Sacrifice, not self-care

Make sure to put your own oxygen mask on first. When a plane is experiencing difficulties and the oxygen masks drop, you have to put your own oxygen mask on before you can put on the masks of others. You need to always make sure to take care of yourself first. — self-help speakers everywhereContinue reading “Sacrifice, not self-care”

The joy of being surpassed

Pass on what you have learned. Strength, mastery, hmm … but weakness, folly, failure also. Yes: failure, most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is. Luke, we are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters. – Yoda, to Luke Skywalker, “The Last Jedi” It is good to remind myself, everyContinue reading “The joy of being surpassed”

Preaching the Gospel for the first time … again

I sat down in front of 15 pre-K students for our bi-weekly Bible story time, expecting more or less to follow our routine. Every Wednesday and Friday I join them for a 15-minute story session, telling toddler-friendly versions of Sunday’s scripture or the classic Bible stories that adults clean up and present to young children:Continue reading “Preaching the Gospel for the first time … again”

Do you know who you’re talking to?

As I walked down the hall and into our parish’s Spanish language youth group meeting after a very trying and somewhat disappointing middle school lesson on the Ten Commandments, I was fully immersed in beleaguered-teacher mode. I entered and quickly began an Advent lesson on Mary. We began reviewing the stories of the Annunciation, theContinue reading “Do you know who you’re talking to?”

Toward the fire

In 2002, during the months in which the The Boston Globe released the findings of its investigation into wrong doing on behalf of the Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Boston, I was a high school junior preparing for confirmation. The investigation exposed a widespread pattern of sexual abuse from several Catholic priests, five ofContinue reading “Toward the fire”

Namesake

“Lord, have mercy/ On my descendants/ For they know not/ What they do/ For they know not Who you are.” ~ “Pillar of Truth” by Lucy Dacus It’s been about four hours since the birth, and now that everyone is calm and happy and relaxing, I take a minute to steal away. I descend softlyContinue reading “Namesake”

So naive

“It [grace] strikes us when, year after year, the longed-for perfection of life does not appear, when the old compulsions reign within us as they have for decades, when despair destroys all joy and courage.” ~ Paul Tillich, “You Are Accepted” You have to be pretty naive to be a Christian in today’s world. ThisContinue reading “So naive”

Don’t blink

There is nothing everyone is so afraid of as of being told how vastly much he is capable of. You are capable of – do you want to know? – you are capable of living in poverty; you are capable of standing almost any kind of maltreatment, abuse, etc. But you do not wish toContinue reading “Don’t blink”

Again

I tense up slightly as I see my daughter toddling over to me holding the telltale green and blue box, replete with several cartoon dinosaurs staring up at me. “Me want to do dinosaur puzzle,” she says. “Please,” I entreat. “Not the dinosaur puzzle. We’ve done the dinosaur puzzle six times today.” I can’t takeContinue reading “Again”

I’m so glad you called

His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ But his father ordered his servants, ‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf andContinue reading “I’m so glad you called”