It is easy to feel distant from the person Jesus, a poor Jewish man who lived 2,000 years ago. Meditating on the wounds of the crucified Jesus in my church, it occurred to me that each of his wounds speaks to the suffering we all go through in this life. Jesus may be gone, but Christ is with us always. The crown of thorns on his head bleeds for those who suffer from anguish, anxiety, mental illness, and languishing. The… Read more

Recently, The Onion, a delicious news parody website, published a brutal headline. It read: “Biblical Scholars Find Evidence Church Covered Up For 3 Wise Men Who Molested Baby Jesus.” At first glance this is outrageously offensive. Yet, reading the comments section, some folks had a point. Is this headline more enraging than the story that recently broke regarding several diocese in Pennsylvania where more than 300 priests who abused thousands of children and adults were protected by Bishops and Archbishops?… Read more

Is there sufficient reason to hope? As if hope were an equation, whose range of outcomes might justify our investment. Or, is hope a small patch of exhausted soil we cultivate anyway in the face of apparent hopelessness? Read more

Just as the ocean and the shore are inseparable, we are a unity of body-mind. “I don’t have thoughts that I don’t have feelings about; and I don’t have feelings that I don’t have thoughts about.” –Bishop Robert Barron Read more

Introduction I increasingly come into contact with folks who have a difficult time understanding why anyone in their right mind would self-identify as religious—while I walked the Camino de Santiago this summer, when I meet people in activist circles, or even on dates—I hear a very similar line of argument: Religion and religious people are rigid, outdated, dogmatic, violent, and judgmental; whereas spiritual people are open, accepting, non-dogmatic, fluid, expansive and personally fulfilled. While listening to a Podcast from Catholic… Read more

Arriving in Santiago Falling to my knees, I found myself at an unexpected altar. I may have pushed a little too hard to arrive in Santiago before the crowds became unbearable; and then eaten some questionable local seafood for lunch. All of which induced a temporary but debilitating stomach upset. I could hardly stand let alone walk around the city. My arrival in Santiago was supposed to be a joyous and cathartic release after so many miles of prayerful walking…. Read more

But bit by bit, step by step, my heart has softened as my feet have toughened. Read more

A few weeks after I had defended my PhD and graduated from the University of British Columbia, I bought a ticket to Barcelona. I had heard of many people having amazing experiences on the nearly 500 miles long Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route that gained popularity in the middle ages as a safer alternative to the Holy Land. In the last several decades, annual walkers of the “French Way” have risen to approximately 300,000. I love walking, but I have… Read more

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands (Isaiah 55:12). Read more

Back in 2011, toward the end of my master of forestry program, I began to wonder whether my newly-found knowledge of the forest was getting in the way of experiencing it. Memorizing Latin names for family, genus and species; describing the intricate details of the physiology of tree growth; categorizing the phases of forest succession; or, learning to identify diseases and invasive species. Together, these skills were allowing me to see the forest through fresh eyes. But what I found… Read more

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