Monthly Archives: April 2019

Believing in the Magic

We don’t believe in magic any more. We believe in data, in good solid reporting, in facts. If I can’t see it, if you can’t prove it, it didn’t happen. In a world driven by pictures and video, joy can be a luxury.

There was a guy named Roald Dahl, a British novelist who sold a few (million) books. He said that if you don’t believe in even the possibility of magic, you’ll never find it.

Being the low-brow, banal guy I am, I’m more familiar with the Richard Castle version.


I instantly thought of this quote this morning when I read the daily email from the Catholic mystic Richard Rohr. The email talked extensively of the Wonder–and how the Wonder was “way to focus our attention in these days when life is so uncertain. We have absolutely no idea what the author of Love is asking of us . . . except we are fairly certain the Beloved One is not asking us to lay claim to any certainties at all.” That was written by a woman facing the end phases of a battle with cancer.


Catholic mystic Richard Rohr

She writes that the Beloved, another word for the Wonder (and for God) is not far off waiting for us to catch up. She writes that “The Beloved is Love and there is no other place for Love to be than in the act of holding tightly to you and to me. Deep within the recesses of our very being, we are held . . . known . . . treasured . . .”

I struggle to believe in Magic, Wonder, the Beloved–whatever you want to call it. But I love theĀ idea of it.


In this case, it wasn’t. The 1980 Mets were awful; this was their tagline.

A friend of mine, a woman who is delightfully edgy and cynical sometimes, is getting married this weekend. She’s like a little kid about it. And to be fair, her march to the altar has had its share of magic.

Sometimes the Magic sneaks up and grasps us from behind, not in a scary way, but in an embrace that can make a good day amazing, or make you know that you aren’t alone on the worst days.

I’m not great at this Christian thing, and to be clear, I’d really rather that you don’t judge other people of faith by my example.

But as I said, I’m in love with the idea of Magic, with the concept that we’re never alone, especially in the deepest, darkest moments of life. That the Magic is there, not fixing things, but just silently sitting with us, when that’s the one thing that might take the edge of the wounds.