July 12, 2016

Exhausted. Spent. So weary of words. There are those who seem able to contain it, the grief I mean. But there’s something wrong with me. I’m a spider’s web. Touch one part, and the whole shivers. There are shootings and retaliations. And there are answers. God deliver us from the people with answers. Life is suffocating. And they use up air with their arguments. Helplessness is a bitter thing. People have answers and they look at me as though I… Read more

July 6, 2016

It is the feast of St. Maria Goretti, who on this day 114 years ago was stabbed 14 times and killed after resisting the sexual advances of her would-be rapist. It is not surprising that she herself, an innocent victim whose heart was close to Christ, should be recognized as a saint. Nor is it surprising that the grace of Christ should work through her such that her attacker repented, became a lay brother at a monastery, attended her canonization,… Read more

June 29, 2016

  Let us imagine a feast. And let us imagine someone too mentally ill to eat. Imagine someone who thinks the food is contaminated or poisoned and refuses every plate. Or someone who will only eat food of a certain colour. Or someone who thinks him or her self a wild animal and who won’t eat food prepared by humans. Though they are exaggerated figures and not realistically complex, they do represent the way mental illnesses can screw up our minds… Read more

May 24, 2016

Loneliness. I think above all, this is the single word I want you to remember when you find yourself in the position of needing to love someone going through faith and mental illness. Know that we are lonely. Know that we often feel alienated amidst normal Christian practices – even ones we appreciate – because they don’t hit our messed up brains in the same way they hit yours. Know that however helpful professionals might be in some areas, they generally… Read more

May 21, 2016

In 2012 I began traveling to monasteries for respite, silence, solitude, and space. I started these journeys feeling as if I was traveling to a museum – an aesthetic location of a tradition that’s been upheld for thousands of years; a place where people can go to see monks or nuns as if they’re some sort of monument to religion or life. Yet, much like the pilgrims that traveled to see the 3rd century desert fathers and mothers for a word; I emerge… Read more

May 20, 2016

“Spend 10 or 15 minutes praying for healing.” It doesn’t sound much like penance. Unless you’re me. Because the idea of healing frustrates me.   It’s not even that I’m a hyper rationalist and think it’s impossible. Just the fact that some people are healed and some aren’t – and there’s a part of me that couldn’t bear to be healed if those around me weren’t – though who am I kidding? I’m not really that altruistic. I’d probably jump… Read more

May 14, 2016

It starts in a room of silence.  A room where disciples are gathered together in fear, in worry and in prayer.  An Inner Room where disciples behold the Christ in secret (Matthew 6:6).  It is fitting – this silence of the disciples – listening to and beholding this wounded yet risen Christ.  Silence mirroring the very heart of Christianity. A silence that births a Spiritual Wisdom that cannot remain in a room. A silence that speaks:  “Behold, I make all… Read more

May 12, 2016

“Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” It’s how Ephesians 5:15-16 went when I always came across it in the NIV. But there are other ways of translating it – for instance, both the King James and the Douay-Rheims translate the key phrase as “redeeming the time.” Now, it’s not my purpose here to get into the questions and politics of which… Read more

May 5, 2016

I generally don’t discuss politics. Not because they aren’t important, and not because I don’t have opinions on them, and not because I’m cynical and don’t care. No, it’s more because I want to start discussions at the roots of things – and politicians nowadays are too far gone for that; however much they may pretend to talk about religion, they’re functional materialists and the general system keeps them from being otherwise. The systems are pinned in place by an… Read more

May 3, 2016

“Is there a pill I can take for that?” said my eight year old son, who had just finished telling me that he felt dehydrated from a day of hard playing and learning at school. I chuckled a little and told him, no – there’s no pill – what you need to do is drink more water. It’s a cute story, and one we all chuckle at. But while we can appreciate the joy of this story in a child, it… Read more

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