December 16, 2018

On Friday, a child died. She was mine. She was yours. She had a long brown ponytail and large brown eyes. She had just turned 7, the same age as the innocent girl sleeping in my upstairs bedroom. Her name was Jakelin. She was created from the clay of a Guatemalan landscape and died in an American jail, her desperate and helpless father standing by. Crossing nations and continents for the promise of a life free from violence, I can’t... Read more

October 2, 2018

When boys will be boys, then girls will be garbage. I don’t remember much from the assault itself, but I do remember the shame. The knot which began in the pit of my stomach, tightening a noose of shame around me until I could hardly breathe. It happened, as nearly all sexual assaults do, in a mentality of “boys will be boys” and a culture which teaches women from a young age that their bodies are the national pastime. They... Read more

August 17, 2018

Into the Wilderness  When I was a child, in the years after my mother’s death I found a lot of comfort in my local parish community. When I was in third grade, we got a new priest. His name was Fr. Boylan and I received my first Communion from his hands. He was my pastor for most of the rest of my childhood, and was someone my family got to know quite well. His housekeeper was my grandmother’s close friend.... Read more

July 25, 2018

This morning, I went to church. The church’s name was pond. A small pond, so insignificant it doesn’t even have a name. I entered for exercise, a morning walk before the heat of the day. I stayed for the transcendence, the joy. I came to church hunched with the weight of a fraying faith, a world in tatters, a soul overwhelmed by the grief of this thing called living.   When I got to church, the cathedral ceiling of sky... Read more

July 9, 2018

Over the last couple of years, I’ve observed this happening. Christians who love God and the Church, but whose faith communities have scandalized them to the point of dreading worship, skipping Mass, or facing the prospect of leaving in tears. In closed groups and whispered conversations, people of faith who just can’t take it anymore. The silence from their local churches on issues relating to gun and school violence. The silence when white nationalists march through the streets. The silence... Read more

July 2, 2018

If you’re anything like me, you might be feeling a tad bit ambivalent about our nation’s impending birthday on July 4th. If you have kids, you’re still going to put that American flag shirt on them for a cute Instagram photo, and you’re going to have the party, the BBQ, all of it. Where last year you made the American flag berry dessert with gusto, this year your heart isn’t in it. As you hull those strawberries, picked by brown... Read more

June 26, 2018

The world is a scary place. Last week I had to double up on my anti-anxiety medication to keep from rocking back and forth in stunned silence at the depth of man’s inhumanity to man. Then someone posted that wonderful message from Fred Rogers – though really, everything that man said was wonderful – and it reminded me that in the midst of babies ripped from their mother’s arms, and the indifference to suffering of  “nice” people, to look for... Read more

April 19, 2018

The discussions surrounding what the term “pro-life” means seem to have ramped up as of late. Is it merely opposition to abortion? Is it opposition to abortion and a host of other violations of human life and dignity? Is it a fundamentally negative or positive definition?   Positive or Negative That is, does it posit only those things to which people ought to be opposed as a matter of justice in the sense of “giving on his due” (Aquinas)? Or... Read more

December 22, 2017

In the picture, I’m a smiling girl of six. Raven hair in loose curls swaying down my back – I remember the braid I wore to her funeral – staring up at my mother with stars in my eyes. Someone had the good sense to snap a photo, to capture this moment of love between mother and daughter. Thank God they did, because six months later she died. The Christmas tree with its brightly colored lights and cool, silver, tinsel... Read more

November 15, 2017

“Let justice roll down like mighty waters…an ever-flowing stream.” – Amos 5:24   What is it about people and water? It draws us in, gives us life and its rushing, falling, crashing rocks us to sleep. Sometimes it’s overwhelming power takes our breath away. Occasionally it kills us. But always, no matter how dangerous is it, we return to the water. Human civilization came dripping out of the water, the fertile crescent, the convergence of three rivers giving birth to... Read more

Browse Our Archives