February 4, 2024

Jesus’ healing of Peter’s mother-in-law from today’s Gospel has a lot to say about our innate wholeness. My ACT scores suggested not so much genius as dissociative identity disorder.  There were two distinct personalities who took the test.  One was almost gifted (my word, not the College Board’s) in English and reading.  The other was… less so.  Math and, to an even greater degree, science left me frequently confused.  And my scores showed it. Ironically though, I have gained an... Read more

December 9, 2023

I don’t like to admit it, but I’m a bah-humbug kind of gal. The weeks prior to Christmas just seem like so much work. Perhaps that’s because they are. Of course, many people relish the labor of tree-decorating, card-writing, present-purchasing, and gift-wrapping, but I feel tired just thinking about it. But when I let go of all but the most minimal, compulsory tree-decorating, card-writing, present-purchasing, and gift-wrapping, I feel like I’m being a lazy stick-in-the-mud. Perhaps that’s because I am.... Read more

November 4, 2023

At Wednesday’s All Saints’ Day Mass, we celebrated the spiritual G.O.A.T.’s that have “come marching in” throughout the course of Church history. We also heard the call to become saints ourselves. But we all had the same thought, didn’t we? A saint? Me? No way! But what if I told you there is one thing you could do, one concrete action you could take, that would catapult you past those identified as “blessed” and “venerable? What if you could jump... Read more

October 7, 2023

This week’s Gospel reading asks us to give up our usual way of computing value in favor of a “cornerstone calculus.” For the past several years, I have taken on a part-time gig in addition to my regular full-time work. If it came with a title, it would be something like, “Senior Project Manager, Bucket List Trip Division.” If it paid even a minimum hourly rate, I’d be rich. It has neither, but that’s not why I submit my resignation... Read more

September 4, 2023

Last week, I wrote about the declining numbers of those who align with organized religion. Perhaps one reason for the rush to the exit is that we never really understood the purpose of religion in the first place. Just for fun, let’s say “religion” is the beautifully decorated present under the tree on Christmas morning. We have lots of words for what’s under the wrapping and ribbons and inside the box: salvation, redemption, justification, deliverance, and more. Although most of... Read more

August 27, 2023

The title of an opinion piece published this week by acclaimed New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof says it all: “America Is Losing Religious Faith.” He discusses what’s known as the “great de-churching,” the current groundswell of people happy never to darken the doors of a church again. Why the opinion piece? A book with that very title just hit bookstore shelves earlier this week: The Great Dechurching: Who’s Leaving, Why Are They Going, and What Will It Take to... Read more

June 4, 2023

The complex doctrine of the Holy Trinity can be described in many ways. Perhaps the best is … “It’s complicated.” Having been married for nearly 29 years, I’ve never been on a dating app or used any own social media to meet people.  But I know of many happy couples who did meet that way, so I assume that if I were young and single, I’d probably also entrust the algorithms of relationships to produce reasonable dating options worthy of... Read more

May 28, 2023

Recent guidance by the APA and the U.S. Surgeon General makes it clear that social media has the potential for significant negative impacts, especially for adolescents. As people of faith, what can we do? In the early years of Facebook, I was a big fan. “Does anybody know a good plumber?” I had eight helpful suggestions with useful reviews from people I trust within minutes. “Is pet insurance worth the cost?” I had detailed analyses of the pros and cons... Read more

May 27, 2023

What if Pentecost is less about the descent of the Holy Spirit from outside of us and more about the ascent of the Sacred Breath within us? The rise of yoga, meditation, and other mindfulness strategies in the West has taught us that the thing we take most for granted is the very stuff of miracles. The most ordinary part of our human experience – one we usually aren’t even conscious is happening – is actually a superpower that makes... Read more

May 22, 2023

Yesterday’s gospel reading begs the question: if Jesus ascended into heaven over 2,000 years ago, where is he now? I’m currently reading the latest edition of a fantastic book, Forming Intentional Disciples, by Sherry A. Weddell. The author talks about hearing three different homilies three weeks in a row by three excellent priests in three different parishes. In each one, the priest used the phrase, “when Jesus was on earth.” The author found that perplexing because such language assumes that... Read more

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