Praying with voices from Charlottesville and learning how I am racist

I have never been to Charlottesville. In fact, I have barely spent anytime in the American South. Like most people, though, I am horrified and sickened by the ugliness of racism that has been expressed there recently, especially last weekend. I want to know what to do, how to help and am trying to discernContinue reading “Praying with voices from Charlottesville and learning how I am racist”

Peace beyond corners

My most vivid memories of elementary school are from second grade. I had spiked hair (I’m not sure if it was cool back then or not), lost many of my baby teeth (earning a special certificate with each one) and played lots of playground football games. However, these were not my most important or formativeContinue reading “Peace beyond corners”

How the Holy Spirit moves us outward, across enemy lines

  The Holy Spirit is coming! The Holy Spirit!! Easter has ended. Jesus ascended. The power of Pentecost is nearly here. (We’ll celebrate this feast on Sunday.) What sort of wildness is unleashed into the world by way of these turns in the liturgical calendar? How has the energy transformed us and made us more into theContinue reading “How the Holy Spirit moves us outward, across enemy lines”

One life together

As of the writing of this reflection, Witness Against Torture, The New York Catholic Worker, and Voices for Creative Nonviolence, among others, are in the midst of a week-long fast for the victims of the recent airstrikes and ongoing besiegement of Yemen. There we see, once again, one of the poorest countries of the worldContinue reading “One life together”

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. meditation: “Peace on Earth” is a call to action

Happy Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day to all of you! What are you doing to honor the legacy of Dr. King today? Please, let us allow ourselves to be disturbed and transformed on this national holiday. This is not a day for sentimental history lessons. It is not a day to rest norContinue reading “Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. meditation: “Peace on Earth” is a call to action”

This complicated, imperfect world: an essay

I have always been hesitant to rock the boat; to challenge another’s opinion. As much as I would like to think otherwise, I don’t often get my feet muddy or my hair wet. The dirt splattered across my pants comes from my daughter jumping into a rain puddle, not me. I am usually complacent, confined to theContinue reading “This complicated, imperfect world: an essay”

Spoilin’ for a fight

The Rebel Alliance’s dramatic assault against the Death Star, the X-Men’s desperate struggle against the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles squaring off against The Shredder: these characters compose the narrative of my childhood. I have been utterly shaped by this litany of beloved good guys and their unending fight againstContinue reading “Spoilin’ for a fight”

From farm to city and back again: Listening and loving on the margins

Decades ago, as a child growing up in the rolling hills of Northeast Iowa, I would daydream of simpler times, of the days when people were pioneers and steadily establishing their families and homes and building communities upon frontiers. My younger sisters and I would gather in groves of cedar trees tucked into the hillsContinue reading “From farm to city and back again: Listening and loving on the margins”

Casting a vote beyond the political haze

For most of my adult life I have been incredibly fascinated with the interaction of politics and faith. I was ecstatic when Pope Francis spoke to U.S. Congress last fall. I loved lobbying on behalf of the Catholic bishops in Iowa—and all the Catholic concerns for the entire state—when I interned with the Iowa CatholicContinue reading “Casting a vote beyond the political haze”

The hope rock

With one hand I grip my luggage and move slowly down an air-bridge at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. With my other hand, I reach around to check that my backpack is securely zipped. My skin brushes a cool and smooth rock poking through the mesh pocket on the outside of my bag. I turn toContinue reading “The hope rock”