Three years after Thomas Merton died, he helped me leave law school in the middle of a Uniform Commercial Code final exam. This is how it happened.

I had been reading a great deal from among the 70 books the monk wrote before he was killed. A standing electric fan fell on him and electrocuted him. He had just addressed other monastics in Bangkok on December 10, 1968. In those days I was a Southern Baptist 21-year old R.O.T.C. Army 2nd lieutenant enrolled in Vanderbilt Law school who had never heard of the Roman Catholic Thomas Merton. But in 1970–71…

photo by Karen Alexander

Time-outs are not only good for children. We adults need to use time-outs for ourselves from time to time. I recently put myself in a time-out when I had a bad case of being out of sorts.

The complications of my disequilibrium, I was to learn, were not so simply understood or addressed. I was aware of some causes but something much bigger was afoot.

What I did know was that my instability had roots in my grief; I was mourning the death of a dear friend, the Rev. Zelda Kennedy. I had been called to Zelda’s hospice bed on…

Walking with a cane the over-70 gray-haired lady named June wore a “Doug Jones for Senate button” to a meeting I frequent. I struck up a political conversation with her one evening. With an eloquence betraying her pre-retirement profession for many years at a Birmingham college-prep high school, she opined,

“No matter who wins the Senate seat, we have much work to do here to strengthen a community that promotes humane values in the State of Alabama.”

Her words have occupied my thoughts these days after the historic election in which a Democrat defeated a Republican in a state-wide election in culturally conservative and politically red Alabama. Some commentators noted that one reason Doug Jones prevailed over Roy Moore is because a significant number of Republicans voted…

Ed Bacon

Episcopal priest & author of “8 Habits Of Love,” I teach how our Oneness in Love overcomes our separateness in fear.

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