A Thanksgiving Children’s Book for Weary, Grieving Hearts

COVID-weariness is a thing this Thanksgiving. In my little corner of the world it shows itself on the faces of parents, children and teachers navigating the yo-yo of school closures and re-openings as we monitor the number of active COVID-19 cases in our county, our valley and our state. It surfaces in my father's voice … Continue reading A Thanksgiving Children’s Book for Weary, Grieving Hearts

Two Songs for the Election-Anxious Soul

"These are the times that try men's souls." -- Thomas Paine Phrases like "these unprecedented times" and "these challenging times" have become cliché as, amid pandemic and pandemonium, the next president will be decided. My father, whose parents survived the Great Depression, whose boyhood memories include World War II and who can tell you all … Continue reading Two Songs for the Election-Anxious Soul

Let there Be Light: Thoughts on the Life-Giving, Death-Dealing Power of the Tongue

I'd just been paired with a stranger for one of those awful icebreakers at a conference in a Denver hotel. We stood among the other pairs, politely smiling, straining to hear each other in the din of the introductions going on all around us. He was a tall man, late sixties maybe, with thinning hair … Continue reading Let there Be Light: Thoughts on the Life-Giving, Death-Dealing Power of the Tongue

A Prayer Practice for the Anxious Heart

There are plenty of "hard sayings" in the Bible, but one I often puzzle over doesn't tend to make the lists offered for our reflection. It's Christ's directive to have no anxiety. What? I protest. Anxiously. A spiritual director once asked me point blank, "Why are you so anxious?" Momentarily stunned, I responded with a … Continue reading A Prayer Practice for the Anxious Heart

Recharge Wellness, Wonder and Spiritual Spark, Beginning with a One-Page Miracle

Whatever happens day by day as various authorities work out rules of re-entry in the tenuous phases of COVID-19 response, the easing of quarantine has many of us asking ourselves what we've learned from this experience so far, what we've lost and what we want to recover. Re-entry, whether to half-capacity churches, marked-off restaurant spaces … Continue reading Recharge Wellness, Wonder and Spiritual Spark, Beginning with a One-Page Miracle

Take HIM down? Saint Junípero Serra and the Persistent Question of Christ

You might be able to aquire a public education without hearing about the Christian foundations of orphanages, hospitals and universities, of the faith that underpinned western science and inspired the abolitionists to work for the end of slavery. You may never have heard about the Christian recognition of the image of God in people of … Continue reading Take HIM down? Saint Junípero Serra and the Persistent Question of Christ

Does Your Heart Break Now? Mourning George Floyd with Two Songs and a Conversation

Along with the rest of the country, I watched the recording of the death of George Floyd. I heard him gasp "I can't breathe." In the aftermath, as police clashed with protestors and pundits politicized, many of us, watching in helplessness, turned to prayer and mourning. For George Floyd and his family. For the tragic … Continue reading Does Your Heart Break Now? Mourning George Floyd with Two Songs and a Conversation

Scapegoats, Solitude and Solidarity: Thomas Merton as Quarantine Companion

"We must love them both, those whose opinions we share and those whose opinions we reject. For both have labored in the search for truth and both have helped us in the finding of it." --St. Thomas Aquinas This gentle reminder came to me by way of Thomas Merton, whom I've been reading lately with … Continue reading Scapegoats, Solitude and Solidarity: Thomas Merton as Quarantine Companion

The Prisoner and the Pandemic: The Gift of the Right Read at the Right Time

The pandemic's reality was slow to strike my relatively isolated, poverty-stricken mountain valley. For weeks we watched the worldwide spread of COVID-19 through phones, laptops and television screens, but our lives were going on as usual. In mid-March, everyone at my little school left for spring break and there still wasn't a case in our … Continue reading The Prisoner and the Pandemic: The Gift of the Right Read at the Right Time

From Nebraska to OHIO: This Indie Springsteen Tribute Charts a Heartfelt Map

Sometimes it takes a true fan to open a songwriter's work for you, to reveal poetic treasures obscured by the well-worn hooks that propelled the musician to fame. Just about everybody liked The Boss back in the day, at least in the surfacey way that connects us with artists whose hits are part of the … Continue reading From Nebraska to OHIO: This Indie Springsteen Tribute Charts a Heartfelt Map