The little way today

My three-year-old daughter, JoyAna, loves the garden. She walks around smelling flowers, searching for worms and almost indiscriminately exclaiming, “Whoa, daddy, this is amazing.” Last week she got a hold of a red and yellow zinnia and, with all the free-spiritedness of an exuberant toddler, ran up and down the sidewalk unpetalling and tossing theContinue reading “The little way today”

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”

An invitation

As we walk along, feet stir dust and crack tiny twigs—once members of a great tree they now lie as individuals dismissed, forgotten. The brightness of once-was is waning as green fades into yellow and the decay of vibrancy is apparent in the log, the stump, the browning ferns drooping toward the ground. The worldContinue reading “An invitation”

Lent’s inevitable disappointment and the constant turn to God

Praying with Fr. James’ Martin SJ’s Examen app recently, I heard the words, “Lent is drawing to a close. For Christians, that means not only is there some anticipation for the celebration of Easter, but also some inevitable disappointment about your Lenten spiritual practices …” “Inevitable disappointment.” The words froze me still. And completely validatedContinue reading “Lent’s inevitable disappointment and the constant turn to God”

As the insects, like the swans: Living the vow of obedience with a free spirit

I am in the woods on Mount Subasio above Assisi, Italy, at a sacred place of prayer called La Carceri. It’s July 20, 2014. I am on a pilgrimage, thrilled to be praying in this holy place where St. Francis and the early friars spent much time in contemplation. I too am in contemplation onContinue reading “As the insects, like the swans: Living the vow of obedience with a free spirit”