Cover Story: Dr. Karlene Stange on ‘The Spiritual Nature of Animals’

Click the image to read about veterinarian and spiritual storyteller Karlene Stange.

‘Creatures Great and Small …’

A PILGRIMAGE FOR ALL—If you love animals, you’ll want to meet Dr. Karlene Stange, a vet and a remarkable writer in the tradition of James Herriot and Joseph Campbell. Sound like a crazy pairing? Then, please read our Cover Story this week, an interview with Karlene as well as an overview of her unique new book.

Early in the book, she actually evokes Herriot and invites us all along for this sometimes suspenseful and sometimes inspirational pilgrimage. She explains that she has spent years charting these realms: “Creatures great and small dragged me down a rabbit hole and through sacred tunnels …” And she would like us to join her as she digs even deeper. There are some great stories between these covers, including what happens when a newborn horse suffers from a disastrous fall within its first few days of life—and what unfolds when a self-described “Catholic Buddhist” woman suddenly has a crisis with her beloved dog. Intrigued? Read our Cover Story.

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PLAN FOR LENT (and Valentine’s Day)

Click the image to learn more about Our Lent.

STRANGE CONVERGENCE—As Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton reports, soon 2 billion Christians around the world will be in the midst of the reflective period that leads to Easter. For Western Christians, the solemn observance coincides with Valentine’s Day! So, in Stephanie’s Ash Wednesday column, she has a news item about how some church leaders are urging followers to move up their celebrations of love.

That also means Fat Tuesday (or Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras) is coming soon! And, yes, Stephanie has an array of delicious holiday-related recipe links you’ll want to explore.

Eastern Christians, this year begin Great Lent with their traditional Clean Monday on February 19. Stephanie also reports on the February 11 and 18 preparations for Eastern Orthodox Lent in the celebrations of Meatfare and Cheesefare Sundays, when the faithful begin to pare away major elements of their daily diets for the fast that start on Clean Monday.

Click the hearts to read the Valentine’s column.

VALENTINE’S DAY—Of course, in the midst of her Lenten coverage, Stephanie devotes a special column to Valentine’s Day as well. She’s found some great links for DIY crafts, including one for kids from Disney.

READ LONG WITH THE SEASON—This week, we hope you will consider ordering ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm’s book, Our Lent: Things We CarryThis is a 40-day, 40-chapter invitation to enjoy a combination of faith and self-guided reflection. Each chapter shares a biblical story from Jesus’ final journey to Jerusalem, insights from our daily lives today—and then stories from the lives of pop culture stars, including the spiritual writer Thomas Merton, the actress and singer Judy Garland, the country musician Merle Haggard and even the beloved Cat in the Hat.

Click this image to learn more about Jesus Christ Movie Star by Ed McNulty.

And, for movie lovers? Many of our loyal readers visit ReadTheSpirit for our faith-and-film columns, mainly written by film critic Ed McNulty. If you love movies, then you’ll be inspired throughout Lent with Ed’s book, Jesus Christ Movie Star. This is a great choice if you want to invite friends, or your small group, to join you. McNulty provides everything you need to spark spirited discussion from the best film clips to show your group—to dozens of questions you could ask about each featured film. You’ll explore hits like The Passion of the Christ and Jesus Christ Superstar. And some surprises, too! Can you find Gospel themes in Cool Hand Luke and Broadway Danny Rose?

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ALL THE HOLIDAYS

Want to see all the holidays? www.InterfaithHolidays.com

Click the image to read Stephanie’s column.

FROM INDIA—Indian families around the world turn their thoughts to Lord Shiva this month in observance of Maha Shivaratri, which means “Great Night of Shiva.” On this holiday, many Hindus believe that Lord Shiva performed the Tandava—the cosmic dance of creation, preservation and destruction. So, some of the faithful observe an all-night vigil. Stephanie Fenton has the story and has even spotted a fascinating news story with photos about a 7th-century temple in India dedicated to Shiva.

Click to read about Black History Month.

BLACK HISTORY MONTHFrederick Douglass and a host of other famous African Americans are remembered in our Holidays & Festivals column about the observance. In Stephanie Fenton’s column, she also previews an important book that can help you respond to racism you might encounter in daily conversations—with accurate information, courtesy of young journalists.

LOVE FILMS? Consider purchasing the February issue of Ed McNulty’s Visual Parables Journal, which includes a special column about films that are perfect for marking Black History Month. (See the news item below.)

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Front Edge Publishing’s new website

Click this image of Front Edge’s new front page to read this week’s column on publishing.

MYTH BUSTING—”Books are dead, aren’t they?” You may have heard this myth, but quite the opposite is true. Ink-on-paper book sales continue to rise. This week in our new Front Edge Publishing website, our column on trends looks at the future of books after half a millennium since moveable type revolutionized the world.

Care to learn more about publishing options today? Perhaps you’re an author—or know an author. Please, share this home address with friends: www.FrontEdgePublishing.com

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FAITH & FILM

Click the image to learn about the February 2018 issue of Visual Parables Journal.

ED McNULTY, for decades, has published reviews, magazine articles and books exploring connections between faith and film. Most of his work is freely published. Ed supports his work by selling the Visual Parables Journala monthly magazine packed with discussion guides to films. This resource is used coast-to-coast by individuals who love the movies and by educators, clergy and small-group leaders.

Among Ed’s latest free movie reviews are:

Click the image to read Ed’s review of ‘The Post.’

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