My grandfather died two weeks ago, a few months short of his 89th birthday, in the same room where he was born. Most every night of his long life, he slept under the same roof, in the farmhouse where his parents had settled just after their marriage.
We are taught that Christ tore down the gates of Hell. My memorable trek by Hekla, the Icelandic “gateway of Hell” has left me convinced that when he did this, not only were the souls of the faithful released, but so too was beauty. And like those souls, beauty so redeemed can never again be contained.
When I was first consecrated and people asked me how I liked my new ministry as bishop, I used to reply that I thought it would take me at least five years to figure out the answer to that question.
Since the Reformation, the Christian Faith has been reduced to being equated with what happens in the gray matter between our ears. It has focused on believing, rather than belonging or being.
Wendell Berry: "It is by the place we’ve got, and our love for it and our keeping of it, that this world is joined to Heaven."