Harden Not Your Hearts: Hearing the Call for Repentance

I know well enough that the time to address racial inequity was centuries ago. It is also now. And while it is a national sin, it is my work as much as anybody else.

The reality of the messy Nativity

I’ve said this before: the story of the Nativity lives in everyone’s heart. The story of the messy first Christmas is your story: you know what it is like to lose control, to deal with the unexpected, to put your life in danger for the sake of others, to be uncertain about the future andContinue reading “The reality of the messy Nativity”

Music for Advent during a pandemic

Here we are. We’re in Advent … during a pandemic. Every year, holding out hope and waiting in the dark offers a profound spiritual power to me. During the darkest days of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, I am consoled by the candlelight while I prepare for Christmas and pray about opening my heartContinue reading “Music for Advent during a pandemic”

Hope in hard times is an element of our prophetic vocation

I’ve been catching myself singing and there’s a surprising theme to the songs. Considering the state of things, there’s a lot of reasons why silence might make more sense, why a somber state might be more appropriate than song. In recent weeks, the COVID-19 crisis has become so deadly that morgues cannot keep up. It remainsContinue reading “Hope in hard times is an element of our prophetic vocation”

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”

“I thirst,” an invitation to transformation and presence in the midst of COVID-19

I heard the voice of God last night. It came not from my church a few blocks up the road, the historic St. Augustine where Holy Thursday’s Mass of the Last Supper was taking place, but from around the corner. It came from a man sitting on a bench in Tuba Fats Square in theContinue reading ““I thirst,” an invitation to transformation and presence in the midst of COVID-19″

System upset, then and now

During a sacred meal with his friends, the rabbi mixed-up the ritual. When he stood and put a towel around his waste and carried a bowl of water across the room, he caused confusion. His followers exchanged glances, but stayed quiet, not asking questions. They stared as he knelt before the man with the longestContinue reading “System upset, then and now”

Lent in a pandemic

I’ve been inside since Wednesday afternoon.  It all started when a friend, who ministers in New York, texted me to say that someone in his parish was being tested for the coronavirus (or Covid-19) and everyone who attended liturgy with them could be quarantined. I was alarmed. I realized that the epidemic was no longerContinue reading “Lent in a pandemic”

penitents and elements

ash sand air wind flame land repent repent penitents and elements children of God children of earth repent repent skin spit breath bone flesh fire repent repent change convert transform trust humble mortal repent repent these bodies hold histories hopes mysteries every one weak broken all made for union communion penitents and elements children ofContinue reading “penitents and elements”

The Goodness of Gray, the Holy Innocents, and the Kairos (Time) of God

It’s a gray day, one of those types where the clouds hang heavy and seem to block out all sunlight. Inside a cozy lamp-lit room, I am sitting in a circle of ministers training to be spiritual directors and practicing the art of listening. Around the circle, person after person tells a story from theirContinue reading “The Goodness of Gray, the Holy Innocents, and the Kairos (Time) of God”