Herman Henstenburgh (Dutch, 1667–1726)

Ancient Traditions And Contemporary Problems: Recalibrating

My visual voicemail on my iPhone had only been working sporadically for a few months. It was a small inconvenience but one that accrued over days, weeks and months. Eventually it annoyed me enough so Googled the usual iPhone message boards to find the fix – refresh the phone’s settings. Which…

Why The Crucifix?

  One startlingly visible aspect of the Catholic faith that engenders consternation, and even revulsion, among non-Catholics, and even some Catholics, it is the crucifix. This symbol — a cross with the figure of a tortured Christ nailed to it, often emaciated, bloody, crowned in thorns, a gash from a spear in…

Shadows and Apples

Unmooring, Realignment and Restoration: Notes From The Apartment

I am living in a third-floor walkup on the west side of Manchester. It’s small, but it’s got three bedrooms and the kids stay with me about three nights a week. The boys share one of the extra bedrooms, the girls the other, though the little one usually ends up…

Face In the wall

On Writing, Running, Shame and Authenticity

I didn’t run the 50 miler I’d signed up for in May. Life got complicated, and I re-prioritized all kinds of stuff. Running too. But in deciding not to run the race, not to keep training for the race, I got a chance to think a good deal more about…


Ultra-midlife crisis redux, the next 50-miler, and again, ‘why run?’

I put off signing up for the next race for a long time, until I was deep into what should have been the training cycle, especially if the next race was going to be a fifty miler. I held onto a baseline of marathon fitness and mental well being, running…

The Feast of Epiphany

The Feast of Epiphany. Here’s a look at the splendid altar at our parish, Saint Marie’s, in Manchester, NH.


How grass-fed beef can be affordable for a big family

Last night after work, I went out to my friend Ken’s farm in Candia, New Hampshire. It is a beautiful and bucolic place. Kris and I had invested in half a cow – which will supply the family with grass-fed, chemical-and-drug-free, locally raised beef for the next 9-12 months. After…


Reordering books on shelves

Reordering books on shelves after their relocation to the basement. Language, theology, running, fly fishing, poetry (oh, did I just say poetry twice in a row?), academic lit, horror, fantasy, history, science fiction, biz and web dev … o the decades, the friends who they make me recall, the tactile…

By Ernesto Burden, Franconia Notch, New Hampshire

Want to be calmer, fitter and sleep better? Practice gratitude. Here’s why.

“Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances,” Saint Paul instructs in his letter to the Thessalonians. And whether you’re Christian, or Jew, Buddhist, Muslim, atheist or other, this is good advice. Because science shows that cultivating gratitude has a big impact on your brain, your happiness and your…


Gospel Passage Suggests Perspective On Your Toughest Days: It’s What You’re Here For

A particular passage from John 12 caught my ear this morning during Mass. Jesus looking toward the eventual horror of his own crucifixion says: “I am troubled. Yet what should I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour?’ But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour….