Letting the pandemic change us for the better

When I was 24 years old, I fell off a cliff and shattered my face. Surviving a life-threatening accident at a young age transformed me. Afterwards, I had no more illusions about my mortality or the sacredness of time. I discovered a new urgency to live well. My long-term goals came front and center. FromContinue reading “Letting the pandemic change us for the better”

Has social distancing put us in a double pandemic?

About four years ago, before any of us had been encouraged to practice social distancing because of the coronavirus pandemic, I moved to the Northwoods of Wisconsin. My family and friends worried I’d be lonely, but I embraced the peace and quiet and found myself feeling very happy among the trees and lakes. It didn’tContinue reading “Has social distancing put us in a double pandemic?”

Openness to the mystery of other people

Gazing toward the brightly lit horizon the other day, I noticed an expansiveness, an opening. Beyond what I could see was a mystery. Bigger than the dances of shadows and light, the frozen November snow and the clouds hanging out their hues of pink and gray, was the power of possibility, the rise of potential.Continue reading “Openness to the mystery of other people”

Missed connections and lonely souls

Once, while traveling home alone from a conference, I went to the airport early. I had some free time, and I was hoping to catch an earlier flight home. It didn’t work out that way. Instead, I spent most of the day walking up and down the terminal, watching people and trying out different cornersContinue reading “Missed connections and lonely souls”

Parent in training: a review of “Bless This Mess”

My five-month-old just fell asleep. Now I have anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours to “get something done.” This phenomenon of sporadic, indefinite hands-free time is something that’s hard for folks who are not immersed in parenting young children to understand. Even those of us who’ve been through it often develop a gauzy memoryContinue reading “Parent in training: a review of “Bless This Mess””

My celibacy is steeped in a whole lot of love

On Valentine’s Day and every day, my celibacy is steeped in a whole lot of love. What does it mean to live consecrated celibacy on Valentine’s Day? In a world obsessed with relationships and sexuality, what does it mean to give that part of myself to Christ? I have been living religious life for 16Continue reading “My celibacy is steeped in a whole lot of love”

Beyond lonely scrolling

Sitting alone in a living room on a dark winter night, I am staring at a screen once again. With a TV buzzing in the background, I scroll down through tragic headlines, past photos of smiling babies and occasional political rants. The warmth of the laptop upon my legs and its glow across my faceContinue reading “Beyond lonely scrolling”

The myth of the self-made person and the true demand of discipleship

A week ago, I sat among a circle of women at the local county jail. The fluorescent lights shined brightly overhead as we discussed Bible verses and prayed together, as we marveled about the challenges of being good. We laughed, nodded and spoke vulnerably with one another about how tough it can be to beContinue reading “The myth of the self-made person and the true demand of discipleship”

St. Joe and me

I have been praying to St. Joe, the earthly father of Jesus, a lot lately. I call him St. Joe instead of St. Joseph because shortening his name makes him more real to me, like a friend. When I pray to saints it is helpful for me to behave like we are in relationship; change occurs onContinue reading “St. Joe and me”