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.

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”

For We Know Not What We Do

The world that surrounds us is daunting,        too many voices speak truth        and prophetic words from false prophets sow division. God cannot be both compassionate and a defense through which morality props up the unjust But the most persuasive voices        can tailor the emperor’s clothes to align with God’s will or is it man’s? SoContinue reading “For We Know Not What We Do”

Preaching the Gospel for the first time … again

I sat down in front of 15 pre-K students for our bi-weekly Bible story time, expecting more or less to follow our routine. Every Wednesday and Friday I join them for a 15-minute story session, telling toddler-friendly versions of Sunday’s scripture or the classic Bible stories that adults clean up and present to young children:Continue reading “Preaching the Gospel for the first time … again”

I fasted on only bread and juice for Lent. This is what I learned.

My stomach felt like an empty pit. There could not possibly have been anything left in the tank. I had already been on the toilet for 10 minutes, but I had not built up enough confidence to walk away. Diarrhea for reasons beyond our control is bad enough. This time it was, I admit, completelyContinue reading “I fasted on only bread and juice for Lent. This is what I learned.”

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”

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”