RIP Rich Mullins: Palm Sunday Dark Devotional

"You had no stones to throw You came without an ax to grind You did not tow the party line No wonder sight came to the blind You had no stones to throwYou rode an ass's foal They spread their coats and cut down palms For You and Your donkey to walk upon But the world won't find what it thinks it wants On the back of an ass's foal So I guess You had to get sold'Cause the world can't stand what it cannot own And it can't own You 'cause You did not have a home.Birds have … [Read more...]

Sick Confessions: I’m a Bad Pray-er

"You arrive at enough certainty to be able to make your way, but it is making it in darkness. Don't expect faith to clear things up for you. It is trust, not certainty." --Flannery O'Connor It’s almost here. My freaking ride. April 1. Three little days away.My past two practice rides left me panting, worn out, after riding only two miles.The shortest course for the ride is six miles. It looms over me, taunting, like the baseball uniform in my closet when I was 11.Any failure is your … [Read more...]

St. Joseph’s Altar: The Lenten Feast?

Every year in my school, the classes would take a bus to a nearby banquet hall in our town of Opelousas, where we’d be able to eat some of the great food prepared for the St. Joseph’s Altar, a practice especially popular in Catholic southern Louisiana. That “altar” was really just a few tables adorned with flowers, breads, desserts, and meatless meals to commemorate the Solemnity of St. Joseph.Since the Solemnity falls during Lent most years and is not technically a Feast Day, the rules of th … [Read more...]

Dark Devotional: To Die for an Ungodly Neighbor

For Christ, while we were still helpless, died at the appointed time for the ungodly. Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die. But God proves his love for us, in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.In the aftermath of the presidential election, I've seen many Catholic bloggers and Facebook-ers address the question of "martyrdom." The discussion is focused on the housing and … [Read more...]

Road Trip Homilies: Wounded Knee and the Snake Givers

As I walked along a sandy path in Badlands National Park, I noticed a sign warning me to "Beware of Rattlesnakes." The wind stinging my cheeks reminded that even if the snakes decided to brave the cold, they'd be sluggish and unlikely to bite.  Still, as I walked, I listened for the tell tale "rattttttttttetattatt" and prepared myself to leap out of the way.For some reason, I couldn't get snakes out of my mind as I drove to the Pine Ridge Reservation located south of Badlands. I'd taken this … [Read more...]

Dark Devotional: How Do I Get to the Desert?

I learned I had no discipline or willpower at age nine when my fourth grade religion teacher had us write down in our composition notebooks what we would be giving up for Lent. That was a real head-scratcher; any child would’ve had a hard time having a “vice” in my household. My brother and I had everything we needed, and most of what we wanted, but unlike many of my friends, we didn’t have video-game systems that we played into the wee hours. My mother didn’t keep candy in the house (well, I lea … [Read more...]