Entry into Advent: the pacing of discovery

Psalm 80 is often read in churches all over the world during the Advent season. Throughout this psalm of yearning we pray, “restore us, O God of hosts; show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.”   I live in a neighborhood that shares rhythms of prayer each day. We are aContinue reading “Entry into Advent: the pacing of discovery”

Most wonderful time of the year

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”   Except, for you, this holiday season is anything but. Maybe you are moving through the annual traditions for the first time without a loved one because of death or divorce. Maybe a job loss or economic hardship means buying gifts or booking travel is financially outContinue reading “Most wonderful time of the year”

Light of St. Lucy

I remember spending a lot of time picking out my new confirmation name. Among the saints, the holy men and women who have come before us to help intercede during our lifelong faith development, I was looking for someone a bit out of the ordinary. I had narrowed my choices down to two saints: oneContinue reading “Light of St. Lucy”

Do you know who you’re talking to?

As I walked down the hall and into our parish’s Spanish language youth group meeting after a very trying and somewhat disappointing middle school lesson on the Ten Commandments, I was fully immersed in beleaguered-teacher mode. I entered and quickly began an Advent lesson on Mary. We began reviewing the stories of the Annunciation, theContinue reading “Do you know who you’re talking to?”

Easter haikus

                    the ice drifted out fish, otter, loons released lake ripples broadly green gradually overcomes brown         building up diversity’s wisdom awoke, rising, bold every budding leaf shows how justice demands change love is feeding others love is breakfast on the beach loveContinue reading “Easter haikus”

King’s mountaintop is an Easter invitation for everyone

Happy Easter! And, blessed day of the martyrdom of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  to you all! Rev. King was shot on this day, April 4th, 1968 — 50 years ago. He was only 39 years old. The night before he was killed he gave his final speech, a prophetic message of ringing withContinue reading “King’s mountaintop is an Easter invitation for everyone”

Death in Spring: two Holy Week meditations

Death encounters On the first day of Spring, I awoke to a voicemail from a friend, her voice cracking with emotion as she said that her mother had unexpectedly died. Please pray for us, Sister. The rest of that day, I attended a funeral for someone else, for the husband of a friend of myContinue reading “Death in Spring: two Holy Week meditations”

Lent’s inevitable disappointment and the constant turn to God

Praying with Fr. James’ Martin SJ’s Examen app recently, I heard the words, “Lent is drawing to a close. For Christians, that means not only is there some anticipation for the celebration of Easter, but also some inevitable disappointment about your Lenten spiritual practices …” “Inevitable disappointment.” The words froze me still. And completely validatedContinue reading “Lent’s inevitable disappointment and the constant turn to God”

The words of Oscar Romero for our Lenten conversion

Around here, deep in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, the signs of spring are starting to emerge — quite appropriately, since Lent means spring. The deep snow piles are gradually starting to shrink and reveal a little green life around their edges. Tiny buds are forming on tree branches. Buckets are lining paths, making more visible theContinue reading “The words of Oscar Romero for our Lenten conversion”

So naive

“It [grace] strikes us when, year after year, the longed-for perfection of life does not appear, when the old compulsions reign within us as they have for decades, when despair destroys all joy and courage.” ~ Paul Tillich, “You Are Accepted” You have to be pretty naive to be a Christian in today’s world. ThisContinue reading “So naive”