On the Blog

Featured Commentary

BY May 6, 2017

Witnessing the faint smile of her dying mother, the daughter of Haitian-Creole parents reflects on why she’s been writing about death and grief ever since — and the cathartic edge of the Book of Revelation and C.S. Lewis.

On the Blog

BY May 15, 2016

Glory and beauty are co-opted by our catalogues. A photo-essay deglosses the primordial glory of the natural world to find the stuff of deeper life.

BY May 14, 2016

When grief or hardship strike, they are best borne out in solidarity. Trent Gilliss serves up readings on our collective sorrow and celebration in the passing of our heroes, and taking a new perspective on the grit of beauty, nature, and family.

BY May 14, 2016

The Camino de Santiago is a well-trodden path for pilgrimage and silent reflection with other wayfarers. But with the increasingly ubiquitous presence of Wi-Fi, is it encroaching on the aspects of what makes the adventure special?

BY May 13, 2016

“There is a silence that always speaks if we listen.” A Haitian-American living in Belgium offers a poem for the silence and an invocation for belonging.

BY May 13, 2016

Entering the home stretch of her pregnancy, Courtney Martin takes a closer look at the bizarre phenomenon from which we are all brought forth into the world.

BY May 12, 2016

Do we place women on an unrealistic pedestal when we celebrate Mother’s Day? Omid Safi on honoring motherhood in its fullest, most human sense, and moving to an ethics of care for all, whether family or fellow human beings.

BY May 11, 2016

Parker Palmer examines the guiding principles of care and healing at the center of a physician’s practice, and wonders how they might revive the heart of political life.

BY May 10, 2016

The desire to write and to read isn’t always handed down, but a single encounter may be all it takes to propel one forward. Sarah Smarsh on meeting Anne Rice with her mother in a Kansas bookstore.

BY May 9, 2016

Maria Popova, creator and editor of Brain Pickings, speaks of the pratfalls and promise of knowledge-sharing in the digital age.

BY May 9, 2016

After a teacher stays on in Poland after a five-day bearing witness retreat at Auschwitz-Birkenau, she offers a peripatetic meditation on beauty, suffering, and our capacity to comprehend what is incomprehensible.

BY May 8, 2016

Our cultural treasures of music, art, and literature can bind us together. But in an era of interconnectedness, our art can also be woven together with our statecraft. Mohammed Fairouz cautions against cultural appropriation by charting the story of our universal cultural heritage, from the court of ancients to the modern day.

BY May 7, 2016

After his childhood friend enlists in the IDF, a journalist of Lebanese heritage reflects on the journey of understanding he’s traveled with someone on the “other side” of the conflict.

BY May 6, 2016

Even with years of experience, the parenting journey is one of constant learning — about a budding life, and about oneself. Courtney Martin gives thanks for the grit and grace of new motherhood.

BY May 5, 2016

We mourn people whom we have never met at a personal level. But why? Our columnist pens a loving in memoriam for Fr. Daniel Berrigan, an exemplar of fierce love and radical faith, a man he never met.

BY May 4, 2016

From Game of Thrones to a biological time capsule in Norway, fascinating reads on what’s happening in our collective culture with wise meditations on mutual trust in our individual power to rise and thrive.

BY May 4, 2016

Facing fear is easier said than done. Parker Palmer on having an empathetic imagination for the inner battles we’re all fighting, especially those we can’t see.

BY May 3, 2016

One of our columnist’s most influential teachers passed away this spring. Sharon Salzberg with a reflection and an homage to “a man who completely walked the talk of his values.”

BY May 2, 2016

Nature cannot erase grief, but makes it easier to bear. A woman holds fleeting memories of familial warmth as she visits mid-coast Maine, and finds solace in the brave journey of the alewives from sea to lake and back again.

BY May 2, 2016

Beloved Irish poet John O’Donohue on beauty’s true grit, and finding it in the transformational edges of our daily lives.

BY May 2, 2016

Our capacity to understand the planet is limited by our perception. With the help of Earth-imaging satellites, Andrew Zolli charts the new vistas of our awareness and finds a renewed ability to see the world whole.

BY May 1, 2016

When a beloved celebrity dies, collective grief can be a strange, sacred place. A Minneapolitan celebrates Prince, and what his life can teach us about becoming fully and uncompromisingly ourselves.

BY April 30, 2016

The daughter of refugees pens an open letter to her mother. She reflects on the inheritance of suffering, offering this ode to the resilience of the human spirit and gratitude for the opportunity to flourish.

BY & Matthew Septimus April 28, 2016

Our lives and our liberations are bound up in each other. A photo-poem exploration of hope, freedom, and the meaning of exodus.

BY April 28, 2016

A heated political climate can bring a blaming instinct to the fore. Courtney Martin on pointing our fingers inward instead of out, and reimagining the capacity we already have to rehabilitate the American dream.

BY April 27, 2016

As social creatures, we are shaped by our unity with one another. Omid Safi on the power of connectedness to magnify the good in ourselves and in our neighbors.

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