How to Remove the Speck in Your Neighbor’s Eye

With lights dimmed and screen illuminated in my optometrist's examination room, he and I review my latest retinal scan, one eye at at time. My eye appears as an orange globe networked with a map of red blood vessels. The scan allows him to detect signs of early eye disease, tears in the retina and … Continue reading How to Remove the Speck in Your Neighbor’s Eye

The Blessing of Birding by Ear: Tips for Identifying Birds by their Song

"More than any other kind of wildlife, birds have an almost magical hold on the human imagination: "They are beautiful, vibrantly alive, and everywhere to be seen. They open our eyes to the world of nature. They enrich our spirits with their color, their music, and their wondrous gift of flight." The editors of the … Continue reading The Blessing of Birding by Ear: Tips for Identifying Birds by their Song

Why I Couldn’t Put Down Sohrab Ahmari’s From Fire by Water

I read it in two days. I'd received an email notification that Sohrab Ahmari would be the first guest on this summer discussion series. I wanted to know more about him before listening to the conversation with the author, editor and essayist. My husband and I were going camping and I relished the thought of … Continue reading Why I Couldn’t Put Down Sohrab Ahmari’s From Fire by Water

Hillbilly Elegy’s Window into Addiction and Disfunction Rings True

Back in 2017, Bill Gates included Hillbilly Elegy among his summer reading recommendations. Having come from an advantaged home in Seattle, Gates said he reads memoirs like this to understand another side of America. "Through deeply personal stories like these, 'Hillbilly Elegy' sheds light on our nation's vast cultural divide — a topic that has … Continue reading Hillbilly Elegy’s Window into Addiction and Disfunction Rings True

Begin Your Reading Year with this Book (and Live Your Own Story Well)

One afternoon during the COVID-19 lockdown of 2020, I listened to a lecture on the joys of reading. I love reading and I needed joy. Steven Jonathan Rummelsburg, a veteran teacher, offered the following reasons for becoming a more intentional reader, particularly of the classics: to grow in wonder, to join more fully in the … Continue reading Begin Your Reading Year with this Book (and Live Your Own Story Well)

Nazi Prison New Year: The Integrity of Alfred Delp

"It is difficult to sum up the year now ending in a few words. So much has happened during this year and yet I cannot see what its real message is for me, or its real achievement....Hardship and hunger and violence have intensified and are now more shattering than anyone could have imagined." With left … Continue reading Nazi Prison New Year: The Integrity of Alfred Delp

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

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