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”

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”

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”

We are endangered species, but Franciscan values could save us

At my new home in Chicago, I can visit the shore of Lake Michigan, and I like to go there to pray. From my spot on a concrete slab, all that is visible to me that is “natural” is water and sky. Everything else — the concrete, the fence, the shoreline — has been constructedContinue reading “We are endangered species, but Franciscan values could save us”

Lucy’s lament, Greta’s anger and hopeful action

It was a bright June day when I heard a sister lament. The sister: she is named for light; we call her Lucy. At a community meeting, she stood at a podium and spoke into a microphone, her voice full of passion and frustration. She gave a State of the Union speech of sorts, yetContinue reading “Lucy’s lament, Greta’s anger and hopeful action”

The holy work of tending to life

“Everything is work. We either accept it or we fight against life.” This was the declaration of the Mother Superior and leader of Regina Laudis, a Benedictine Abbey of 36 nuns in Connecticut offering their lives in prayer and cooperative work with God and all creation. This community raises beef and dairy cattle, makes cheese,Continue reading “The holy work of tending to life”

What’s whiteness got to do with it?

“You don’t dismantle white supremacy by ‘learning about other cultures.’ You dismantle white supremacy by deconstructing whiteness. – Benita Grace Joy I saw this quote the other day. As any good meme does, it deeply resonates with my own experience. As a white woman who chose to move to South America, originally serving as aContinue reading “What’s whiteness got to do with it?”

Alive in the fire

In the stretch of some days, we switched over from Resurrection joy and fiery feasts to ordinary time. (At least, according to the Church calendar that guides my contemplation.) Holiness, light goodness, hope, love, transformation: all these energies are offered to us on this side of linear thinking and time. Yet, the God we knowContinue reading “Alive in the fire”

Strength in weakness

But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  — 2 Corinthians 12:9 Lent is a time I focus on my weaknesses. I don’tContinue reading “Strength in weakness”