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”

Lessons learned in liminal spaces

this is the space of chrysalis– of break-downs & becoming something something better something more true (we hope, we imagine) this is the crazy time (some say) this is what they warned us about: “remember, you are more prone to accidents and illness. remember to breathe.” no maps are available no one has been hereContinue reading “Lessons learned in liminal spaces”

Jessica Mesman: Church as muse

“If I want to feel faith and emboldened in my faith that happens through art. My most profound spiritual experiences have probably happened through reading books.” -Jessica Mesman

When perpetual adoration takes on a new meaning

For more than 141 years, since Aug. 1, 1878, the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration have maintained the practice that gives us our name. Along with our lay prayer partners, one of us, at all times, has been praying before the consecrated host in our adoration chapel in La Crosse, Wis. Our congregation has enduredContinue reading “When perpetual adoration takes on a new meaning”

System upset, then and now

During a sacred meal with his friends, the rabbi mixed-up the ritual. When he stood and put a towel around his waste and carried a bowl of water across the room, he caused confusion. His followers exchanged glances, but stayed quiet, not asking questions. They stared as he knelt before the man with the longestContinue reading “System upset, then and now”

How can I find God?

Stress warning: Content includes suicidal thoughts. What would you say if a friend with no religious affiliation asked you the simple question: How can I find God? This is the scenario posed to the young and the old, the famous and the not-famous and those of a variety of religious preferences who contribute their voicesContinue reading “How can I find God?”

The Goodness of Gray, the Holy Innocents, and the Kairos (Time) of God

It’s a gray day, one of those types where the clouds hang heavy and seem to block out all sunlight. Inside a cozy lamp-lit room, I am sitting in a circle of ministers training to be spiritual directors and practicing the art of listening. Around the circle, person after person tells a story from theirContinue reading “The Goodness of Gray, the Holy Innocents, and the Kairos (Time) of God”

Openness to the mystery of other people

Gazing toward the brightly lit horizon the other day, I noticed an expansiveness, an opening. Beyond what I could see was a mystery. Bigger than the dances of shadows and light, the frozen November snow and the clouds hanging out their hues of pink and gray, was the power of possibility, the rise of potential.Continue reading “Openness to the mystery of other people”

The familiar, the new and discernment for daily living

I’ve been wondering: is anything ever totally new? Some say that every seven years we have new bodies — all new cells. The saying, though, is a myth: brain cells aren’t replaced; we keep them our entire lifetimes. No matter what’s new, and no matter what’s familiar, when our world shifts and moves, how do weContinue reading “The familiar, the new and discernment for daily living”

Inside Mystery Cave

A lifelong friend and I are at the mouth of the cave, about to embark on a guided tour with a naturalist. Along with people we never met before, we’re entering Mystery Cave near Preston, Minnesota. Before this moment several years ago, we had studied the history and geological displays in the nearby welcome center.Continue reading “Inside Mystery Cave”