Hope, not fear, during power transition and other uncertain times

In less than a week, votes will be counted. In less than a week, we might know the results of the election. We may know who our new — or returning — elected officials will be. It seems to me that many of us are nervous — or terrified — about what is to comeContinue reading “Hope, not fear, during power transition and other uncertain times”

Democracy is collapsing, but let’s imagine how the church could change that

I was in another Zoom meeting with my friend, another Catholic sister who is a professor on a college campus. Together we were lamenting the extreme polarities in the church and society. Rubbing our foreheads. Sighing. Praying right out loud: God, help us. Together we were bemoaning how the tensions impact our freedom to loveContinue reading “Democracy is collapsing, but let’s imagine how the church could change that”

Lay down the weapon of good intention

A few years ago, my partner and I were invited to speak with a small group of white Catholic North Americans visiting Bolivia. My partner, from Bolivia, was asked to speak briefly with the group about Andean spirituality, and I was asked to translate his words from Spanish to English. (I am sharing this storyContinue reading “Lay down the weapon of good intention”

Freedom songs

Selma has been on my mind lately. With the passing of John Lewis, my social media feed has been flooded with photos of him standing at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, stories of his constant bravery and even videos of him dancing or crowd surfing. We have lost a legend. And my mindContinue reading “Freedom songs”

10 summer reads from our archives for the heat and these hard times

Here are 10 summer reads from the Messy Jesus Business archives that could fuel your fires, ignite your actions, inform your choices. These words could companion you in the summer heat and during these hard times.

Lament and hope go hand in hand

“Say her name!” I yelled, and the crowds roared back: “Breonna Taylor!” After days of protests of the death of George Floyd around the country, I had a gnawing feeling inside that yet again, a Black woman had been relegated to the bottom of the pile in the fight for social justice. So I was excitedContinue reading “Lament and hope go hand in hand”

Sorrow and Joy during the Black Lives Matter movement

In the June burst of green and sunshine, I am taking a bike ride through the historically black neighborhood where I live in Chicago. Along the way, I encounter a heron and a flock of geese; I see wrappers and plastic bags littering the sidewalks, discarded in the gutters. I smell freshly-cut grass and waveContinue reading “Sorrow and Joy during the Black Lives Matter movement”

Hope and heartache on this side of the grave

I understand that my death could come any day. My own life experiences have etched this understanding into the channels of my heart. I carry a consciousness of my mortality into all my ordinary actions. Knowing that the potential of death looms nearby influences what I think about, dream about and do with my days.Continue reading “Hope and heartache on this side of the grave”

The body bags of pandemics and wars

Sheltering in place during the coronavirus pandemic, I’m tucked away into my bedroom, where my time is defined by solitude and screens as I move between projects. Right now, I am working at my desk on various tasks: responding to emails, returning phone calls, setting up meetings. In the background, my radio hums quietly, theContinue reading “The body bags of pandemics and wars”

The coronavirus, the cross and our vocation

I wasn’t sure what it would look like, or how terrible it would be, but deep in my gut I felt something squirming. An awareness. A knowing. An intuition. I had a feeling that bad days were ahead. I am fairly certain that my intuition that we were heading toward a humanitarian crisis wasn’t unusual.Continue reading “The coronavirus, the cross and our vocation”