Luther and the Little Way: A Gradual Gift from a Catholic Conversion

The 500th anniversary of the Reformation has concluded.  The year provided many occasions for dialog, discussion and defense of each side of the Catholic-Protestant divide. I've been an invested observer, having been received into the Catholic Church over a decade ago after a lifetime as an active Evangelical, but I'm unqualified to spar with theologians … Continue reading Luther and the Little Way: A Gradual Gift from a Catholic Conversion

Rich Mullins’ Musical Legacy May Include Drawing Catholics and Protestants a Little Closer

"There's more that rises on the prairie than the wind." These words still rise in my heart when the majesty of the natural world lifts it. They're from "If I Stand," a 1988 release by Rich Mullins and Steve Cudworth. Jars of Clay covered "If I Stand" a decade later on a tribute album released a … Continue reading Rich Mullins’ Musical Legacy May Include Drawing Catholics and Protestants a Little Closer

Ashes and the Assumption: The Body’s Dignity Even in Death

My favorite trail is named for the cathedral-spired rock formations lining both sides of a mountain canyon. Its curves link vistas so stunning that hikers hesitate to turn back when clouds gather and daylight dwindles. “It would be cool if my family would scatter my ashes somewhere up here,” a friend mused on a camping … Continue reading Ashes and the Assumption: The Body’s Dignity Even in Death

The Truth Is in the Stars … or Is Faith the Final Frontier?

Why is it possible to learn more in ten minutes about the Crab Nebula in Taurus, which is 6,000 light years away, than you presently know about yourself, even though you've been stuck with yourself all your life? Walker Percy, Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book "Space:  the final frontier." It's impossible to … Continue reading The Truth Is in the Stars … or Is Faith the Final Frontier?

George Herbert’s Secrets of Soul Revealed in a Package of Poetry

He suffered with poor health throughout his life and died of consumption in 1633 at the age of 39.  Before he died he sent a collection of poems to a friend, the founder of the Anglican religious community, Little Gidding. This request, it is said, accompanied the manuscript: Sir, I pray deliver this little book … Continue reading George Herbert’s Secrets of Soul Revealed in a Package of Poetry

Why Forgiveness Is the “Sweeter, Smarter” Choice that Sets Our Prisoners Free

I had rarely heard the word incarcerated before becoming a counselor, but years of work with at-risk children accustomed me to its cadence. It first surfaced on the lips of a dark-haired high school junior who'd come to my office to change her class schedule. Describing her family, she chatted nonchalantly about her grandmother and … Continue reading Why Forgiveness Is the “Sweeter, Smarter” Choice that Sets Our Prisoners Free

Pentecost: The Wind that Spreads the Fire

I discovered the power of fire and wind the hard way. I was a thirty-something mom of two toddlers, and my husband and I had rented a simple little home in the country surrounded by open fields.  One breezy spring afternoon, having returned from grocery shopping, I put the kids down for a nap, gathered … Continue reading Pentecost: The Wind that Spreads the Fire

Scorsese’s Silence: A Four-Question Examination of Conscience

Anyone who missed Martin Scorsese's big-screen interpretation of Shusaku Endo's novel Silence hasn't had much of a wait for its video release. Having read the haunting novel several years ago, I jumped at the chance to experience the screen version when SILENCE appeared on the marquee of my small-town theater during Lent. I knew its dark … Continue reading Scorsese’s Silence: A Four-Question Examination of Conscience

Holy Saturday: Harrowing the Hell in Our Hearts

It was on a Holy Saturday about ten years back that I first saw an image of the "Harrowing of Hell," a depiction of Christ entering the realm of the dead and releasing the souls imprisoned there (1 Peter 3:19) We proclaim it in the Apostle's Creed:  Jesus Christ "suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, … Continue reading Holy Saturday: Harrowing the Hell in Our Hearts

Do Everything without Complaining or Arguing

When I was newly married and helping put my husband through his final year of college, I worked at a drug store behind the camera counter which doubled as the return desk.  It was a deep immersion into the world of complaints. One of the most memorable was a post-Christmas encounter with a man dissatisfied … Continue reading Do Everything without Complaining or Arguing