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Where are you from?

I heard part of George Ella Lyon’s poem “Where I’m From” on NPR on August 19: I am from clothespins, from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride. I am from the dirt under the back porch. (Black, glistening it tasted like beets.) I am from the forsythia bush, the Dutch elm whose long gone limbs I remember as […]

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Thin love

“Love is or it ain’t,” Toni Morrison once said. “Thin love ain’t love at all.” Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, “a giant of modern literature,” died August 5, 2019.

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Infinite dignity and worth

“The soul is the piece of us that gives each person infinite dignity and worth,” writes David Brooks in his new book. “Slavery is wrong because it obliterates a soul. Rape is not just an assault on physical molecules; it obliterates another soul. The soul yearns for goodness.” Brooks’ new book is The Second Mountain—The […]

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We are loving creatures

“The heart is that piece of us that longs for fusion with others,” writes David Brooks in his new book. “We are not primarily thinking creatures; we are primarily loving and desiring creatures. We are defined by what we desire. We become what we love.” Brooks’ new book is The Second Mountain—The Quest for a […]

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Unconditional love

“As a child,” David Brooks concludes in his new book, “each person’s emotional and spiritual foundation is formed by the unconditional love of a caring adult.” I hope you received that unconditional love from your mother. If you did, be grateful. If she is still alive, tell her thank you on Mother’s Day. Brooks’ new […]

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Where does it hurt?

“later that night i held an atlas in my lap ran my fingers across the whole world and whispered where does it hurt? it answered everywhere everywhere everywhere” –Warsan Shire We found this poem in an email message from Charter for Compassion.

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The love of Christ

William Sloan Coffin once said: “It is not Scripture that creates hostility to homosexuality, but rather hostility to homosexuals that prompts some Christians to recite a few sentences from Paul and retain passages from an otherwise discarded Old Testament law code. In abolishing slavery and in ordaining women, we’ve gone beyond biblical literalism. “It’s time […]

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Saved by love

“Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime,” writes Reinhold Niebuhr, in his book The Irony of American History. “Therefore, we must be saved by hope. “Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we […]

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Wine for the soul

“Gratitude is wine for the soul,” said Rumi, the 13th-century Persian poet. “The emotion of gratitude has so much energy that people get uplifted when we express it. Gratitude gets us drunk with a different texture of love that makes us realize the beauty and marvel of life.”

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Three gifts

“Life is the first gift, love is the second and understanding the third,” wrote poet Marge Piercy.

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