Light in the dark

In the Northern hemisphere, today is the shortest day of the year, the day when we experience the least sunlight. We’re still in the season of Advent, the season of longing and hope. Even if the preparations and Christmas celebrations of this season have had you feeling busy and stressed, you still have time toContinue reading “Light in the dark”

With apologies to Agathon

“O happy fault, that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!” ~ “The Exsultet: The Proclamation of Easter” It seems lately that many people around me are having a tough time. Perhaps it’s just my perception but in my day-to-day conversations and my friends’ social media posts, there are many struggling just to keep it together.Continue reading “With apologies to Agathon”

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”

Fear, darkness, and Advent

Lately a certain Gospel instruction is has been grinding challenge into my life, really giving my heart a doozy of a talking to. Jesus says it a lot, in many different ways: Do not be afraid. (Luke 1:30; Mark 5:36; Mark 6:50) Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? (Matthew 6:27)Continue reading “Fear, darkness, and Advent”

Quaker lessons for a Catholic girl

I grew up as a Quaker in North Carolina. Now I am a Franciscan Sister in Wisconsin. You may think I have traded hush puppies for cheese curds and simple silence for complicated ritual. But actually I find God constantly holding me in love and light through them both. For me, there is more inContinue reading “Quaker lessons for a Catholic girl”

What if Jesus prayed like this?

After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:21-22) Sometimes I like toContinue reading “What if Jesus prayed like this?”

The Advent wreath

I’m trying this again. I’m trying the traditional route of Advent. Growing up there were certain traditions my family definitely participated in. We hung stockings over our fireplace in anticipation of St. Nick on December 6. Then at church we would choose a construction ornament from the giving tree, giving us a suggestion of aContinue reading “The Advent wreath”

Paradox, solidarity and these Advent days

For us Christians, our life is a life full of paradoxes. Heaven is now and not yet. Jesus is with us always and is coming again. During Advent, we celebrate paradoxes while remembering that we are people of light and darkness. Suffering and joy are both part of the fullness of the human experience. The Nativity story also speaks of thick darknessContinue reading “Paradox, solidarity and these Advent days”

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”

beauty with ugly: our real Advent stories

Our lives are made of Advent stories. As advent people, pain and sorrow erupt right with joy and elation. A couple of days ago, I had a real Advent experience. I know a darling preschooler who I believe is a modern child saint. She teaches her stuffed animals how to pray the sign of the crossContinue reading “beauty with ugly: our real Advent stories”