At a table with other sinners, the Eucharist unites

The first person who taught me eucharistic theology was my Lutheran grandmother. Although I have no memories of her ever uttering the words “eucharistic” or “theology,” she taught me in the way that the best teachers do: by being a living example. Grandma’s house usually smelled like freshly baked bread. Her counter was often dustedContinue reading “At a table with other sinners, the Eucharist unites”

For those who long for a life of meaning

I am a Franciscan, yet much of Carmelite spirituality resonates with me. Perhaps it’s because I am inspired by the depth of the tradition. Maybe it is because the wisdom offered reads like poetry. Or, it could be because the beautiful images and metaphors feel right to my meandering heart and mind: Flower, Castle andContinue reading “For those who long for a life of meaning”

As one in the crowd

In my imagination, I am a girl of 10 years old, playing tag with my older brother. We are running through the stone streets of Jerusalem on a Friday morning. My calloused feet are well-accustomed to the alleyways and paths, to the steps and hills; I know my way around and am familiar to theContinue reading “As one in the crowd”

St. Joe and me

I have been praying to St. Joe, the earthly father of Jesus, a lot lately. I call him St. Joe instead of St. Joseph because shortening his name makes him more real to me, like a friend. When I pray to saints it is helpful for me to behave like we are in relationship; change occurs onContinue reading “St. Joe and me”

Kneading Dough

The smell of bread baking wafts, stills her light as she enters bouncing, screen door clanging.               Show me, Grandma. I want to know. For the next batch, she is held firm between warm embrace and floured dough upon tan table. She’s stunned by the flowing union of grandma’sContinue reading “Kneading Dough”

Namesake

“Lord, have mercy/ On my descendants/ For they know not/ What they do/ For they know not Who you are.” ~ “Pillar of Truth” by Lucy Dacus It’s been about four hours since the birth, and now that everyone is calm and happy and relaxing, I take a minute to steal away. I descend softlyContinue reading “Namesake”

Groaning and gratitude

I am wide-awake in a dark hospital room. I survived a gruesome hiking accident that left me bloody and alone in the bottom of a ravine, but I’ve been told that I’ll have reconstructive jaw surgery the next day. My family and Franciscan sisters have gone home to sleep for the rest of the night.Continue reading “Groaning and gratitude”

The awkwardness of being a long-distance aunt

With an armful of children’s books and DVD’s, I make my way through the glass library door. I feel awkward as I carry these items, as foreign to me as the rocks on Mars. I feel like I should explain that these books aren’t for my children, that I don’t have any. I’ve been visitingContinue reading “The awkwardness of being a long-distance aunt”

More than a table

They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.                            —Acts of the Apostles, 2:46 Last week, I had to buy a dining room table. It is the first time I’ve ever done so and to be honest,Continue reading “More than a table”