Dark Devotional: Go and Make a Mess of Things

Raised in a Catholic lay missionary family, dedicated to proclaiming the Gospel--the Good News of God’s love--all over the world, I've long been a big fan of Jesus’ mandate in Matthew 28, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” I've seen with my own eyes time and time again the desperate desire, especially in the poor and forgotten of the world, to know the boundless love and forgiveness offered to them by Jesus, to know their infinite worth.As I reread the Gospel today, however, something el … [Read more...]

Dark Devotional: Fulton Sheen at Heaven’s Gate

I had walked since dawn and lay down to rest on a bare hillside Above the ocean. I saw through half-shut eyelids a vulture wheeling high up in heaven, And presently it passed again, but lower and nearer, its orbit narrowing, I understood then That I was under inspection. I lay death-still and heard the flight- feathers Whistle above me and make their circle and come nearer. I could see the naked red head between the great wings bear downward staring. I said, "My dear bird, we are wasting … [Read more...]

Dark Devotional: About All the Things

Ostensibly, I created all my social media accounts to keep in touch with friends and family.  Increasingly, however, platforms that were once about sharing pictures and keeping in touch are also the means by which I receive wave after wave of bad news. I’ve digitally surrounded myself with the socially concerned, and the world is a mess.In our gospel reading this Sunday, we find two disciples whose situation seems similar. “That very day, the first day of the week, two of Jesus' disciples w … [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...]

Blog of the Year

When I told my fellow pilgrims that we'd received an award for faith-based blog of the year, our associate editor Matt Lafleur responded, "Does this mean we're....winners?" Good question.Jonathan Ryan and I created this blog for the margins, the narrow audience not being served (or published) by Christian presses and magazines -- those of us who've never felt at home anywhere but are tired of traveling alone. That audience has turned out to be a lot bigger than we anticipated.The Wilbur … [Read more...]

Dark Devotional: Life. Death. Time.

My receding hairline gets slightly more pronounced as I look in the mirror day after day. And gray hairs annoyingly spring up haphazardly in my blackish brown mop, ghostly symbols reminding me that time passes.Even in spite of my vanity, I was willing and eager to shave my head with you. Worrying how and if it could grow back suddenly didn’t matter anymore, not because I am noble; because reality knocks us on our asses and demands our attention.Not long after you started chemo, you s … [Read more...]

The Dark Devotional: The Fourth Sunday in Lent: The Prodigal in the Pig Yard

A Reading from the Gospel According to Saint Luke.Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean. The servant said to him, ‘Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him. He said to h … [Read more...]

Dark Devotional: Second Sunday of Lent: Mountain Climbing with Kathleen Tarr

 A Reading from the Gospel According to Luke.Jesus took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray. While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah,  who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem. Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep,  but becoming fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing wi … [Read more...]

Dark Devotional: First Sunday of Lent: The Devil Inside

 Click here for the complete Mass readings for the First Sunday of Lent 2016.A reading from the Gospel According to Luke. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan  and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days,  to be tempted by the devil.In the Gospel reading for this Sunday, Jesus faces three tests that all believers face. Satan tempts Him with immediate needs (turn this bread into stones), the desire for power/popularity (all this can be … [Read more...]

The Dark Devotional: Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Deep Waters

Click here for the complete mass readings for Sunday, February 7, 2016.I'm drifting in deep waters Alone with my self doubting again I try not to struggle this time For I will weather the storm I gotta remember Don't fight it Even if I Don't like it Somehow turn me around No matter how far I drift Deep waters won't scare me tonight~Portishead, Deep WaterA Reading from the Gospel According to Saint LukeWhile the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the … [Read more...]