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full of years

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Analogies that last

You may have noticed my continuing fascination with words, especially their derivations and their usage. Today I extend my wordsmithing smile in your direction with a possible gift: How to craft *analogies that delight and elucidate. Ones that last…! I’m fond of linguistic truisms. One of the most reliable: Analogies and metaphors enrich communications. Like an opossum that won’t loosen itsMORE...

Slow catharsis

At various occasions in my life, 1catharsis has been a useful concept. At one time in my earlier decades—lasting maybe ten years or so—this word characterized a decision-making process about my 2eventual lifework. What I remember is that the process took awhile. It was slow. The swirl of colliding emotions had to settle down, to get sorted out. Changing circumstances, contexts and other realitiesMORE...

In God We Trust

I may be less trusting than I used to be. A variety of recent trust-shaking incidents has brought me towards that frame of mind: The emergence of a conspiracy-dependent quasi-religion fueled by prevarication; a sophisticated personal computer hack; violence-prone truth-deniers; the news that USPS blue mailboxes are being robbed of mail in check-washing schemes and misinformation/phishing messagesMORE...

Helper and helped one

(Because of my advanced MO degree, I am a bona fide Master of the Obvious. That’s why this entry will likely tell you something you already know. In this case, what’s obvious is this: That although I think of myself as helpful, I’m probably also someone who other people think could use some help!) For a good share of my life—continuing into these later decades—I’ve thought of myself as someoneMORE...

Partners in recall

I enjoy leisurely conversations with other elders. Sometimes in our chats, a word or phrase can suddenly become unavailable. The mutual sharing can come to a halt. One among us seems caught in temporary forgetfulness. At those moments, embarrassment can insert itself into the relationship. When that phenomenon lasts for more than a few seconds, the rest of us wonder: “How can we help?” OneMORE...

Annas among us

Standing at the center of the events surrounding the circumcision and naming of Jesus is an elderly woman. (See Luke 2:36-38 for the story.) What’s perhaps overlooked about the narrative: She’s identified as “the prophet Anna.” At 84 years of age, this devout woman entered the ritual scene that had just featured a song by the “good man” Simeon. Her reaction to Jesus’ presence befitted herMORE...

Living the descant

  Living joyfully through a variety of worship services this past holiday season, I realized how many descants I’ve heard during that time. As you might imagine, “This got me to thinking….” In its original Latinate form, a descant was a cantus (voice) set apart. Connected loosely to the emergence of polyphonic (many-voices) musical styles, the descant was a melody—usually sung or played at aMORE...

The quiet family

Today might be a good time to start thinking about this coming Holy Family Sunday: Imagine how it might have felt for Mary and Joseph after the shepherds had headed back to their flocks. This new family was alone once again. Their makeshift maternity ward was still a stable. They were still political pawns in Rome’s bean-counting census. They were still strangers in this village far away fromMORE...

Fear not….

Now’s the season when “Fear not!” claims its place in the lexicon of faith-based attitudes and actions. The sources of this proclamation include a variety of angelic greetings—to Zechariah, Mary, Joseph and the shepherds—as well as Jesus’ assurances throughout his ministry. Well-reasoned sermons and Christmas greetings notwithstanding, part of me wants to say, “Wait a minute…!”  I know theMORE...

Sursum corda

An ancient interchange begins the Eucharistic Prayer section of each Sunday’s liturgy. The celebrant invites us to ”Lift up your hearts,” to which we respond, “We lift them up to the Lord.” This versicle—literally “upward hearts”—frames the following rituals with joy. During these Yuletide days, the sursum corda exchange might also be another way to say “Merry Christmas.” There’s somethingMORE...

Bob Sitze

BOB SITZE has filled the many years of his lifework in diverse settings around the United States. His calling has included careers as a teacher/principal, church musician, writer/author, denominational executive staff member and meat worker. Bob lives in Wheaton, IL.

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