On the good days

On the good days, I am conscious of the discoveries. This life under COVID-19 has been full of new and beautiful discoveries, both inner and outer. I recently read that while our outings to restaurants, shopping malls and amusement parks have all decreased dramatically, our visits to public parks has increased exponentially. This is certainlyContinue reading “On the good days”

When perpetual adoration takes on a new meaning

For more than 141 years, since Aug. 1, 1878, the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration have maintained the practice that gives us our name. Along with our lay prayer partners, one of us, at all times, has been praying before the consecrated host in our adoration chapel in La Crosse, Wis. Our congregation has enduredContinue reading “When perpetual adoration takes on a new meaning”

When the ground moves and tradition changes

During my first visit to a foreign land there was an earthquake, but I was unaware of it until after the fact. I was an exchange student, staying with a host family in Mexico City. Within the first few days that I was there adjusting to everything — change of language, culture, climate, lifestyle andContinue reading “When the ground moves and tradition changes”

Finding the faces of God in the dark

Lately, a memory keeps surfacing. I am struggling with my mental health and, almost before it begins, I am having a particularly hard day. Sitting in my chair, trying to get started, I call my counselor for help. I tell him, “All I have on my schedule today is an appointment with my psychiatrist. That’sContinue reading “Finding the faces of God in the dark”

Bring on the boredom: the paradox of the path

Years ago, at a family gathering with cousins and aunts and uncles rubbing shoulders and shaking hands, I uttered words for which I was shamed and even scolded. We were in the hills of Iowa at my uncle’s pig farm. He was the eldest uncle. His children were at least a decade older than me,Continue reading “Bring on the boredom: the paradox of the path”

Our Common Call to Contemplation, Communion and Creativity

On an ordinary morning, I kneel into The Now. I am alone in my bedroom, sitting cross-legged on the floor. I have set my timer, so I know when I must move. But for now, this is all there is. I light the candle nearby, then close my eyes and move my mind — myContinue reading “Our Common Call to Contemplation, Communion and Creativity”

For those who long for a life of meaning

I am a Franciscan, yet much of Carmelite spirituality resonates with me. Perhaps it’s because I am inspired by the depth of the tradition. Maybe it is because the wisdom offered reads like poetry. Or, it could be because the beautiful images and metaphors feel right to my meandering heart and mind: Flower, Castle andContinue reading “For those who long for a life of meaning”

Prayer beyond words

I was 10 when it happened. I fell in love with silence. I was looking for my own church. My mom would drop me off at places of worship for different denominations — Catholic, Presbyterian, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. I think I also went to the synagogue. I would attend a service and noContinue reading “Prayer beyond words”

God, the Ocean

A little over a week ago, I got to be near the ocean. I didn’t get to see it. I didn’t get to tuck my toe into the salty fluid; I wasn’t able to wade upon the sand and rocks and contemplate the depth beyond the shore. (I was near the ocean because I traveledContinue reading “God, the Ocean”