As dust

Oh God, who desire not the death of sinners, but their conversion, mercifully hear our prayers and in your kindness be pleased to bless these ashes, which we intend to receive upon our heads, that we, who acknowledge we are but ashes shall return to dust, may, through a steadfast observance of Lent, gain pardon for sinsContinue reading “As dust”

How Do Words Become Flesh?

This womb of mine will not know the pangs of pregnancy. My skin will not tighten when another body becomes part of my flesh. My inner organs will not shift to make room; my ankles will not swell; my appetite will not increase because my body is making another person. This womb is empty, creased.Continue reading “How Do Words Become Flesh?”

O Come Emmanuel: Free us prisoners

Sitting next to me in another hard, plastic chair is a good-hearted man wearing brightly colored scrubs — colors that label him as guilty of a crime. We’re in a florescent lit room inside the county jail: bare white walls and glass windows, a camera overhead. There are about a dozen of us in thisContinue reading “O Come Emmanuel: Free us prisoners”

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”