Hope, not fear, during power transition and other uncertain times

In less than a week, votes will be counted. In less than a week, we might know the results of the election. We may know who our new — or returning — elected officials will be. It seems to me that many of us are nervous — or terrified — about what is to comeContinue reading “Hope, not fear, during power transition and other uncertain times”

Marlena Graves: The dangers of money, power and influence

Marlena Graves: The dangers of money, power and influence Season 1. Episode 9 of Messy Jesus Business, hosted by Sister Julia Walsh IN THIS EPISODE: In episode nine, Sister Julia speaks with Marlena Graves the author of The Way Up Is Down. They discussed her new book and its message about downward mobility and discipleship, how justiceContinue reading “Marlena Graves: The dangers of money, power and influence”

Lay down the weapon of good intention

A few years ago, my partner and I were invited to speak with a small group of white Catholic North Americans visiting Bolivia. My partner, from Bolivia, was asked to speak briefly with the group about Andean spirituality, and I was asked to translate his words from Spanish to English. (I am sharing this storyContinue reading “Lay down the weapon of good intention”

We are endangered species, but Franciscan values could save us

At my new home in Chicago, I can visit the shore of Lake Michigan, and I like to go there to pray. From my spot on a concrete slab, all that is visible to me that is “natural” is water and sky. Everything else — the concrete, the fence, the shoreline — has been constructedContinue reading “We are endangered species, but Franciscan values could save us”

As dust

Oh God, who desire not the death of sinners, but their conversion, mercifully hear our prayers and in your kindness be pleased to bless these ashes, which we intend to receive upon our heads, that we, who acknowledge we are but ashes shall return to dust, may, through a steadfast observance of Lent, gain pardon for sinsContinue reading “As dust”

Christian resistance in the style of St. Francis

It’s indisputable that today’s signs of the times point to heartache, injustice, division and confusion. The truth seems to be debatable. The persecutions of the little ones — from immigrant children, refugees, victims of natural disasters and targets of sexual assault; those who are on the margins — often are the ones who bear theContinue reading “Christian resistance in the style of St. Francis”

MLK Day and choosing white discomfort

I don’t believe that remembering Martin Luther King Jr. and the movement that he represented is supposed to be comfortable for us white folks. And I wonder what we might learn if, on this national holiday created in his honor, we were to sit with his speeches that most challenge — not affirm — ourContinue reading “MLK Day and choosing white discomfort”

Redefining faith on El Camino

Since high school, I’ve been teaching the Christian faith to others. In parishes, classrooms, and while camping in the woods, I’ve taught songs, explained Bible stories, instilled virtues and asked students to memorize definitions and lists. And, occasionally, over the years, a thoughtful youngster in one of those settings would interrupt my enthusiastic lectures andContinue reading “Redefining faith on El Camino”

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”

The joy of receiving

Jesus observed, “Without me you can do nothing.” Yet we act, for the most part, as though without us God can do nothing …“ ~ Loretta Ross-Gotta Last night I walked into our parish’s “Fiesta de la Virgen de Guadalupe.” It was a rare occasion for me — a church event for which I hadContinue reading “The joy of receiving”