Soundings

By Father David Fisher

picture of father fisher

Want to learn more from different perspectives about our lessons? Soundings is a an opportunity for our Clergy to provide different insights into our readings and scripture. You may not always agree with the Clergy's interpretations. But that is why Soundings was created. To invite thoughtful discussion. You are welcome to email the author of each article to provide your comments. Welcome to Soundings!


The Three Oddest Words

When I pronounce the word Future,
the first syllable already belongs to the past.

When I pronounce the word Silence,
I destroy it.

When I pronounce the word Nothing,
I make something no non-being can hold.

-- Wislawa Szymborska

Figuring Belief

Praying answers prayer:
in the deep spells
of inquiry and hope,
a self
enabled to rise again
to the compromises
and the shattering caring
forms

by A.R. Ammons

Stations of the Cross

sound 040822About “Stations of the Cross: Lema Sabachthani” by Barnett Newman

Stations of the Cross: Lema Sabachthani is a series of 14 black and white paintings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Initially, when Barnett Newman completed the first two canvases, he knew that he wanted to further develop the theme and create more similar paintings. Only after creating the fourth painting in 1961, did he come to realize the subject and the layout of the series. The subject of Stations of the Cross refers to imagery that depicts Jesus Christ on the day of the crucifixion.

For Newman, The Stations were not only about Jesus’ agony but attested to the human condition. In his catalog statement, Newman wrote, “Lema Sabachtani—why? Why did you forsake me? Why forsake me? To what purpose? Why? This is the Passion. This outcry of Jesus. Not the terrible walk up the Via Dolorosa, but the question that has no answer.” In this moment, it is not just Jesus’ agony one faces with the Stations of the Cross, but as Newman explained, “each man’s agony: the agony that is single, constant, unrelenting, willed—world without end.” Newman does not single out Jesus’ particular experience via the traditional narrative of the Stations but uses it to call attention to the fact that every person will suffer and die, that in our very particularity (one cannot die someone else’s death), we are all connected by this fate, separate and together.

Read more: Stations of the Cross

A Prayer for Peace

For those who are fleeing:
sanctuary
For those who are staying:
safety
For those who are fighting:
peace
For those whose hearts are breaking:
comfort
For those who see no future:
hope

Desert Fathers and Mothers

There is an inner desert,
into which each one of us must one day go,
an empty space for solitude and testing.
Do not expect to hear
God's word immediately upon arrival.
But God will speak
through the silence.
Desert Fathers and Mothers