In the Sight of Such Love

"You are my beloved . . . with you I am well pleased.” I find, even among people of faith, a certain reticence to being told they are God’s beloved. We often sidestep the issue: “Well, God only loves Jesus like that, not me.” Even now, as you’re reading this, you might be squirming a... Continue Reading →

Into the Littleness

"Dear sister or brother, if, as in Bethlehem, the darkness of night overwhelms you, if you feel surrounded by cold indifference, if the hurt you carry inside cries out, “You are of little account; you are worthless; you will never be loved the way you want”, tonight, if this is what you are feeling, God... Continue Reading →

Begin Again

"Let us begin again, sisters and brothers, for up until now we have done little or nothing," St. Francis of Assisi was fond of saying often. He even supposedly said it on his deathbed, as his "Sister Death" drew near. As Christmas draws near, and the New Year soon after, it might be helpful to... Continue Reading →

Everything Afire

“Earth's crammed with heaven,And every common bush afire with God,But only he who sees takes off his shoes;The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.” ― Elizabeth Barrett Browning Don't pluck too many blackberries this Advent, or this one precious life. At some point, awaken to the fiery presence of God in everything around you, hidden... Continue Reading →

Ocean of Love

"One day while I was praying, I lost all sense of God's presence," he said, and I could hear the pain in his voice. "It was just me, alone, talking to an empty room. Just talking to myself." We were at coffee, talking about faith, and about how sometimes spiritual growth can feel more like... Continue Reading →

Our Beloved Dead

For All Souls' Day, 2021 The souls of the just are in the hand of God,    and no torment shall touch them.They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;    and their passing away was thought an affliction    and their going forth from us, utter destruction.But they are in peace.For if before men,... Continue Reading →

A Quiet Luminosity

When I was young I was attracted to power, and to powerful people: pro football stars, wealthy superheroes, politicians, business owners, and world leaders. Real or fictional, I loved the idea of people who could make things happen, who could get what they wanted out of life and affect change, people who could "leave their... Continue Reading →

Teresa of Jesus

“Let nothing disturb you,Let nothing frighten you,All things are passing away:God never changes.Patience obtains all thingsWhoever has God lacks nothing;God alone suffices.” For many, the word MYSTIC can conjure up images of stained-glass saints and ragged ascetics, or some VIP class of Christian who claims to have exclusive spiritual experiences of God, Christ, or Mary.... Continue Reading →

A Listening Church

"The Synod offers us the opportunity to become a listening Church, to break out of our routine and pause from our pastoral concerns in order to stop and listen. The Synod offers us the opportunity to become a Church of closeness, that does not stand aloof from life, but immerses herself in today’s problems and... Continue Reading →

An Evening Prayer

May He support us all the day long,till the shades lengthen and the evening comes,and the busy world is hushed,and the fever of life is over,and our work is done.Then in His mercy may He give us a safe lodging,and a holy restand peace at the last.Amen.—John Henry Newman (1801–1890) “Hail Mary, the Jesus of... Continue Reading →

The Soul Knows

I will be celebrating my birthday this week and well, dear friends, it's been a year. A new baby, a new job, a new house, an old pandemic, and on and on and on. On the bright side, I am now well into my late 30s, and I have finally discovered that life does not... Continue Reading →

Sunset at the Cathedral

My day begins with a quick dip into the office, where I talk to my hermanitas (I am hermanito) about everything going on in our lives. In just a few short years (and a once in a lifetime global pandemic), we have become as much a family as a workplace, which is to say that... Continue Reading →

Face to Face

When we gaze into the eyes of someone we love and cherish, it's hard not to see God. The light we see in these faces, and the love they evoke in us, reminds us of God's loving, sustaining presence in our lives. But when we feel alone or abandoned, it's hard to imagine that God... Continue Reading →

Pilgrim Parents

It’s 3 a.m. and I wake to screaming. Bleary-eyed, I fumble around for the baby monitor. I can’t see a thing in the sunbright display, so I close my eyes and listen: “Waaaaaaa!” Which baby is that? “WAAAAAAAAA!!!!” I still can’t tell. Was that a raspy and sweet cry, or a shrill and loud cry?... Continue Reading →

Little Blessings

Before I got married I asked my father to give me his blessing. I had already asked my future father-in-law's permission, and he had given it along with a lot of love and support. But for some reason, I needed my father to bless me. I'm not sure where it came from, what part deep... Continue Reading →

Graced Transitions

My children are light sleepers, so when they fall asleep on me in the rocking chair, it can be a real challenge to get them into their crib without waking them up. Over time I’ve learned the delicate art of pressing them close during the transfer. That way, even if the chair and the floor... Continue Reading →

The Final Word Is Love: A Year In Review

Roughly a year ago, those of us in the middle of the USA faced the prospect of an extended lockdown. The shelves of Costco were empty of toilet paper and canned goods, and new mask mandates and social distancing requirements were being enacted across the country. And then it felt like everything was just, canceled.... Continue Reading →

Stations of the Cross for the Pandemic

I wrote these Stations of the Cross with the Covid Pandemic in mind, as both a way to pray for those suffering but also to connect their suffering, and ours, with that of Christ. Each station recognizes the suffering of Christ at his passion, and connects that with a group that is suffering particularly during... Continue Reading →

The Great Letting Go

At some point in my mid-thirties I realized I was holding on a little too tightly. It manifested as an unshakeable anxiety about having control over my life, about what I thought I was supposed to be doing. This eventually led was a very Dante-esque experience: Midway through the journey of my life, I was... Continue Reading →

A 2020 Epiphany

The births of our first two children were laborious, frantic affairs. Due to long labors and deliveries, the babies were quickly hustled away by the doctors and nursing staff, and we were left too shell-shocked to really cherish the moment. So when our third arrived relatively quickly, smack dab in the middle of the pandemic,... Continue Reading →

They can’t touch my soul

Like many Americans, I experienced a fair bit of anxiety over the course of the election. The morning after election night, when the election was still undecided, I headed into Morning Glory Ministries to help with emergency assistance. I was greeted by Carol, a longtime volunteer with a quick wit and lots of hard won... Continue Reading →

School of Love

It was at the end of a frazzled-to-the-bone day of parenting, when everything seemed to go wrong. I was rocking my rambunctious 16 month old Georgie, who was uncharacteristically exhausted (he had gotten all the goodie out of the day, and his dad), when he nuzzled in close, pointed to my eye, and said (in... Continue Reading →

Holy Ordinary

The holy ordinaryand a grilled cheese as radiantas the halo of flies swarming the dirty diapers A squirrel burst the seed bag and ateall the sunflower seeds.I clean it upwith a rusty spade One quiet moment when the baby falls asleepand sunlight shines on the fresh rainand we are reunited after school fresh pizza filling... Continue Reading →

Keeping the Vigil

They didn't teach me audio engineering or cinematography when I got my Masters in Theology. Maybe they should have, I thought, as lightning flashed through stain glass windows, the transcendent Exsultet echoing through the empty Cathedral. I was desperately attempting to keep a livestream going through a ramshackle conjunction of cameras, cords, blackboxes and an overheating laptop... Continue Reading →

Hide and Seek

One thing that struck me in reading the multitude of resurrection narratives is the fact that Jesus rarely appears to large groups, and to those he does appear to he remains, in some mysterious way, still hidden from view. They either don't recognize him or, when they do, he disappears quickly from their site. And,... Continue Reading →

A Good Friday Prayer for a Pandemic

Jesus never stopped praying. Even as he hung on a cross, desperately trying to breathe, his lungs filling with fluid, he never stopped praying. In his most desperate moment, he offered his suffering humanity, our suffering humanity, as a prayer to God. But prayer can be hard, especially if we are feeling stressed or overwhelmed.... Continue Reading →

Flowers are Everywhere

It has become a sort of rallying cry: "Flowers are everywhere!" "There's a dandelion growing in the sidewalk!" "There's a purple tulip!" "There's a white and orange one!" Suddenly my son William is obsessed with flowers, pointing out every one he knows, and given that he's grown up in a flower shop, he's fairly adept... Continue Reading →

Lent in the Time of Coronavirus

On March 12th I was supposed to be on a plane to Italy, leading a group of travelers through Rome and Tuscany. It's part of a small travel company I operate that specializes in tours of Italy, and this trip was centered on the art, spirituality, and life of Michelangelo. So for the better part... Continue Reading →

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