings for the 1st Saturday, Tempus per Annum (C2)

The word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit. As he passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, sitting at the customs post. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.

Hebrews 4:12, Mark 2:14

I‘VE BEEN REREADING THE Chronicles of Narnia in the canonical order. Actually, I’m using a very enjoyable audio series with Michael York, Lynn Redgrave, and Derick Jacobi, among others. It’s easily the best set of recordings out there, but a bit pricy unless you find it on sale. Anyway… I’m on Book Four, The Silver Chair, just now. It’s my least favorite one. I can only handle it for a few (audible) pages at a time. It gets tedious after that.

Don’t get me wrong: the story is good enough. Two children from our world rescue a prince of Narnia from an enchantment and restore him to his throne. Magic and whatall, of course, and talking animals. There are surprises and twists. But everything is so dark and, well, boring. Colorless. Especially when compared to all of the other books, this one is drab.

I suddenly think that’s the point.

There is a discussion in another post about how Lewis plays with Time and what I think that might mean. These are stories for children, yes, but they are not children’s stories. They are very adult stories told for children: there are things you can see only as you meditate on them. The three middle books, Voyage of the Dawntreader, The Silver Chair, and A Horse and His Boy, are conversion stories. The first and the third are painful stories about children going through rather adult conversions: they have to leave behind all they know to understand Narnia. The middle one, which concerns us in this post, is about the interior conversion that a “cradle” must undergo. The “cradle Narnian” is Prince Caspian XI. Eustace is a convert – and indeed Jill as well – but since they are coming to rescue the Prince it’s his story they are a part of. (No one is in a story alone, of course, he is also part of their stories.) The Prince, however, has gone astray in his grief for his dead Mother. He’s been led away by a foreign power, the Green Witch, and needs to come home.

Aslan sends two converted missionaries, Jill and Eustace, to rescue the lost Cradle Narnian. Jesus, calling to Matthew the Tax Collector, the Cradle Jew, who sold himself to the Romans.

Like any Narnian – or Cradle Catholic or Cradle Orthodox – Caspian knows he’s doing things right. The Green Witch has convinced him he’s fine. He’s really a Narnian, everything will be ok. Just trust her and she will get things back in line. And, like any Cultural Orthodox, Cultural Catholic, or even Cultural Jew, or Cultural Whatever, they miss the point of their religion, only getting the barest hints of the echoes from Childhood Memories. Caspian is Narnian in Name Only. He needs rescuing from the vestiges of Narnia in his own life enabling the Witch to continue to hold him back from his true life.

By vestiges I mean those shreds of cultural religion that are on unconnected to any living relationship: they form a sort of innoculation. Billy Graham refered to people who were “innoculated against” any real relationship with Christ by their cultural Christianity. Prince Caspian is in the same boat. The Green Witch has convinced him to stay put and she will make him a True King. Really she is only enslaving him to her more and more each day.

In order to guide these converted Missionaries to penetrate “even between soul and spirit” in the Prince’s life, Aslan gives four Signs. Each one they seemingly mess up – even to their own eyes – and yet each one works out in the course of their lives. In the end, it’s not by following the Signs that they save the Prince, but rather by saving the Prince, they discover they have followed the Signs. It is their growing relationship with Aslan that has drawn them forward.

Most of life plays out that way: one thing in front of another. Do them one after another. And you’ll discover you’re working out your salvation. We make much of the signs, or even the Signs of the Times but they’re not intended as prophetic way-showers, but rather as markers on the way. Prophecy is not about “What comes next?” in the timeline, but rather, “you are here”. The vestiges of religion and cultural laws fall away and you are left with a living relationship to the Word of God, the one and only word that God has spoken through all time and eternity, in text and in life: Jesus.

Before enlightenment, chop wood. Carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood. Carry water.

In the end, you will discover that Jesus has called you out of yourself, and out of your enslavement to the world. Follow him.

Homework for Hebrew Class

The assignment was to share a song (in Hebrew or English) that has a special meaning. Then explain (in Hebrew) why the song was important.


דיברנו בשיעור על רכבות… אני ממש אוהב רכבות כי סבא שלי. בתקופת השפל הגדול סבא היה “נווד”. הוא נסע ברכבות בכל רחבי ארה”ב לכן הוא אהב רכבות כל חייו. כשהייתי ילד הוא נתן לי את אותה אהבה: אני אהבתי רכבות כל החיי. באלפיים ואחד לפני המת שלו הוא שאל לי לשיר את השיר הזה – של פטסי קלין – בהלויה שלו

We spoke in class about trains. I love trains so much because of my grandfather. During the Great Depression Grandpa was a “Hobo” (Heb: נווד “nomad”). He rode on trains everywhere in the US therefore he loved trains his whole life. When I was a kid he gave me this same love. I have loved trains all my life. In 2001, before his death, he asked me to sing this song – by Patsy Cline – at his funeral.

More Ordinary Mysteries

Icon of “He Who Slumbers Not” slumbering.


The Readings for the 1st Wednesday, Tempus per Annum (C2)

For because he himself has suffered and been tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.

Hebrews 2:18

THE ANONYMOUS AUTHOR of Hebrews, just for a shorthand, let’s give him a name… say… St Paul? Anyway, St Paul begins, “Since the children share in blood and Flesh, Jesus likewise shared in them” and goes on to talk about suffering. Some translations and exegetical traditions (especially those more heavily influenced by the Protestant Reformers) limit the understanding of “suffering”. For an extreme example, the Complete Jewish Bible renders Hebrews 2:18 as “For since he himself suffered death when he was put to the test, he is able to help those who are being tested now.” There the “suffering” is explicitly limited to death, however – given the common understanding of the English word “suffering” – usually this idea is that suffering = his Passion (ie from Thursday night or Friday of Holy Week). That’s not the correct way to view this.

The Greek word used for “suffer” here is πάσχω pascho. The broad meaning is “things that happen to me” either good or bad. It is possible to limit it to bad things only, but with the addition of the word rendered as “tempted” (Gr: πειράζω pirazo) the meaning is clearly not limited to the latter half of Holy Week. The things that “happened” to Jesus started with cellular mitosis, implanting, blood, water, and a birth canal. Then probably a spanking.

Ordinary Time.

God has done all the ordinary things. All the things that we do – except sin – God has done them in his flesh, including coughing up phlegm, stubbing toes, getting itchy eyes, sneezing, sweating, and getting sunburned. God has worked hard and had to sleep – and had trouble sleeping. God in the Flesh has done it all.

Your life can now be a daily enactment of the life of God because God’s life was ordinary like yours. And so he knows, in his flesh and bones, what it means to feel pain, to be tired, to be hungry, to be thirsty. God knows, in his heart of hearts, how weak we are, how prone we are to sin – even though he, himself, never sinned.

Look to him and be radiant. Your face will never be ashamed. The things that happen to you happened also to God.

And he can help you.

I just adore weather…


AND WE’RE HAVING so much of it this year. We don’t get sleet or hail here very often and, since I got here in 1997, I’ve never seen it accumulate. We’re having thunder and lightening. I’ve only heard the former 4 times since 1997. I’ve never seen the latter at all. And a few moments ago all our cellphones went off with a klaxon and then a verbal warning of flash floods “in this area”. That was just before the skies opened up. Very fun.

St Medard, pray for us!

Actually, it is very fun: I love storms with a passion. The Cantor this AM picked the following hymn with which to open the Morning Service. I caught the pastor’s eye and we laughed.

We’ve been in a real drought since 2000… this is wonderful. Nothing is perfect. But this is wonderful.