Music for Advent during a pandemic

Here we are. We’re in Advent … during a pandemic. Every year, holding out hope and waiting in the dark offers a profound spiritual power to me. During the darkest days of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, I am consoled by the candlelight while I prepare for Christmas and pray about opening my heartContinue reading “Music for Advent during a pandemic”

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”

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”

A litany for our inability to end gun violence

**Adapted from “A litany for the teens in Parkland, FL” Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us. For our failure to protect life, God, have mercy. For our failure to elect leaders who protect all life, God, have mercy. For our failure to end unjust laws, God, have mercy.Continue reading “A litany for our inability to end gun violence”

I fasted on only bread and juice for Lent. This is what I learned.

My stomach felt like an empty pit. There could not possibly have been anything left in the tank. I had already been on the toilet for 10 minutes, but I had not built up enough confidence to walk away. Diarrhea for reasons beyond our control is bad enough. This time it was, I admit, completelyContinue reading “I fasted on only bread and juice for Lent. This is what I learned.”

Learning to abide in care

What does it mean to be a community of care? How can we deepen in our care for one another in a world so caught up in efficiency and the self-protection of individualism?

Most wonderful time of the year

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”   Except, for you, this holiday season is anything but. Maybe you are moving through the annual traditions for the first time without a loved one because of death or divorce. Maybe a job loss or economic hardship means buying gifts or booking travel is financially outContinue reading “Most wonderful time of the year”

A persecuted Church: Images of the Body of Christ in “Romero”

Blessed Oscar Romero will be canonized a saint in Rome this coming Sunday, October 14th. You can view the live Canonization Mass on EWTN starting at 3:30 a.m. ET or again at noon. In honor of the upcoming celebration, I offer you a review of the film about the last three years of his life thatContinue reading “A persecuted Church: Images of the Body of Christ in “Romero””

Toward the fire

In 2002, during the months in which the The Boston Globe released the findings of its investigation into wrong doing on behalf of the Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Boston, I was a high school junior preparing for confirmation. The investigation exposed a widespread pattern of sexual abuse from several Catholic priests, five ofContinue reading “Toward the fire”

Being part of a Church broken by sex abuse and lies

Imagine you were violently attacked and dropped off a balcony into a dark alley, and somehow you survived. Your body is broken, bloody, mangled; you are twisted and contorted into a mess upon cracked asphalt. Your arms and legs are shattered. The most private parts of you have been violated. All of your muscles acheContinue reading “Being part of a Church broken by sex abuse and lies”