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”

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”

When the ground moves and tradition changes

During my first visit to a foreign land there was an earthquake, but I was unaware of it until after the fact. I was an exchange student, staying with a host family in Mexico City. Within the first few days that I was there adjusting to everything — change of language, culture, climate, lifestyle andContinue reading “When the ground moves and tradition changes”

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”

Poetry: How do words become flesh?

How do you pray? Do you pray with hands folded? Do you air out your words on the line? Do you clip them down one by one, and then let them dance in the breeze until they smell fresher, lighter? Do you tell yourself stories of meaning and mystery? Do you let the metaphors danceContinue reading “Poetry: How do words become flesh?”

Light in the dark

In the Northern hemisphere, today is the shortest day of the year, the day when we experience the least sunlight. We’re still in the season of Advent, the season of longing and hope. Even if the preparations and Christmas celebrations of this season have had you feeling busy and stressed, you still have time toContinue reading “Light in the dark”

This Advent, may we make room

Months ago, while my mind and heart were whirling after moving from rural Wisconsin to Chicago, I attempted to run a simple and quick errand: buy some shampoo. Another sister went with me, and we carried along a short list of things we needed for our new household. At the store, we found little ofContinue reading “This Advent, may we make room”

Advent: watchfulness, waiting and wanting

In Psalm 130, we are taught to pray: “ I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I hope. My soul waits for the Lord, more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning.” When I pray this psalm, my imagination takes me to aContinue reading “Advent: watchfulness, waiting and wanting”