On the good days

On the good days, I am conscious of the discoveries. This life under COVID-19 has been full of new and beautiful discoveries, both inner and outer. I recently read that while our outings to restaurants, shopping malls and amusement parks have all decreased dramatically, our visits to public parks has increased exponentially. This is certainlyContinue reading “On the good days”

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”

10 summer reads from our archives for the heat and these hard times

Here are 10 summer reads from the Messy Jesus Business archives that could fuel your fires, ignite your actions, inform your choices. These words could companion you in the summer heat and during these hard times.

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

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?”

Poetry: How do words become flesh?

How do you pray? Do you pray with hands folded? Do you air out your words on the line? Do you clip them down one by one, and then let them dance in the breeze until they smell fresher, lighter? Do you tell yourself stories of meaning and mystery? Do you let the metaphors danceContinue reading “Poetry: How do words become flesh?”

Do you know who you’re talking to?

As I walked down the hall and into our parish’s Spanish language youth group meeting after a very trying and somewhat disappointing middle school lesson on the Ten Commandments, I was fully immersed in beleaguered-teacher mode. I entered and quickly began an Advent lesson on Mary. We began reviewing the stories of the Annunciation, theContinue reading “Do you know who you’re talking to?”

Wonder in the wilderness

Over 25 years ago, I was a bruised and bug-bite-dotted scrawny girl, wonder-eyed and singing loudly in the middle of an Iowan prairie with a crowd circling a glowing fire. The day was dimming around us, crickets chirping through the tall blades of grass, the stars slowly becoming visible in the navy-blue night sky. ThenContinue reading “Wonder in the wilderness”

Questions as a path to unity

Years ago, while teaching theology to 9th graders, a particular student tugged at my heart. Each day he would come into my classroom and listen thoughtfully. His face would twist up with frustration and confusion while he heard me explain how the Bible came to be and the call of discipleship. The questions seemed toContinue reading “Questions as a path to unity”

Praying with voices from Charlottesville and learning how I am racist

I have never been to Charlottesville. In fact, I have barely spent anytime in the American South. Like most people, though, I am horrified and sickened by the ugliness of racism that has been expressed there recently, especially last weekend. I want to know what to do, how to help and am trying to discernContinue reading “Praying with voices from Charlottesville and learning how I am racist”