Jessica Mesman: Church as muse

“If I want to feel faith and emboldened in my faith that happens through art. My most profound spiritual experiences have probably happened through reading books.” -Jessica Mesman

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?”

Call for creative communion

  I nearly skipped the liturgy. I almost didn’t head out into the cold night. After two full and exhausting days at the Festival of Faith and Writing in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I wasn’t sure if I had any energy to interact with another person, especially any of my literary heroes. Yet, I made myContinue reading “Call for creative communion”

#MeToo, #ChurchToo and the hope in breaking the silence

The courage and resilience of survivors of sexual assault choosing to share their stories gives me hope. The wave of very public accounts of sexual assault and misconduct sweeping the United States, for many, has made what once seemed safe and certain seem suddenly dangerous and frightening. For those recently opening their eyes to theContinue reading “#MeToo, #ChurchToo and the hope in breaking the silence”

Bread, art and a kindergarten heart

  “NO! I HATE this part of the bread! I won’t eat it!” My daughter had just realized that her peanut butter and honey toast was made with an “all-crust” heel piece. To a five-year-old who has never known true crisis, this realization is nothing short of devastating—on par with candy-less valentines and cake batter-scented (but NOT flavored)Continue reading “Bread, art and a kindergarten heart”

On Being Everywhere I Go

“No matter where you go…there you are,” stated the character Buckaroo Banzai in the 1984 cult film The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. This troubling truism has become a bit of a mantra for me as I stumble through life. I frequently have too much going on. In the flurry of activity,Continue reading “On Being Everywhere I Go”

Hearts wide open: in the sky, on earth

Happy Feast of St. Clare! The following prose-poetry is dedicated to her. This past Monday I drove north, from Kansas City to La Crosse, through lush fields of green growing up towards the sky. As I moved, my eyes focused on the constant road. It was an all-day drive after a two-month pilgrimage of study,Continue reading “Hearts wide open: in the sky, on earth”

Like loon encounters

“rowing on Trout Lake” photo by Julia Walsh FSPA Like loon encounters  Communion with the Creator can come like loon encounters, when you are simply rowing through life and enjoying the ride, then-ah-behold: the sight of loon dancing, diving, singing, playing. The surprise of beauty, of scenery, of simplicity. Many ecstasies come in these off-shoreContinue reading “Like loon encounters”

Volumes of vibrancy

     Even with the season’s change and fading colors, I will remember the brightness and beauty of where I have been and what I have seen. The folds of these flowers frozen now in photos reminds me of yes: God’s beauty holds mystery. Yes, all of creation contains volumes of vibrancy!    

This Physical Faith

I am on pilgrimage now, in Italy. I arrived Monday evening and started having physical reactions right away. As I was leaving the Rome airport and looking around at the vegetation, it crossed my mind that the landscape I was seeing probably would have been familiar to St. Francis of Assisi, plus many other holyContinue reading “This Physical Faith”