Franciscan prayer for all of us: a conversation with Jon Sweeney

What does it meant to pray like a Franciscan? This question is one that I reflect on regularly. It’s part of my tendency to informally self-evaluate, to ask myself how I am doing at living my vocation. Typically, the question leads me right to Jesus on the cross. As modeled centuries ago by Saints FrancisContinue reading “Franciscan prayer for all of us: a conversation with Jon Sweeney”

Lucy’s lament, Greta’s anger and hopeful action

It was a bright June day when I heard a sister lament. The sister: she is named for light; we call her Lucy. At a community meeting, she stood at a podium and spoke into a microphone, her voice full of passion and frustration. She gave a State of the Union speech of sorts, yetContinue reading “Lucy’s lament, Greta’s anger and hopeful action”

Ugandan faith lesson #5: hope

Faith lessons from my Ugandan family Editor’s note: This is the final blog post of a five-part series “Faith lessons from my Ugandan family”  (see lessons #1, #2, #3 and #4) by Messy Jesus Business guest contributor/Rabble Rouser Nicole Steele Wooldridge about her experiences in Mbale, Uganda. More than almost anyone I know, my Ugandan host parentsContinue reading “Ugandan faith lesson #5: hope”

Enough or not

I live on the cusp of enough and dreamy desires; in the liminal land of paradox. I am always trying to make do with my limits, to authentically live my vow of poverty and get re-rooted in simple living. Yet. I am always longing for more. Desire, dreams, faith and hope fuel my energy. Even whenContinue reading “Enough or not”

Radical hospitality and responsible parenthood

While driving home from church last Sunday, I watched a man frantically chase a public bus for an entire city block, only to miss it by a few seconds. The bus stop he was trying to reach is just steps away from my house, and I waged an internal debate with myself as I pulledContinue reading “Radical hospitality and responsible parenthood”

Old-fashioned trunk-centered simplicity

I admire my sisters’ tales of trunks. Long before I entered the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration – and long before Vatican II for that matter – the common, communal practice was that every sister had to fit all of her personal property into one trunk. Our Franciscan lifestyle is an itinerant one. As sistersContinue reading “Old-fashioned trunk-centered simplicity”

The process of lightening up my living

A few weeks ago, my whole life flashed before my eyes. Well, maybe it didn’t actually flash. But, I really did feel I re-lived my 33 years of living in five days. In those five days, I looked at all of my stuff and made a choice about whether to keep each item (not the goal), throw itContinue reading “The process of lightening up my living”

Motherhood and Not-So-Simple Simplicity

By guest blogger  Nicole Steele Wooldridge I always used to find it challenging to live out the value of simplicity in a contemporary Western context.  Now, as a mom, I find it nearly impossible. I am blessed to be the mother of a twenty-month-old daughter and another little girl due in two months.  I desperatelyContinue reading “Motherhood and Not-So-Simple Simplicity”

a shoe story

One of my core faith principles is that God will provide for all our needs.  Recently, a little sisterly community experience re-convinced me of this. Last week I renewed my vows. It was a beautiful, joyous event.  Several sisters gathered in our chapel, Mary of the Angels, for Taize’ prayer and meditation Friday night. After aContinue reading “a shoe story”

living simply to build community

You’ve probably heard the saying: “Live simply so others may simply live.”  Different sources credit the phrase to different wise people, like St. Francis of Assisi and Mother Theresa. Either way, it’s a good mantra and the saying totally carries weight. Lately a new, yet similar saying has been rattling around in my consciousness:  “LiveContinue reading “living simply to build community”