Marked

 Most days, our schedules are clogged with avoidance: We’d rather ignore the inevitable smudge of human decay.   This morning though, Ash Wednesday, we step into lines and confront the truth of pain.   We allow strangers to mark us with a message of paradox.   Remember, you are dust. To dust you will return.Continue reading “Marked”

Death comes for us all, Oroku Saki

“Death comes for us all, Oroku Saki, but something much worse comes for you … for when you die, it will be without honor.” ~ Master Splinter, to the Shredder, in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie” (1990). At the climax of one of my favorite films, the 1990 cinematic masterpiece “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,”Continue reading “Death comes for us all, Oroku Saki”

Trains in heaven: Embracing the mystery

About a week before I professed my final vows, in the summer of 2015, I had a crisis of faith. During a private retreat in a quiet cabin, I was tucked into a recliner, blankets snuggled around me. I stared out a wide window toward a vast lake — not a lake I know well;Continue reading “Trains in heaven: Embracing the mystery”

Why I am going to the Border

I am about to leave the beautiful, safe and peaceful Northwoods of Wisconsin and travel to the U.S./Mexico border for the weekend. I’ll be joining thousands at the SOAW Border Convergence in Nogales, Arizona, and Nogales, Mexico; with other Catholic sisters and members of Giving Voice as we pray and give witness for peace and compassionateContinue reading “Why I am going to the Border”

Black cloth

Red broth, steaming soup, vegetables just picked, now my lunch; I slurp life in. Phone rings Sister Laura on the line, “Sister Rita is dying. I’ll put the phone to her ear. Say what you’d like. She can’t talk, won’t respond. Say your good-bye.” A pause. My lungs expand, mind races, I search my heartContinue reading “Black cloth”

Ugandan faith lesson #4: thank God for every “journey mercy”

Faith lessons from my Ugandan family Editor’s note: This is the fourth blog post in a five-part series “Faith lessons from my Ugandan family”  by Messy Jesus Business guest contributor/Rabble Rouser Nicole Steele Wooldridge about her experiences in Mbale, Uganda (read lessons #1, #2 and #3). Tune in tomorrow to experience the final installment ofContinue reading “Ugandan faith lesson #4: thank God for every “journey mercy””

Good Friday: The crosses we create

Today, this high holy day, at liturgies worldwide, we will know no sacrifice at the banquet table. Communion will be different, stirring up spiritual hungers to remind us of the pain of our loss, the awfulness of the absence of Christ. On this solemn day, an unusual ritual will file us forward; all of us areContinue reading “Good Friday: The crosses we create”

Our God who Suffers

A few weeks ago, one of my cousins committed suicide. It was a shock to all of us who knew and loved him. His death still remains sad and painful for many of us. Personally, the experience of suffering with my family taught me much about the power of God’s love. In a new wayContinue reading “Our God who Suffers”

Praying in the dark

The light is dim and the air is frigid. With Advent’s arrival in this part of the world, we continue to feel the days shorten and the darkness increase. Whether the light is dimming or not, though, another type of darkness is also apparent: the darkness of suffering. Far and near, people experience violence, injustice andContinue reading “Praying in the dark”

Hope during death and decay

An Ebola epidemic. Beheadings. Bombings. War. Violence. Obituaries. We don’t have to go deep into the headlines to know that death and despair surround us. Our human family is suffering intensely. We all are. When I really let myself feel it, I squirm. Awareness of injustice gnaws at my edges, compelling me to feel uncomfortable with the peaceContinue reading “Hope during death and decay”