Descending Ego’s Stairs: St. Thérèse of Lisieux’s Christmas Conversion

The traumatic loss of her mother when she was four deeply wounded the youngest daughter of French lacemaker Louis Martin.  By the age of 13 Thérèse, all frills and curls, was a sensitive "tween" given to tearful outbursts. Pampered by her older sisters and doted on by a father her who called her his “little … Continue reading Descending Ego’s Stairs: St. Thérèse of Lisieux’s Christmas Conversion

The Call of the Small: An Advent Invitation

I once saw a kitschy Christmas card featuring a photograph of a straw-filled manger. The caption read “King-sized Bed.” Despite its triteness, that caption stayed with me. The thought of God’s choice, binding himself to humanity by becoming one of us and in lowly circumstances whose fanfare was known only to shepherds and star-studying Magi … Continue reading The Call of the Small: An Advent Invitation

Halloween, Holy Time and our Longing for “Days that Are Different”

Sarah Clarkson, in her incredibleThis Beautiful Truth: How God’s Goodness Breaks into Our Darkness, describes her Holy Saturday during the Covid 19 lockdown of 2020. She’d been out for a walk on the downs near her English home, where in the first phase of the pandemic she was allowed only one walk a day. “The … Continue reading Halloween, Holy Time and our Longing for “Days that Are Different”

Contemplating Christmas Cards with Thomas Merton

Two days before Christmas in 1949, Thomas Merton returned to his room in Kentucky's Abbey of Gethsemani and opened his mail. He had received a postcard bearing Fra Angelico's golden rendering of the Annunciation, the moment when the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary with the invitation to bring God into the world through her own … Continue reading Contemplating Christmas Cards with Thomas Merton

End 2020 on the Path to the Ever-Ancient, Ever-New Normal

Remember when email was fun? How simple it was to "shoot" a greeting to a friend, receive a pithy reply and close your inbox feeling content and connected? I now have three inboxes and I approach each of them with trepidation. Even my personal inbox is more like Pandora's box than a friendly greeting gatherer. … Continue reading End 2020 on the Path to the Ever-Ancient, Ever-New Normal

Conversion at the Crèche: A Poem for the Unfinished Soul

The story of theBirth is read, theBabe placed in theManger.Smiling on theMother-girl, who gaveHim to a fallen world,I ask if I might hold herSon, her littleOne, theSavior. She gives a graciousYes. It's ChristmasEve. Cradle His head and place His body on your Breast. He is a Perfect littleLamb, atRest in theCrook Of my own arm. … Continue reading Conversion at the Crèche: A Poem for the Unfinished Soul