Sorrow and Joy during the Black Lives Matter movement

In the June burst of green and sunshine, I am taking a bike ride through the historically black neighborhood where I live in Chicago. Along the way, I encounter a heron and a flock of geese; I see wrappers and plastic bags littering the sidewalks, discarded in the gutters. I smell freshly-cut grass and waveContinue reading “Sorrow and Joy during the Black Lives Matter movement”

Rejoice with me

  Along with three others sisters in their mid-30s, I am in a busy café in St. Louis, Missouri, enjoying a lunch of sandwiches and salads. A bit ago, we prayed over our food. Between bites, we’re laughing and chatting about the work we need to do. Feeling happy and a little anxious, we stillContinue reading “Rejoice with me”

Walking in beauty

No matter what the season, God helps me to find the beauty in the neighborhood in which I live. Perhaps one of my biggest struggles as I develop my spiritual practices and prayer life is staying in the present moment. I find my attention wandering not only during prayer, but during meals and conversations withContinue reading “Walking in beauty”

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”

The beauty of brokenness

An old building in disrepair, collapsing toward the ground. A rusting, defective car, stuck in layers of mud. Shattered glass. Melting candle. Cracked eggshells. Chipped ceramics. The sight of the simplest crack in a sidewalk can still my body, stun my soul. The colors and textures of a simple, broken branch can inspire poetry. It mayContinue reading “The beauty of brokenness”

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”

Praying with children crawling every which way

Recently—and a bit ironically, considering my vocation—my life has offered me an opportunity to learn all sorts of lessons about prayer and parenting. When I was in temporary vows a few years ago I agonized about my vocation a lot. I agonized about why it was that I was called to be a Sister, especially sinceContinue reading “Praying with children crawling every which way”

Ordinary mystery

Now we are in ordinary time. Alleluia for the sunset each day. Alleluia for sniffing wilted lilac blossoms. Alleluia for pauses in the rushed, packed scheduled life. Christ comes to us is the cracks of our life, in the common mystery: Slicing orange cheddar for a quick snack, the sweetness of a fresh mandarin, theContinue reading “Ordinary mystery”

Expressions of love, totally ignored

Have you ever felt like someone was ignoring you? As if, although you have a history of friendly relationship with someone, they no longer recognize you as different from any other stranger in a crowd? That, even despite your efforts to greet them with love and reconcile the relationship, they chose to snub you andContinue reading “Expressions of love, totally ignored”

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”